Speed Zero

Keith Berger, Physical Theatre

Photo by Kasia Kosinski

Speed Zero is the process we use to slow everything to the essence of the Moment. It is a beautiful thing to watch, as bodies seem to float through space. It is more a beautiful process to actually participate in, especially when, as a group, we reach a point of Magic. All movers are in synchronicity like a flock of birds fantastically changing patterns in the sky.

This preparation is designed to be a performed exercise bringing us a deeper awareness of our moment-to-moment physicality. It frees us to by-pass the thought process and opens us up to a uniquely joyous creative experience. At its highest level, Speed Zero develops the performer physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Each person brings a surprisingly different quality of motion and feeling to the mix. The group as a whole, when watched from the audience, radiates feeling through a visual kaleidoscope, an unfolding drama that goes beyond dance. Like many of the workshop’s other exercises, Speed Zero takes a tremendous amount of mental and physical exertion. On the surface, the movement may seem gentle and soothing. It is, in fact, quite rigorous and students often experience differences in terms of increased strength, stamina, flexibility, and mental focus.

In its short form, Speed Zero was originally developed by the late Paul Curtis of the American Mime Theatre. Keith Berger has further transformed Speed Zero into a long form teacher- prompted improvisation that stands as a thrilling viable performance unto itself.


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