Rachelle Palnick Tsachor uses artistic processes to bring a human, experiential understanding to science and science to enrich and clarify artists’ technique, expression, interactions—important aspects to making theatre. Laban Movement Studies and Alexander Technique are her primary tools to analyze patterns in moving bodies in diverse projects to discover:
1. How does movement support artistic practices and creativity?
2. What are the effects of movement on people (on emotions, thinking, learning and health) and how do these effects reveal the significance of body movement in theatre and other disciplines?
3. How can movement arts improve our future interactions with technology?
Tsachor explores ways that new scientific discoveries about the body/mind corroborate or shake-up many well-established theatre-making practices. Her publications on artistic practices range from a chapter on somatics for Theatre in Movement for Actors 2nd Ed., to “Grounding Acting in Current Emotion Science,” corroborating essential action-based theatre techniques.
Tsachor uses the art of movement to inform scientific research into emotions, embodied cognition, learning, and health. She is co-author of Emotion Regulation Through Movement, and A Somatic Movement Approach to Fostering Emotional Resiliency, and movement therapy studies. This research has over a quarter million views on the TEDx talk How your body affects your happiness. How Do We Recognize Emotion From Movement explores ways that perception of emotions from movement relates to empathy, shedding light on how movement can affect audiences. In NSF-funded research with UIC’s College of Education, Tsachor investigates the impact movement and drama have on science learning. The UI Presidential Initiative Celebrating the Impact of the Arts and Humanities awarded their Young People's Science Theatre for work with CPS students from diverse communities creating plays that respond to how science stories--such as water contaminated by lead--impact their lives. Tsachor also applies movement to affective computing and intelligent interaction for fields such as robotics.
Tsachor’s artistic work elicits movement specific to time, place, culture, character and style. At UIC, she choreographed and designed movement for Passing Strange, A Matter of Life and Death, Glenngary Glenross, and The Piano Lesson, and coached movement styles for Life is a Dream,, The Story, Ivanov, El Nogalar, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Her movement dramaturgy publications include chapters in Courtly Dance of the Renaissance, Moving Notation, and Terpsichore 1450-1900 and a scholarly facsimile edition of a French manuscript, Dances for the Sun King: André Lorin’s Livre de Contredance, [c. 1685-1687].
A movement teacher for 40 years, she has served as faculty at The University of Iowa’s Division of the Performing Arts and Global Health Studies, Grinnell College, and guest faculty for The Technion, University of Haifa, and Wingate College in Israel. She continues to teach and develop programs as senior faculty for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (NYC).
Tsachor is a member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators.
Listen to Rachelle Tsachor on the Labanarium Podcast. The Labanarium is an online international resource and network centre for the movement community. The focus of the website and network is to explore human movement in all forms, in the tradition of Rudolf Laban. Listen to the podcast below: