7 Principles of Meyerholds Biomechanics


literally - refusal.

Otkas is the preparation movement preceding the actual intended movement. Like reaching back or taking a swing before the throw. This is where the idea or intention is born.


literally - sending.

Posyl is the realisation of the intended movement.


literally - stance.

Stoika is the dynamic fixation at the end of a movement phrase with the perspective of a new Otkas.


literally - the brake.

Tormos enhances the precision and musicality of a movement. It is often used at the end of a movement sequence.


literally - foreshortening (from the french word raccourci)

Rakurs means the perspective shortening. The actors offers the audience a various range of his body perspectives.


literally - counterpoint

While making a scenic movement, the actor includes a countermovement to generate a bigger impact of his initial movement and form.


literally - the grouping

It is a physical concentration, often around the point of command (solar plexus) and in connection with the Otkas, which creates a dramatic tension in the body and in space.

Learn more about Etudes...

The etudes are at the center of biomechanical training. They are both training and demonstration of the biomechanical principles of movement. Each etude follows a fixed sequence with a recognizable beginning and a defined end. Movement sequences can also appear in scenic variations and correspond to the circumstances of the play environment, the scenic context and the requirements of the role.


The sequence of the studies is subject to a segmentation of individual movements and is structured by a cycle of basic elements or by the sequence of individual movement phases.


The movement elements of the etudes are called: Otkas (preparatory countermovement) / Posyl (execution) / Stoika (dynamic fixation) / Tormos (“brake”, control of movement) and Rakurs (intermediate stage of movement) - these elements are also called hieroglyphs of biomechanics.


In Meyerhold's second studio (1913-1917), the first versions of the etudes were developed from daily rehearsals. In the Meyerhold workshops of the 1920s (GWYRM / GWYTM) they are further developed into the well-known fixed movement sequences and their sequence is fixed.

Etude - Shooting the Bow

Etude - The Throwing of the Stone