Photograph of Dr Rose Whyman

The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts' Dr Rose Whyman has just published a translation of Biomechanics for Instructors by N.A. Bernstein, (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020).

This book comprises a series of lectures given by celebrated Soviet neurophysiologist Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bernstein in Moscow in 1925 and first published in Russian in 1926. Bernstein’s ground-breaking work, which has had a significant influence on the development of neuroscience, movement studies, and other fields of study in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the West, was suppressed during Stalin’s regime.

At the time of its publication, Biomechanics for Instructors was a significant resource for teachers, with its descriptions of the movement of joints and degrees of freedom, illustrations of how to calculate the work capacity of muscles with bones acting as levers, the role of the central nervous system in movement, and more. Bernstein was developing his ideas of biomechanics as famous Russian director Vs. I. Meyerhold was also developing his Biomechanics as training for actors.

Biomechanics for Instructors

Rose has also co-authored a chapter ‘Serafima Birman, Sofia Giatsintova, Alla Tarasova and Olga Pyzhova: ‘Second Wave’ Russian and Soviet Actresses, Stanislavsky’s System and the Moscow Art Theatre’ in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage, edited by Jan Sewell and Clare Smout (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Rose worked with with Maria Ignatieva on this piece about Serafima Birman, Sofia Giatsintova, Alla Tarasova and  Olga Pyzhova, four actresses who worked in the 1910s-20s at the Moscow Art Theatre founded by K.S. Stanislavski and V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko. These actresses went on to become celebrated performers, directors and teachers in the Stalinist and post-Stalinist USSR though little is known about their work outside Russia.

The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Women on Stage

Photograph of Dr Rose Whyman

Rose joined the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2003. Her main research interests are in the science of acting, actor training and Russian Theatre. She teaches a wide variety of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels including a course on tragicomedy (Dark Comedy), Russian theatre, Alexander Technique and Performance as well as practical modules in a variety of approaches to acting including Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov and Lecoq. She is a teacher of the Alexander Technique and a member of the Professional Association of Alexander Teachers.

Rose's profile