I have a house guest this week, Clara Trigo, amazing choreographer from Brazil here to do a workshop at the Electric Lodge.  (The workshop is called Poetic Instability.)  Clara doesn’t speak English all that well, but she was telling me about a presentation by a Dr. Carol Davis, at a conference in San Diego last week.  (It was conference on pilates.)  The presentation was about fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds all of our muscles and organs.  It is more extensive than skin.
What is fascinating about fascia is that it is, in fact, a sixth sense.  It processes information coming from our other senses.  And that’s what reminded me of my conversation with Dain Olsen earlier this summer.  Fascia is the sense that has to do with aesthetics – the processing of information through all the senses.  I think it must also be profoundly connected to our emotions and moods.
Fascia!  Who knew?!

I just ran across this marvelous passage in reading T.W. Baldwin, Vol II, Chapter XXXII:

Robert Whittington was considered the ultimate authority on rhetoric and we may fairly assume that Mulcaster was aware of him.  Here he writes in his Vulgaria in 1520, citing Cicero’s (Tully’s) Orator as his source and instructing the preceptor how to teach children to recite.  I’ve redacted it so that it is immediately readable, but have left unfamiliar words in the original script:

“Preceptor.  It is a rude manner, a child (have he never so [fylde or sylde] (silver? sweet?) a tongue and pleasant pronunciation) to stand still like an ass; and on the other side (as a carter) to be wandering of eyes, picking or playing the fool with his hand and unstable of foot….Therefore take head the countenance be made conformable to the purpose: now with gravity, now cheerful, now rough, now amenable, shaping meat unto matter (as I may say) like a glove to the hand … Also see that the gesture be comely with seemly and sober moving: sometime of the head, sometime of the hand and foot: and as the cause requires, with all the body … Of this thing whoever please to have more full knowledge, let him look upon Tully’s rhetoric.”

Clearly children were being taught theatre skills in the classroom in 1520!