An intensive workshop to reveal your funny sides and learn to create with them. Train to create with spectators as clowns do, staying open, naïve, imaginative, foolish and inventing from failures. Discover stupidity as an endless font of surprises, learn how clowns work with timing, how they organise their work among themselves, how they write their shows.
This is a workshop about laughter and being funny. Not so much with conventional gags and routines – though we will touch on some of these – but more so with anything special, silly, foolish and free that is especially unique to you, which of course might not be enough either. Because being silly is not always funny. And being foolish is not necessarily humourous nor charming. This workshop is also about failing, and not hiding it. It is about overcoming the fear of derision, and discovering the pleasure of making people laugh through silliness; learning to be funny by chance; learning to treasure some of the most nonsensical, surprising and absurd performance ideas.
In this workshop we will approach clown as a form of art. You will learn the pleasure of being funny in your own peculiar, unique ways. You will practise different relationships between clowns, learn to work with clown scripts, routines and skills, and discover how to exploit conflicts: how you can play with problems and use them as a fabric for creation.
You will learn to cherish mistakes: how to search for good errors, make them shine and build a scene around them, and the variety of faults, flaws, missteps, goofs, slipups, bungles, lapses, oversights, slights, stumbles, glitches, misunderstandings, misjudgements, miscues, trespasses, gaffes, and transforming them into triumphs or catastrophes.
About the teacher
Carlo runs a range of theatre workshops after having taught internationally in several institutions and worked with many theatre groups, including Dance Base Edinburgh, the Cork School of Music, Dance House Dublin, the International Festival of Contemporary Circus Cirkuliacija in Kaunas Lithuania, International Circus School Fredrikstad Norway, the Théâtre de l'Opprimé of Paris in France, Italy and Burundi, the Volterra Theatre Festival, the Arches Theatre in Glasgow, and at École Philippe Gaulier in Paris since 2011.
14 - 17 December 2023, 10am-5pm
Chisenhale Dance Space
March 23rd,24th 2024, 10am-5pm
Center for Performing Arts,
28 March - 1 April 2024, 10am-5pm
Ripley-Grier Studios, 305 W 38th St, Manhattan, NY
13, 14 April 2024, 10am-5pm
Saal 1, DOCK 11, Kastanienallee 79, 10435 Berlin
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Acting & Play
Acting with the Pleasure of Play
There is so much to learn in playing games on stage in the way children do, with the presence, commitment, freedom, creativity of somebody who is having fun and exploring new things all the time. These are the basics of theatre play because there we learn how to be present on stage, how to look at each other, listen, be ready, create surprises, create an order, or destroy it. They are also very advanced skills for actors to keep discovering.
We will look at many ways to find a good complicity, to incite, tease, listen, respond, connect, surprise and conduct rhythms using the pleasure to play as a driving force. We will grow an understanding of the dramatic power of games situations and changes of rhythm. We will see how the qualities of games can be repeated, changed and owned to shape performances and write scripts.
Working with games will allow us to create for the stage while deftly avoiding descriptions of acting styles, meanings and character psychology. We will rather look for each performer's lightness, charms and beauty. How can actors find virtuosity in their own foolishness, to give life to texts, songs and theatre plays? We seek to uncover each one’s sensitivity and humour.
Showing – how to play for an audience, to establish games with clarity and in touch with an audience's imagination.
Teasing – how to be inventive in inviting others to play, and create a complicity in a game.
Concealing – how to hide games in a theatre scene in order to create illusions and different rhythms.
Changing – how to change games on the fly and engage an audience with surprises, rhythms, presence.
Catching – how to be open and ready to use incidents in a game, without thinking or over-thinking.
Leading – how to be able to use and change rhythms in a game. For example, to escalate a game when it’s working.
Fitting – how to cleverly provide games with a context and purpose to stage texts, songs, theatre scenes
Learning to play in the shocking and seducing world of Bouffons
Have you ever been able to imitate, mock, parody without being simply annoying? Can you do it with humour, lightness, and beauty? Can you do it while making people laugh and without being vulgar, heavy, militant? This workshop focuses on the art of derision in the world of bouffons. They mock using the grotesque, but never without charm.
We will approach the world of bouffons from one of their favourite acts: mocking the unjust, those who are bastards amongst the powerful, the elected, the privileged, the elites, the authorities. Bouffons provoke, and question the force of order and authority in their unjustness. They unmask the truth, expose the lies. They disclose hypocrisies. And in doing this they make us laugh. Bouffons are not only grotesque and shocking. They mock with fun and with a wonderful lightness. Through the grotesque, the indecent, it will not be a quest for vulgarity, but for the beauty of actors.
The fun of using limitations to create
We’ll use the grotesque to open to the pleasure of parodying, to discover the pleasure of being ridiculous. And so we’ll explore by limiting our movements, and altering our looks. We’ll change our shapes, explore movement and limitations with costumes. By constructing a different body we’ll seek its dramatic power, and learn its parodic force through action.
"Theatre Workshop for Dancers"
Dance skills and the human comedy
If physical skills had a personality of their own they would bully dancers and cover up their personalities. That is unless the dancers learned to play with those skills, to bring themselves into play, like ‘mettersi in gioco’, ‘se mettre en jeu’, to “bring their self into play”, to invest their performances with their life. This workshop is to discover a playful and creative state in which performers have fun to pretend, to challenge games with lightness and humour. In this sense we will train to play dance skills in many situations of the human comedy. The fun of pretending, creating illusions to tell stories, charming people, lying. Or do you like it when dance skills exist on stage with no other scope than being a display of abilities?
- Creating and owning accidents, conflicts, mistakes Patterns and rhythm in escalating problems and conflicts
- Playing with expectations: raise, fulfil, disrupt
- Playing with limitations and pretended injuries
- Pretending one can't attain practical tasks Pretending with weight and balance, tripping and accidents
- Escaping a dance with charm
- Pretend one loves or hates what they're doing
- The rhythms of lying, stealing, dying Imitating and mocking