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Module Two

Explorations of Style | Arezzo | Spring Semester

Module two is an extension of the skills developed in the foundational module with an emphasis on the development and exploration of style. Commedia dell’Arte, both as a training for the actor-creator,  and as a dramaturgical and aesthetic genre, provides a reference for study. Students will focus on the mastery of the historic masks, movement, attitudes and hierarchical relationships through improvisation and rigorous work on various lazzi and canovacci. Performances take place within the Accademia and in the Arezzo Province at the end of this semester.

This is a consolidation of work achieved in Movement/Voice I, preparing students physically and vocally for the challenges of mask work and Commedia dell’Arte. Conditioning underlines preparedness for Flic Scuola and introduces stage combat techniques as an active element in Commedia dell’Arte. Contemporary Dance refines students’ expressive capacity through improvisation and simple composition tools. Movement reinforces the body’s expressive potential through technique and imaginative prompts. Voicework focuses on verbal expression through increased awareness of how voice and vocal settings can create character. In parallel, students explore a range of verbal forms and qualities through figures of speech and heightened language. Students reinforce their capacity to extend their voices in a consistent manner.

The class provides students with more complex musical forms based on listening, analytical and compositional skills. Students will be introduced to basic harmonic structures, thus increasing their dynamic range and ability to orchestrate with other voices.

They will also be active in using divers musical instruments in order to accompany and punctuate improvised soundscapes and scenes. Students further develop their own musical memory and find the means that suits them best to notate their work.

Ensemble work includes unison singing where tension, release and resolution are created through subtle variations in tuning and “clusters of sound”.

This course is divided into two complementary sections: History of Commedia dell’Arte and European Popular Culture from the Renaissance to the Baroque Period. The first section, is a comprehensive historical survey of Commedia dell’Arte in its technical, aesthetic, and professional/production aspects. Class discussions and presentations will focus on original sources such as scenarios, iconographic documents, acting treatises and repertoires, etc. The second section will suggest departure points for investigation of the cultural background of   European, and specifically Italian culture from the Renaissance to the “Baroque”. Lessons will focus on how both popular and “high” culture influenced developments in theatre and in its professionalisation.

Focused on Commedia dell’Arte, this semester offers a sequenced approach to the stock masks, characters and archetypes of Commedia dell’Arte. Through a detailed investigation of the “carnavalesque” body and a range of noncommedia masks students assimilate techniques of the masked actor including protocol for improvisation leading to the rhythms and techniques specific to Commedia dell’Arte. Students compose their own Canovacci for public performances in the province of Arezzo. In addition students learn how to construct Commedia masks in leather from a wooden matrix, and understand the relationship between the form of a mask and the particular character it embodies.

This course is the continuation of Italian for Actors I. Students will continue to be introduced to Italian theatre culture as well as to grammar, pronunciation and comprehension of the Italian language. Italian will be learned through the enactment of simulated situations, dialogues, and short monologues. Classes will emphasize speaking and listening comprehension through a creative use of poetry and theatre texts in Italian. Reading and writing skills will be developed through a variety of approaches mostly based on dialogues and short stories. Learning techniques will include improvisation and the use of grammelot.

Now accepting applications for MFA program commencing August 2018

Application Deadline:
April 1, 2018

For further information:

APPLY NOW for this program.

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