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Course Descriptions

Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS)

Instructor: Dory Rebekah Sibley

EBAS is a series of stretching and strengthening exercises designed to integrate the body while increasing flexibility, range of motion and core strength. The focus of EBAS is to understand the basic principles of initiating and anchoring movements from the pelvis while finding efficient and effective alignment through experiential anatomy.

Contact Improvisation

Instructor: Chris Truini

Contact improvisation is an experimental dialogic dance form developed during the 1970s focusing on kinesthetic experience, touch and exploration as dance resources, challenging conventional dance hierarchies and gender roles. CI is a useful tool for generating new material and ensemble building.

Commedia dell'Arte

Instructor: Giangiacomo Colli

Instructor: Giangiacomo Colli

From the sixteenth to the late eighteenth century the itinerant players of the Commedia dell’Arte developed a style of acting and performance that was to have a tremendous impact on the development of the European theatre. In the twentieth century this style was rediscovered and once again influenced such movements as the expressionist theatre, theatre of the absurd, and the futurists’ experiments, as well as individual artists such as Meyerhold, Gordon Craig, Samuel Beckett, Lecoq, Ariane Mnouchkine and many others.

A study of the techniques rooted in Commedia dell’Arte provides modern actors with a vastly expanded artistic repertoire from which to develop a personal style. Through work on gesture, voice, and movement, this acting class will explore the features of Arlecchino, Brighella, Pantalone, Capitano, Colombina and other masked and unmasked Commedia dell’Arte stock characters, with the intention of developing the student’s own personal version of the character.

The class format will be based on intensive studio work. Students will practice the use of half-face masks, will learn traditional lazzi (stunts, gags and pranks), and will work on improvisational techniques. Scene study in the form of short scenes or more complex canovacci (scenarios) that the students will learn to write, will be a regular component, as well as historical lectures and discussion. The course will culminate in a working demonstration.

The Chorus and The Clown

Instructor: Joe Sebastian Fenner

The Chorus, the Individual, the Clown – a promising combination

What is a chorus without individuals? a grey mass.

What is an individual without a chorus? a lonely good-for-nothing.

What is a chorus without a protagonist? a chaotic crowd.

And what is the clown? a chaotic individual

The clown stands for chaos – he is not reasonable he is not social he is non-conformist he is moody and exuberant. He is not logical, he is the perfect model of an individual. Therefore the clown is the perfect antagonist to the chorus. The chorus stands for community – developing common actions and reactions, finding agreements, uniting the forces, holding common interests, subordinating personal opinions, avoiding extravagant behaviour. So a chorus must be a real challenge for every clown.

In this workshop we try to confront the chorus and the clown. Hereby a list – incomplete – of questions we will try to face together: Is it possible to integrate a clown into a chorus? Can a clown destabilize a chorus? How? Can a clown become a leader / protagonist of a chorus? Is it possible to unite and organize clowns in a chorus? Which themes or circumstances could bring clowns together? What would a conference of clowns be like? What is the difference between a clown conference and a conference of individuals?

Some helpful tips:

“Le rire est une chose sérieuse avec laquelle il ne faut pas plaisanter.” Raymond Devos

“È un mestiere terribile quello che consiste nel far ridere la gente onesta.” Molière

Solo il clown che riesce a farmi ridere delle mie proprie debolezze è un clown degno di questo nome.

Devising Laboratory: Composed Theatre

Instructors: Samuel Angus McGehee and Dory Rebekah Sibley

This new direction of post-dramatic theatre offers alternative principles of aesthetic organization in which the body is understood as an intensity and density rather than an instrument of literature.

The organization of sounds in time and space offer an exciting and alternative example of new directions in which the elements of the stage: actor, object, word, sound, movement, etc can be organized and composed. In this course we will be in search of a new poetics of the stage in which the typical hierarchy of theatre elements are torn apart and put back together to reflect a modern conception of art.

Leather Mask-Making

Instructor: Andrea Cavarra

Students will learn the steps required to make high quality leather theatrical mask in the style of the Commedia dell’Arte. By the end of this introductory class each student will have their own leather mask based on the stock characters of the commedia dell’Arte.


Instructors: Summer Faculty

On select evenings faculty will select films that relate to the development of physical theatre, this can include lectures, discussion.


Summer 2017: June 4 – 23

Application Deadline: March 15

PLEASE NOTE: The dates above include arrival and departure. The Accademia dell’Arte does not accommodate students before or after these dates.

3 Credit Hours (optional: see Program Fees and Billing for more information)

APPLY NOW for this program.

The Accademia dell’Arte undergraduate program is fully accredited by Hendrix College.


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