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Course Descriptions

Instructor: Dory Sibley

20 one-hour meetings over the program

Every morning participants will prepare for the rigorous demands of the workshops using the Elemental Body Alignment System. 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.

Instructor: Chiara D’Anna

July 1 – 12

This course is an introduction to Commedia dell’Arte and its legacy in contemporary performance. The Masks of Commedia are indeed an excellent tool to expand performers’ physical vocabulary, stamina, space awareness and a deep understanding of tempo-rhythm and comic timing. In this course you will learn how to create successful ensemble work, interact effectively with an audience and improvise with confidence, developing skills that are fundamental in any performance setting – not only physical comedy.

Following an introduction on Commedia dell’Arte and its history, the course will explore how to apply Commedia’s principles and techniques in the development of character and ensemble work. Participants will have the opportunity to focus on different aspects of actor training including body awareness, improvisation, slapstick, stock characterisation and half-mask technique.

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Develop your physical and vocal vocabulary in the creation of grotesque and comic characters with and without half-mask.
  • Devise and perform scenes utilising the Masks of Commedia dell’Arte, props, music and costumes.
  • Improvise and interact with your audience with confidence.
  • Adapt key commedia principles and techniques to any performance setting.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural context from which Commedia dell’Arte originated and its legacy in contemporary theatre.

Instructors: Samuel McGehee and Saso Vollmaier

June 17 – 28

What does it mean for the body to sing and the voice to move? What is the rhythm of speech? What is dissonance and harmony on stage? In this course we will explore the hidden musicality of theatre, how it can inspire creation and help to establish form. Our time will be geared towards the composition of physical and vocal scores. Particular attention will be given to work on rhythm, voice and the body as they relate to the space. The participants will have the opportunity to work and improvise with live musicians in order to heighten their awareness of the space and the hidden dimensions therein.

The elements of body, voice and rhythm will be explored on an individual basis in order to uncover hidden potentials, and implemented through ensemble improvisation to stimulate a sense of play. In the end, we will focus on refining a heightened sense of listening in the composition of short études.

Instructor: André Casaca

From June 17 – 28

In this course, students will explore their own Body Comic Identity, rediscovering the simplicity, tenderness and strength it takes to be able to be present in a scene together with the public. Working in a mostly non-verbal way, participants will discover their own personal comic identity through gesture, movement, sound and the nose. The nose creates its own eye, perspective and reality that preserves the words and makes the body speak. Through practical exercises, participants will gain basic tools of comic rhythm and timing as they delve deeper into their clown. There will be a working demonstration for the Accademia community at the end of the course.

Instructor: Denes Debrei and Heni Varga

From July 1 – 12

This workshop is about researching a harmony within opposites, to help awaken the body’s memory in order to activate dormant information experienced since birth. We will explore a new language through movement that will eventually become a dance – a pre-existing dance from the depth of our cells. This dance can be full of energy or empty, fast or slow, harmonious or disharmonious, etc. Dance, movement, while in representation can express the past and the future of a given space through the actor’s body.

The quality of a body that moves, dances, stays still, fully depends on the state it is in while onstage. It is this state that will be made visible through its impact on the space it occupies. To approach this here and now we will focus on the physical state, relaxation and exercising to enhance imagination in the creative process.

The first cry at birth, the final breath at death, the balance of life in between. Our cells hold a lot of information within, hidden in our body’s layers. Our objective is to use our potential by discovering and uncovering our body’s map.

This will be explored through and implemented into:

Individual exercises: to enable us to meet ourselves while integrating our experiences and the uniqueness of everyone else’s body.

Partner exercises: to help us know our partners (the experience of what the other body carries within), but also to find multiple modes of communication between two bodies, to exchange, share, receive…

Group exercises: which will allow us to find our place with and amidst others.


Dates (including Arrival and Departure):

June 16 – July 13

Early Bird Registration Deadline:

December 1, 2018

Standard Registration Deadline:

March 15, 2019

APPLY NOW for this program.

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


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