The Academy’s pedagogical structure rests on three foundational elements:
The Academy, led by a team of international master teachers, invites students to embark on a pedagogical journey that will fundamentally impact the course of their artistic lives. While rooted in the work of Jacques Lecoq, the program incorporates other physical disciplines and artistic approaches to encourage a broad exploration, with the body, gesture, and play placed at the centre of the creative process. Through exploration, experimentation, rigorous training and creative problem solving, the program at the Academy gives students invaluable creative tools to add to their tool box and use in the pursuit of their artistic goals.
While the pedagogy is rooted in the performing arts, The Academy welcomes artists from every field and cultural background. Students embark together on a search for new ways to express ideas through the collaborative, universal language of art. Out of this collaboration comes the creation of original and visionary works of art possible only through this synergy.
Real World Experience
Students at The Academy, work in collaboration with each other and their instructors to create public performances including shows, installations, processions and events. These productions offer students the opportunity to experience first hand all aspects of the creation of a live performance, from conception to execution.
Physical Preparation, Elements of Acrobatics, The 20 movements of Jacques Lecoq, Spacial Awareness, Levels Of Energy, Movement Analysis and Technique, Improvisation, Play & Levels Of Play, Character Work, Mask work, Object Manipulation and Puppetry, Rhythm Work, Feldenkrais, Vocal Preparation, Approach to Text, Relationship with the audience, Devising, Creative Ensemble, Writing for the Stage.
The program’s academic year is comprised of three independent terms of 11 weeks each. Each term is self contained and can be taken independently or as part of the series.
The curriculum of each term is a complete pedagogical journey offering students an in-depth, practical exploration. Because each eleven week term is devoted to only one creative territory, it gives both the students and teachers the opportunity to delve deeply into each style, allowing a breadth of study and practice that is rarely available today.
Each term is comprised of three elements:
Studio – Classroom work led by master teachers.
Workshop – Space for both unsupervised devised work and teacher led tutorials in practical construction which support the territories being explored in the studio.
Production – Real-world implementation of the large-scale final project.
TERM A - Bouffons and Grotesque
Like the “King’s fool, who, far from being a true madman, was licensed to express truth in all its forms” (J. Lecoq), the Bouffons’ job is to reveal the truth about humanity, to expose what is hidden, always exploring the big collective themes that make up the very essence of society itself: power, science, religion, economy, morality, war etc.
The body of the bouffon is not that of the human being, but a “different” body, discovered and created by the students. The creation of this bouffonesque body allows the performer complete freedom to comment on the human condition.
Out of the study of bouffons, comes the creation of the Grotesque, larger than life caricatures of figures in high society.
While still in the world of satire, but closer to home, grottesque characters, rooted in the world of the bouffons, allow for nuanced and grounded performances in this grand theatrical style.
Term B - Masks and Characters
The history of masks and their use in ritual and performance is almost as old as humanity itself, and today they remain a powerful tool in the training of actors and performers. When the facial expressions of the performer are hidden, the focus is brought back to the body as an expressive and poetic tool.
Mask work creates a complete training for all theatre artists, laying the foundation for work on characters for all performance genres. When the mask is later removed, participants are left with an enhanced physical awareness and an array of performance tools necessary to navigate the world of theatre-play and dramatic transposition.
This term encompasses the study of specific types of theatre masks including: Neutral Masks, Larval Masks, Primary Mask, the modern day masks of Human Comedy, half masks of Commedia dell’Arte. Along with the study of masks, students will spend time in the workshop creating and researching forms and materials for the sculpting of one’s own mask.
Participants will explore the following technical mask-making phases: modeling of the mask (clay), creation of the mould (plaster), realization of the mask in hardened, papier-mâché).
Term C - Clown and Comedy
The Red Nose is the smallest mask in the world; poetic, comical and very personal, the clown is not a character, but a “state of being”. Letting go of all intentions, the students connect with the power of presence while exploring their individuality and unique folly.
Regardless of each participant’s personal artistic journey, the study of the Red Nose Mask is fundamental. Participants experience an unforgettably profound state of freedom and authenticity in front of an audience while discovering and developing their own sense of play.
This process leads to the discovery of an “origin clown”; the clown which resides closest to us. This crucial first encounter becomes the jumping off point for the further creation of countless clowns and comic characters.
Administration: Via Decorati al Valor Civile 109/D 35142 - Padova, IT
Photos by Ned Brauer - Giulia Magliulo - Regina Clarkinia - Padova in Foto -
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