A Message from the founder
Embodied Poetics is a pedagogy of the whole body - of physical imagination and expression. Because we understand all art forms to be expressions of the body, we invite performers from different disciplines and inclinations on a journey that brings us back to the body's vast imaginative potential. With excitement and curiosity, we begin an exploration with you and the outcome would only be diminished if we were to predict it!
We call ourselves "guides", not teachers and certainly not "instructors." Is there a better word? The body's intelligence is common to us all; it's not proprietary information. We accompany you on a mutual journey to discover what we always knew.
This means that we also put ourselves, what we think we "know", at risk. This is the only way we can actually go on a journey with you.
The pedagogy is like a map: both concrete and poetic. Stemming from the pedagogic lineage of Jacques Lecoq, Suzanne Bing and Jacques Copeau, the Embodied Poetics pedagogy predicts the routes, the ports of call and the best scenic spots... apart from this, we remain open to the inspiration of changing winds and tides...
This enigmatic statement by Lecoq can be tested through the experience of performing:
- When does our idea of what we are performing not cohere with the actual performance? This is always a disappointing experience and can be painful, but there's no learning without this. This is creative failure.
- When does the audience respond to our performance, proving that the mask and the performance cohere? These are moments to celebrate. We feel like we've come home to ourselves.
- When does the performance touch on an even deeper coherence, uniting performer and audience in a shared experience? These are powerful moments for both performer and audience - moments of mutual generosity and recognition. These moments perhaps give us the "why" of theatre... when we find ourselves in others...
These three masks accompany us on our journey...
The First Voyage begins with Nature. Wordsworth’s confident statement inspires Nature Poets. Through close observation of phenomena as well as passionate identification with what we perceive, the First Voyage of Embodied Poetics is a journey towards life and its movements big and small. We imitate what we love. Mimesis becomes a way of understanding rather than a style of movement. In the First Voyage, we don't focus on form, but on feeling: the reactions and images that arise from our experience of the world.
Movement analysis, physical improvisation and group devising are the mainstay of the curriculum. We use masks of different varieties: the neutral mask, big "larval" cartoonish masks as well as fine, expressive masks, abstract masks that are dynamic shapes, "found" masks - objects that surprisingly turn into masks. We begin to consider many things as “masks”, such as poetic texts, and most importantly, we explore the "mask" created by the body moving in relationship to the space.
In the Second Voyage, we take Deleuze and Guattari’s prophecy of the New Earth as a central question: what is your theatre, the one love impels you to create?
The creator’s first response to the world is to create another one!
We make a grand tour of the “Geo-dramatic Territories,” Lecoq’s map of theatrical styles: the theatre of gesture; half masked comedy, epic storytelling, the tragic chorus, bouffons of mockery and mystery and the clown. These stylistic reference points are visited - not as a package tour - but as an invitation to further exploration. The actor-creator may find a home close to these ancient roads or use them to travel far beyond, into the wilderness of the uncharted imagination.
The proof is in the living. Maps and anatomical diagrams may predict outer and inner spaces, however the real experience of space unfolds in an entirely different way. As guides in a process of theatrical discovery, we set a course and assemble our materials, knowing that the real journey begins in the space together with you.
…and so, we invite you to the Voyage!