a theatre of gesture

The First Voyage 2020 will take place in London from September to December for 14 weeks.


Daily Life: Levels of Play

1 In this topic, performer-creators will discover how theatrical play derives from the experience of daily life, ranging from banal social confrontations, to the fantasy world that begins in childhood, to feverish delirium ... 

The Neutral Mask: Transparency and Availability

2 Theatre trainings often prioritise one type of physicality over another, calm over tension, equilibrium over edginess, symmetry over asymmetry. While allowing the Neutral Mask to inspire in us states of being that we might desire or even crave, in the course of this topic we will be focusing on two fundamental reference points for creative performance: transparency and availability.

The Poetic Body

3 The topic is focused on identification with dynamic phenomena, both visible and abstract. We will explore elements and materials, lights and colours, as well as the Arts. Music, poetry and painting will serve as inspiration for theatrical creation.


4 In this topic we will explore larval, expressive, and abstract masks constructed on the basis of movement dynamics. The idea of “masked-play” will become a reference point, even when the performer is not wearing a literal mask, opening doors to highly physical forms of theatrical creation.

Mask and Counter-Mask

5 Basing our development of character on animal physicality, states and behaviours, we will develop a cast of human characters and make a foray into quick-change farce. This topic will develop a level of physical characterization,“masked-play,” that will serve performer-creators in highly physical theatrical styles such as Commedia dell’Arte.

The 20 Movements

6 In this topic we will focus on Lecoq’s suite of movement themes, the 20 Movements. Exploring each movement in detail, participants will develop the sequence of movements into a fully-fledged choreography. This topic serves as a foundation for performer-creators who are interested in theatres of gesture, as well as being a reference point for other physical theatres.

New Theatre for the Old City

7 Our final teacher in the first voyage will be the city of London itself. This topic serves as the segue between First and Second Voyages. Choosing research themes, we will explore the city. However the city is too vast to simply represent: it must be sampled, essentialised, reproduced through fragmentary collage, reimagined, transposed: a “new” city is born through this transposition.


It is recommended that the First Voyage be experienced as a whole, however some topics can be taken separately.

Stand-alone topics: 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7. The first week of 2 and 4 can also be taken separately.

Topics that should be taken together: Topic 2 is a prerequisite for Topic 3, and Topic 4 is a prerequisite for Topic 5.

Booking priority will be given to those students undertaking the voyage as a whole.

Parallel to the First Voyage, Embodied Poetics offers a Pedagogic Training to those who already have an experience of the pedagogy. The Pedagogic Training consists of weekly seminars and includes the Master Class with Norman Taylor.