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...
The Second Voyage, starting in September 2019, will introduce performer-creators to stylistic territories - such as pantomime and the theatre of gesture, half-masked comedy, the tragic chorus, bouffons of mockery and mystery and the clown. These are well-tested pathways of theatrical creation and as such can lead both to new inventions of old styles and to further territories far beyond - the theatre of the future.
Devising - creating theatre from scratch - will be the wind in our sails!
In class and in weekly group devising experiments, participants will discover their own creative resources as well as the tremendous creative resources of an ensemble.
The language of instruction is English, however the guides of Embodied Poetics are international and we welcome participants from all over the world. In coming together for this journey, we will discover more than the sum of our individual participation. This is the fundamental inspiration of Embodied Poetics: to discover together who we are as individuals and what we have in common, then to allow this discovery to lead to new forms of expression. These are the new theatres that performer-creators will discover as they continue on their own ongoing journey…
And so…. we invite you to the voyage!
THE FIRST VOYAGE
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.
THE SECOND VOYAGE
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.