Commedia dell’arte tradition and nowadays
Davide Giovazana has a 20 tears experience with this theatre style, as a n actor and then as director. Having worked with Carlo Boso, Giovanni Fusetti, Jean-Claude Penchenat and Mario Gonzales he has a strong experience with the Italian tradition of the commedia dell’arte and with the French contemporary reinterpretation of this style. Since 2008 he started his own research and reinterpretation of commedia dell’Arte which led him to develop a new approach to this style focusing on the notions of political and grotesque comedy and on the notion of exploring the dark side of the human heart.
He has been teaching commedia dell’arte in USA, Switzerland, Russia, Greece, Romania, Latvia and in several theatre institutions and theatre groups.
Through the exploration of the basic structure of commedia dell’arte, such as acting with masks, improvising, building masks, writing monologues and scenarios, the participants will not only learn the fundamental acting technique of this explosive style, which deeply influenced Western theatre, but will as well come across the concept of total performer (or actor-creator), able to act, dance, sing, write, direct and comment on the reality in which he/she lives in.
Deconstructing physical theatre: a study of space, relationship and silence
Having been trained in the Lecoq pedagoy, having worked with Zygmund Molik (one of the assistant of Grotowski), having studied Meyerhold biomechanics, Schechner’s Rasaboxes and the Japanese dance Butoh, Davide GIOVANZANA started to fuse all these techniques and developed an alternative approach to physical theatre. Instead of focusing on the actions of the body, as it is the traditional teaching, he proposes to develop a special consciousness of the space, of relationship and of silence. The conjunction of these elements (space, relationships and silence) affects, transforms and makes the body expressive. In his experience as a teacher, he noticed that most of the problems that students face in learning acting, is that they become worried about what they need to do. In this workshop, the direction will be reversed and the “problems” will be transformed into something productive. This will also teach the students that problems instead of conceiving them as destructive elements, as a blocking fear, they can be seen as potential for development, for inquiry. The workshop will expand the actor’s consciousness and liberate his/her body
The tragic chorus
What is the sense of the sacrifice?
What is destiny?
What is a community?
By relying on the Neutral Mask and on the concept of “Mymodynamique” developed by the French pedagogue Jacques Lecoq, the course will examine the physicality of the Greek tragic Chorus. The tragic chorus is perhaps most haunting figure in the Western theatre. It embodies the voice of the audience, it witnesses the dreadful actions of the heroes and yet, it is a barrier preserving the sacred space of the representation. It is a unique body made out of many individuals. The workshop will explore physically and philosophically this figure. It will also examine the contemporary translations of this chorus, which in post dramatic theatre became again a dominant feature.
Why Neutral mask and Mymodynamique? In conventional western theater, words and facial expressions are the common means to convey ideas and emotions while the rest of the body is more or less “dead”. Lecoq sought to bring the body to life through a powerful tool: the neutral mask, an expressionless mask covering the whole face. While wearing the neutral mask the actor cannot rely on speech or facial expressions but only on movements, physical responses and bodily attitudes. This mask forces the actor to discover first his or her own neutral body. The actor has to acknowledge the ways in which his or her everyday life has shaped his or her body and conditioned not only his or her movements but even ways of thinking. For even without any actions the body is already expressing something. The neutral mask, is then not just a mean of training. Working with it produces an extraordinary state of awareness, presence and creativity. Thus the neutral mask allows the actor to find basic gestures (or objective/essential gesture) which can be declined in infinite variations, expressing infinite intentions and thus deeper and less stereotyped emotions.
The concept of the exercise called “mimodynamique”, which Lecoq developed, does not consist in miming reality, but in miming what lies beneath reality. The exercise is focused on the close observation of reality (animate and inanimate objects, animals, human beings) and on the study of tensions, forces and rhythms inside each phenomenon. The actor tries to embody the tensions, forces and rhythms that the phenomenon carries within itself, thus miming the dynamic of the phenomenon. The actor, through a purely physical process, seeks to convey the forces within the phenomenon, not just its appearance.