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THE JOURNEY OF THE NEUTRAL MASK IN NATURE

21 September, 2020  → 26 September, 2020 - Cansiglio Forest - Veneto, ITALY


The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019



The Neutral Mask is one of the most precious gifts that we have received from the research and practice of theatre masks within the lineage of Jacques Copeau, Suzanne Bing, Jean Dasté, Jacques Lecoq and Amleto Sartori, just to name some key names of the story.

The Neutral Mask is a fundamental step in the journey of Movement Based Theatre. It is a mask that doesn’t have any dramatic expression,  it exists before all other theatre masks.
It emerged from poetic and pedagogic questions like these:

Is there a mask that can train the actor to reach the physical state of engaged presence that is necessary in order to play all other masks?

Is there a mask that can prepare the poetic body to the process of shape-shifting and form-shifting that character play requires?

Is there a mask that can teach the actor not only to create space and time, but to become space and time?

What is the body saying while the actor is trying to not say anything?

Sartori's Neutral Mask, HELIKOS 2011


The Neutral Mask is a powerful pedagogic instrument. It inspires a fascinating learning process, profoundly poetic, both intimate and collective.  It allows the actor to explore the difference between movement and drama, between body and character.

No-body is neutral. Each person is "moved" by a variety of physical events: postures, attitudes, emotional patterns impressed in physical dynamics, rhythms, characters, archetypes... Within each person's movement and presence in space, there is a web of "non-neutral attitudes", that resonates like physical and emotional "background noises". If observed through the reference of the Neutral State, this web appears like paintings/markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense. They contain a drama: an action.
Thanks to an enhanced  physical awareness, the actor-player can let go of their physical persona in order to touch the Neutral State: a state of embodied presence, available to the here and now of theatrical space, aware of the infinite possibilities of creating physical characters, based on variations from neutrality.

The Neutral State has no past and no future, no memory and no projects. The Neutral Mask reveals the state of calm that exists before the drama of the character, and it manifests the expressive potential of the Poetic Body in space.

As the colour white in the words of Kandinsky, it is "the silence before the beginning".


The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019  


NATURE AS A TEACHER


This lineage of practitioners not only left us this unique mask, but also a set of exercises and a training vision for the moving theatre artist. In particular, Jaques Lecoq developed "the journey of the Neutral Mask in Nature".

Starting in the sea, the journey goes trough different landscapes: the beach, the forest, the mountain, the river and finally the plains.
Each of these landscapes teaches specific movement dynamics, rhythms, duration and crescendo.
Usually these themes are explored through improvisation in a theatre studio, relying on the physical and dynamic memory of the actors and the audience.
But in order to return to the essence of these themes, an actual journey in Nature can refresh and remind us the extraordinary details of this journey.


The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019



All classes of the workshop will happen in nature and the cycle of observation, identification, mimesis and transposition will be practiced with the powerful support of nature itself.

Learning verticality and grounding from the tree, learning the undulation from the sea, the suspension from the air, accents from the fire and so on.

The landscape is a dynamic symphony of movements. The poetic body of the actor/player learns to become what they see and in this becoming the individual persona is transposed into the collective body of humanity.


Once the actor has discovered the neutral space, he becomes like “a white page, ready to be written on in the future dramas“ (Jacques Lecoq).

 

The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019





PRACTICALITIES

 

ADMISSION
This workshop is addressed to theatre practitioners with previous experiences in movement based theatre and in the Pedagogy of Jaques Lecoq.


LOCATION
The training will be residential. Participants will lodge in the town of TAMBRE (BL), Italy. Classes will happen outdoor, on locations along the northern adriatic sea and in the CANSIGLIO Forest, Italy.
https://www.cansiglio.it/
https://www.prolocofregona.it/en/cansiglio-forest/
Tambre on google maps
Oasi Vallevecchia di Brussa onGoogle Maps
https://www.caorle.eu/en/discover/the-top-10-attractions-in-caorle/la-brussa-oasis


The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019



SCHEDULE

DAY 1: The group will gather in Padova at the HELIKOS STUDIO, Via Monte Solarolo 16, PADOVA, ITALY.
After a stop at the VENICE AIRPORT, the group will reach the Adriactic Sea, at the Oasi Vallevecchia di Brussa.
Day 2, 3, 4 and 5 will happen in the Cansiglio Forest
Day 6: last class and return to Padova with a stop at the Venice airport.

Participants can organize their travel in order to be on the first day either in Padova at 9 am or at Venice airport at 10:30 am.
Alternatively, participants who wish to travel with their own car, can meet at the departing point, at the Oasi Vallevecchia di Brussa. Detailed travel information will be provided.

Twelve Twigs, Chris Kenny, 2020

   

HOW TO APPLY

There is no application form.
To apply please email a letter of motivation
Please include in your letter a short bio and your experience with movement-based theatre.

Please send your application to giovanni.fusetti@helikos.com

Once accepted, to confirm the enrollment, a deposit of EURO 200 is due.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable, unless the workshop is cancelled due to force majeur.

Once the application is accepted, spots in the class will be given in the order the application was received.
The class will be confirmed as soon as it reaches 8 participants. Once 10 participants will be confirmed, the workshop is full, and a waiting list will be created.



A SAFETY MESSAG IN TIMES OF PANDEMICS



The training will happen in the rigorous respect of the anti-Covid regulations of Regione Veneto (social distancing, face masks indoor if the safety distance cannot be maintained, frequent hand sanitising, sanitising of surfaces in the studio).
All participants will have to agree in engaging with these rules.


The Neutral Masks will not be shared and each partcipant will only use the same mask troughout the workshop.

Given the extraordinary circumstances of the
coronavirus global crisis, the training will be confirmed ONLY if the Italian scenario will allow the safety necessary to travel and to practice in compliance with the health regulations. The final decision will be taken no later than September 1st 2020. In case of cancellation, all paid deposit and tuitions will be refunded.



We are aware that at the moment, August 2020, there are some travel restrictions in place for visitors wishing to come to Italy. You can find the most up to date information on
this websitse of the Italian Ministery of Health.

Also, some countries have established travel restrictions towards Italy. You can check your own foreign office to verify what are the travel advices and requirements.

We are aware that these restrictions will make impossible for many to join the training.
We are sad about this and we will organise these workshops again in the future.



 

TUITION

The tuition includes the training and half board for 5 nights at Agriturismo Cansiglio.
http://www.cansiglio.eu/en/accommodation/agriturismo
The half board includes single room, breakfast and dinner. Double room is available on request. 
Participants will be responsible for preparing their lunch pack.


Tuition: 580 euro



Learning the undulation from the Sea, Helikos, 2010

 APPLICATION DEADLINE : August 31th, 2020

No applications will be accepted after this date.


During these times of pandemics it is very difficult to plan ahead. This is the reason why both the info about this workshop and the deadline to enrol, come to you with very short notice. Carpe diem, Seize the day.

Once the workshop will be confirmed, participants will receive a message containing further practical details about the workshop, as well as the details of the safety anti-coved regulations that the group will have to comply with.

 

LANGUAGE

The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH and a basic understanding of this language is required.

 

 

INFORMATION AND APPLICATIONS


For further information about the content of the workshop
and for applications, please contact Giovanni Fusetti at




Giovanni Fusetti during a Lecture/Demonstration on the Neutral Mask, 2013 

Design & programming : DomRadisson.net