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30 May, 2011  → 4 June, 2011 - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

The Journey of the Actor in the world of Masks




This training proposes a journey in the essence of Theatre Masks.
Masks belong to the world of archetypes and have been present in the history of humanity since the beginning. Essential elements of Ancient Theatre, glorious protagonists in the Golden Age of Commedia dell’Arte in 16th and 17th century, they have been brought back to theatre during the renaissance of physical theatre throughout the whole 1900, and today they represent a key step in the training of the physical actor-creator.

Through covering the facial expressions of the actor, the Mask forces her/him to go back to the roots of her/his own presence in space. Gestures have to be amplified, and everything is brought back to the body, thus giving the actor a complete new sense of space, presence and dramatic expression.

Analysis of Movements and Improvisation are the two tracks on which the teaching evolves, giving the students the physical awareness and the skills to explore the world of masks on stage. Mask playing combines strong emotional awareness and a powerful body alertness, with a rigorous technique of articulation of the body into dramatic attitudes.
It becomes an amazing training for any theatre artist, because it prepares the work on characters, which is the basis for all theatre genres.










The journey starts with the Neutral Mask, a key moment of the whole Movement Theatre experience. It’s a mask that doesn’t have any dramatic expression, and allows the actor to explore a state of pure presence, in the here and now of space.
With this mask the actor explores the state of neutrality that exists before the action. The Neutral Mask has no memory and no projects, it lives in the present, and allows the actor to discover the difference between movement and drama. To explore the fluidity of the body and the essence of human gestures.
The Neutral Mask gives the actor the awareness of the natural "drama" that is present in her/his body and that tends to become a form of character or style. By unfolding these physical "background noises" the body reaches a state of silence and presence, available to the theatrical space.
Once the actor has discovered this space, s/he becomes like “a white page, ready to be written on in the future dramas“ (Jacques Lecoq).






Once s/he has touched the referential state of the neutrality, the actor is ready to start exploring the forms of human characters, and s/he meets the Larval Masks. These very simple and essential masks come from a very ancient Carnival Tradition of the city of Basel, in Switzerland.
They have been brought to theatre by Jacques Lecoq, who discovered their pedagogical value in the physical training of the actor. They are big masks, with very simple shapes, that suggest an expression (pointed, tall, narrow, pear-shaped ) while never fully defining the features of a human face. They announce the lines that will lead to a specific character, but they don’t define it yet. They are open and available to the space, and need big gestures to make them come to life.
In the world of larval masks everything is at the edge of beginning and the actor can search in different directions:
- to simplify and amplify gestures,
- to explore the mask as a moving structure in the space, with forms, trajectories, dynamic oppositions and to find the body who can reveal it,
- to explore the animalistic and fantastic dimension of the mask.







These unique masks, created by italian maskmaker Matteo Destro, propose primary human characters, very simple and very defined. Each one of them, like a musical note, moves on one dominant dynamic in space. They bring us to a state of extreme naivete, teaching the actor how to enter in resonance with a human character. In the eyes of these masks the world appears as an immense event, in which awe, astonishment and basic emotions take over intelligence and understanding.
The uncovering of the mouth frees the voice of the actor, allowing the exploration of different sounds, rythms and the beginning of words (grammelot) .






Emerged from the archetypes of Italian Comedy (Commedia dell’Arte), half masks are a phenomenal instrument for playing. They introduce the actor to a precise physical definition of a character. They are very defined forms, where the larval movements have developed into a more complex structure. The main dynamic of the characters appears, as well as his opposite aspects, the so called counter-mask. In this style the actor is faced not only with the mask as a character, but also with a high level of playing, brought by the depth of human archetypes. These masks play in a world of survival, where passions, urgencies and human behaviour are pushed to a permanent extreme. Half masks have a specific tragic depth and can bring the actor to a very high level of poetic transposition, where laughter and crying are intertwined.

Improvisation skills and a play based of the constant unfolding of a comic theme, train the actor both to enjoy a very physical and rhythmical playing while developing the sense of playwriting and dramatic crescendo.
This incredibly vital style teaches the actor to truly experience what improvisation means, and how theatre can represent the wonderful madness of human beings, in a jubilation of rigorous fun.






The training culminates with the exploration of Commedia dell’Arte, the traditional Italian Comedy.
The characters, transposed by masks into particular types, require from the performer a level of play where the body is fully engaged, alive and always playful, thus revealing the poetry of survival.
The playing of the actor is rigorously framed by a scenario and by precise improvisation rules. Through the exploration of the types of Traditional Commedia, the work will touch some of the traditional scenarios and the rules of Improvvisazione: lazzi and “botta e risposta” (action and reaction), crescendo, pace and rythme, development  and  variation, climax and finale.

Commedia allows the actor to fully develop a creative, intuitive, highly visual and extremely physical style of performance. For these reasons Commedia dell’Arte is a physical celebration of rhythm, attitudes and improvisational madness.


During this training participants will use:

Neutral Masks by Donato Sartori, Abano Terme, Italy.
Traditional White Larval Mask, by Herr Zing, Basel, Switzerland.
Primary Masks by Matteo Destro, Padova Italy.
Expressive Half Masks by Matteo Destro, Padova Italy.
Commedia dell'Arte Masks by Stefano Perocco di Meduna, Italy.




The workshop will start on Monday, May 30th and will end on Saturday June 4th
Each day includes 6 hours of Master Classes.
Classes take place each day from 10am to 1 and from 2 to 5.

Master Classes include:
Movement Analysis and Movement Technique





This workshop is primarily addressed to theatre practitioners who are interested in experiencing the core elements of Giovanni' Fusetti's work and the Pedagogy of the
Scuola Internazionale di Creazione Teatrale HELIKOS

Priority will be given to students who have formally applied for three-year training, and who wish to enroll in the First Year starting in Florence in October 2011.


Earlybird: 450 Aus$ (if full payment is sent by April 15th)
Full Tuition: 550 Aus$

A reduction in the tuition is offered to participants who enroll for both workshops taugh by Giovanni Fusetti in Melbourne

Earlybird : AUS$ 850 (if full payment is sent by April 15th)

Full: AUS$ 950

Please note that tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Melbourne. Upon request, the organization will provide a list of useful inofrmation and how to organize your staying in Melbourne.

To apply for the workshop, please email a CV and a letter of motivation

to SALLY DAVIS  buttercupbonanza @ gmail.com

For any practical information please contact Sally

Mobile phone:  0439381404

Once the application is accepted, spots in the class will be given in the order the application was received. 

The number of students is limited to 18.

To confirm the enrollment, a deposit of AUS$200.00 is due.
Please note: the deposit is non-refundable.

If you are applying for the Helikos school, please contact Giovanni Fusetti directly.

For any questions regarding the content of the workshop please contact:


The workshop will be taught  in English. A basic understanding is required.


The workshop will happen in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
The venue is a studio named "Dorm ONE" at the ABBOTSFORD CONVENT.
Abbotsford Convent Foundation
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
You can visit their website http://www.abbotsfordconvent.com.au/visitor-information
for information on how to reach it.

Design & programming : DomRadisson.net