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FROM THE NEUTRAL MASK TO THE RED NOSE: the essence of physical comedy

5 January, 2010  → 10 January, 2010 - Paris, FRANCE

The Journey of the Poetic Body
the essence of Physical Comedy

Exploring the fundamentals of Helikos School Pedagogy







This workshop aims to follow the journey from the Neutral Mask to the Red Nose, the two essential polarities in the world of theater masks.
First the work will lead the students to find the "Neutral State" and subsequently to tweak that state toward character work and eventually toward the idiosyncratic and personal world of the Clown. 

Through the Neutral Mask the actor discovers a state of physical presence, calm and openness to space.  There is a web of "non-neutral attitudes" and physical and emotional "background noises" within each person's movement and physical presence.   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. The Neutral Mask teaches the actor o unfold any "individual physical drama" to reach a state of pure presence in space, in the silence of the present moment. It’s the basis for all theatre masks. 
After developing the actor's awareness of the Neutral State, the workshop will explore some of the infinite possibilities of creating comic characters, based on variations from neutrality. The focus will be on exploring how each character development is based in an unbalance from neutrality.

The final step will be the discovery of the Clown through the analysis of the physical and emotional world of each actor, as revealed by her or his natural body, with the help of the Neutral Mask. The use of the smallest mask in the world, the Red Nose and the amplification and articulation of personal themes allow the actor to enter the Clown State. This will lead to the discovery of a unique clown, with a specific body, tempo, voice, costume, attitudes, emotions, and poetic world.

The clown is not a character, it’s a state of playing where everyone has access to this key question: what is so funny about myself?
For a performer, there is something fundamental in the discovery of his or her personal Clown: it's raw, pure, personal, unique, challenging, empowering, revealing, extremely rewarding...

To discover one’s own clown is to reveal one’s own unique comic persona and turn it into a universal comic form.
It's the exquisite pleasure of touching the empty space of complete comedy.

As a theatre style, Clown has a unique poetic potential because it allows the performer to explore and play joining the naiveté and the vulnerability of the child, with the rigor and the technique of the adult, thus revealing the poetry of the ridiculous, and a unique poetic power.

As the Neutral Mask is the mask of humanity, the Red Nose is the humanity of the mask.





The workshop will start on Tuesday January 5th and end on Sunday January 10th.
Each day includes 5 hours of Master Classes.
Classes take place each day from 9:30 to 1 pm and from 2:30 to 5:00 pm.

Master Classes include:
Movement Analysis and Movement Technique




This workshop primarely addresses to students who are in the process of applying for the three year training at Helikos or are interested in experiencing the pedagogic approach of the Scuola Internazionale di Creazione Teatrale HELIKOS.

Priority will be given to students who have formally applied for the school, but any free spot will be offered to students who just want to know the core elements of Giovanni' Fusetti's work and the Pedagogy of Helikos school.

On January 10th, the last day of the workshop,  Giovanni will present Helikos, and the journey proposed by the school. Then he will have an individual session with each of the applying student, to discuss about their admission to Helikos.

Helikos school engages the students and the teachers for a very long period of work together, in the mutual commitment of an intense pedagogic relationship. For this reason, before the final admission to the school, Giovanni as the director of the school, wants to meet each applicant in person, in a training context similar to the context of the school.
This will allow both parties to verify if they can and want to work together.

This workshop will be a basic training on two foundations of Helikos  pedagogic work, the Neutral Mask and The Red Nose.
It’s not an audition of each student's skills as a performer, but of the skills as a learner and a group member.




General Tuition: 350 Euros


Tutition for students who have applied to Helikos: 300 Euros


Please note that tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Paris.

To apply for the workshop, please send a CV and a letter of motivation to :


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

The training will happen in Paris at
Centre Generation Tao

144, Bd de la Villette
75019 PARIS

Metro: Juares or Colonel Fabien



For further information about the content of the workshop and for applications
please contact:


Design & programming : DomRadisson.net