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8 June, 2015  → 17 June, 2015 - HELSINKI, Finland





The word Bouffon comes from a latin verb: buffare, to puff, to fill the cheeks with air, to deform oneself, to swell in  order to provoke laughter. It seems to be a very old human practice. In  fact, bouffons are direct descendants of the satyrs from Ancient Greek  Satyric Drama.
The actual word "Bouffons" comes from French language and entered English theatrical language through the work of Jacques Lecoq.

The essence of the Bouffon is in the dynamic of MOCKING.

The MOCKER is a specific role, existing in all human societies. Bouffons represent elements of their society in an amplified, distorted or exaggerated way, thereby provoking laughter and outrage.

Their Mockery doesn't have an agenda in itself, because the Bouffons don’t have opinions, and they don’t protect any side from their mocking. They just mock everything and everybody. Their purpose is to have fun mocking humans and therefore they use everything they find, with  ferocious ecstasy and jubilation. This is their power: they see and play with everything, they feed on human dynamics in order to play with it.

Bouffons never touch on individual or private themes, instead they take on big collective movements –  involving the social complexity and  the very essence of society and culture. Politics, religion, economy, power, money and finances, morality, war and the military, science,  gender and race, ecology, family, education and school, cultural  institutions…





For Bouffon work to be possible, we need to be very well and precisely informed about  the situation or themes that we are mocking,  in order to see and then reveal what is hidden, what lies underneath –  on the other side, in the shadow or the unspeakable. Nothing can be  invented – all the movements and dynamics are documented and are based  in authentic behaviors.

The actors need to collect facts, not opinions. Bouffons have no opinions or values. Actors, directors, writers and members of the audience do. That's why, as a theatre genre, Bouffon is often very  provocative, because its very nature is to bring hidden things to the  surface and to unmask the collective games lying behind events. This often includes the fact that the role of oppressor and victim are always intertwined.

Everybody in the audience gets scrambled by a bouffon piece, which can be often a bit difficult and or even unbearable. It’s not the  Bouffons who are unbearable but the truth that they reveal about  humanity, what is hidden, what lies underneath, on the other side, the  grotesque of human society (grotesque comes from greek cryptos =  hidden).







- Play, action/reaction and fun
- The grotesque body: amplification, deformation, swelling and puffing
- The white bodies
- Engaged madness
- From children playing to Bouffon games
- The Bouffon “state” and the mocking eyes


- State of play: bands of Bouffons, rhythm, rituals and mocking dynamics
- How the Bouffons see the world: themes of play
- The Bouffons mocking the great themes of humanity
- How Bouffon relates to  Tragedy, Melodrama and Clown
- Writing in the Grotesque.
- Devising material for Bouffons.
- Staging of "bands of Bouffons"





Please visit TEATTERI METAMORFOOSI  website
for all practical information and for enrolment.

For any questions regarding the pedagogical content please contact:

Giovanni Fusetti

 Photo credits
(1)  Stefano Borghi for Helikos School, 2014
Stefano Borghi for Helikos School, 2013
(3) Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre, 2007
(4) Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre, 2007



Pictures from the Bouffon Training taught by Giovanni Fusetti. with the MFA students at the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California –  Spring 2007.












Design & programming : DomRadisson.net