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Boulder International Clown Training 2017: THE RED NOSE

10 July, 2017  → 3 August, 2017 - Boulder, Colorado

Welcome to 12th edition of THE RE NOSE workshop:
a unique opportunity to study and practice the essence of Theatre Clown

and the roots of Physical Comedy.



Boulder, Red Nose 2010. Credit:Jen Hyde



 Join us to explore the Sublime Stupidity of Clown


Clown is about comic poetry : funny and touching, essential and rigorous. It's a dive into the mystery of laughter.

Deeply rooted in movement-based theater, this workshop  proposes an intensive training in Red Nose Theater Clown - a specific theatrical and poetical genre. The pedagogy focuses in particular on the analysis, amplification and play of the physical and emotional world of each actor, as revealed by her or his natural body. This will lead to the discovery of a unique individual clown, with a specific body, tempo, voice, costume, attitudes, emotions, and poetic world.

The journey begins with the exploration and analysis of the body within the theatrical space. In terms of movement, no body is neutral - every body carries profoundly expressive themes, embodied in everyday movement. There is a web of "non-neutral attitudes" and physical and emotional “background sounds" within each person's movement and physical presence. If an actor is observed with an eye to movement, using the reference point of the Neutral State, this web appears like painting/markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense: they contain a drama - an action.

The use of the smallest mask in the world, the RED NOSE and the amplification and articulation of these very personal themes allows the actor to enter the Clown State. The clown is not a character - it's a state of playing where everyone has access to the key question: what is so funny about me ?

To discover one's own clown is to reveal one's own unique comic persona and turn it into a universal comic form.

For the theater artist as a poetical human being, there is something fundamental about the discovery of her or his individual Clown: it's raw, pure, personal, emotional, unique, challenging, empowering, revealing, and extremely rewarding... It's the exquisite pleasure of touching the empty space of complete comedy.

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

As a personal journey it's an ecstatic way to get in touch with one's unique humanity and play with it in a space of openness, vulnerability and poetical fun.

The sublime stupidity of the clown is her/his enduring openness to life and to the present moment, despite her/his radical imperfection.


Boulder Red Nose 2015



There are as many clowns as there are human beings.

There is one way to stand while there are infinite ways to fall.

Intelligence is limited. Stupidity is infinite.


                                                                  Giovanni Fusetti





The pedagogical approach integrates the Pedagogy of movement-based theatre of Jacques Lecoq  with different principles and practices of physical and emotional awareness. In particular: Gestalt, Reichian Analysis, Bionergetics, Taoism and Process Work. The result is a deep artistic and emotional work, involving the body in a dynamic of play, technical training, awareness and performing folly.

This workshop is simultaneously an artistic process and a personal process.

The personal process within the pedagogy is based on the combination of three fundamental principles. The first two come from the bio-energetics field, first expressed in the West by Wilhelm Reich and then explored by many different approaches.
The first principle says that:

What is not expressed by the body remains impressed in the body.

The second principle states that:

The expression of all emotions brings fluidity (flow) to the body and this fluidity brings physical pleasure.

The third principle is related to the archetypal nature of theatre as a ritual of connection and exploration of the different aspects of human nature:

The parts of ourselves that we don't play with, will play us.

As a way of getting in touch with, and integrating different parts of the self, seen as a process, theatre becomes a powerful space of knowledge, awareness and personal and collective empowerment. Through the playful unfolding of the energies impressed in the body, a clown will appear, and through playing this form with the rigorous support of theatre technique, a unique poetic world will emerge, as well as a fundamental process of personal evolution.

The Way (Tao) of clown brings powerful and highly poetical insights, witnessed by the audience and celebrated with laughter, and generates the ecstatic joy of being who we are in a unique experience of letting go of all intentions (Wu-Wei).



Boulder Red Nose 2015






- Play, action/reaction and fun


- From the neutral state to the comic state: movement analysis of the body in space
- The Red Nose as a mask: amplification and articulation of movement
- The clown as a state of being on stage
- The empty space and the non-intentional mind
- Emotional presence and awareness and contact with the emotional body of the actor
- Awareness of awareness
- Contact and play with the audience
- Playing with space and with objects


Second Week: THE PLAY (le jeu)

- The relationship among clowns: hierarchy, masters and servants, levels of stupidity
- The Circus Clown Archetypes: Augustus, White Clown, Monsieur Loyal
- The Clown's Voice
- Clown acts and le bide (fiasco)
- Rhythmical space and time: entrance, crescendo, development of themes, climax and exit
- The actor's skills in service to the clown: playing with music, singing, acrobatics, juggling, dance and unusual or unique skills.

Boulder, Red Nose 2009.  Credit: Young



- Devising of Clown Acts based on the previous weeks' improvisations
- Accidents and comic routines
- Devising a clown variety show

- Staging and directing clowns: each clown will work and rework on some acts /routines to be presented in 3 public performances

- Rehearsing the Clown Variety Show


Fourth week : PERFORMING

- Public presentation of a Clown Variety Show, devised by the participants under the direction of Giovanni Fusetti.
- Feedback on the performance and re-work for a second and a third performance.
- Feedback on the whole process and final celebration of the clowns and their world.



 Boulder Red Nose 2015. Rehersals of the Final Performance




July 10th to August 3rd, 2017

Monday July 10th: 11am Registration; 12 to 6 class
8 to 10: public lecture-demonstration by Giovanni

Tuesday July 11th: 1 to 7
Wednesday July 12th: 10 to 5
Thursday July 13th, Friday July 14th, Saturday July 15th : 3 to 9
Sunday July 16th: DAY OFF
Monday July 17th: 12 to 6
Tuesday July 18th: 1 to 7
Wednesday July 19th: 10 to 5
Thursday July 20th, Friday July 21st, Saturday July 22nd:  3 to 9
Sunday July 23rd:   DAY OFF
Monday July 24th: 11 to 6
Tuesday July 25th:1 to 7
Wednesday  July 26th: 10 to 5
Thursday July 27th, Friday July 28th: 3 to 9
Saturday July 29th: DAY OFF
Sunday July 30th: 11 to 8
Monday July 31, Tuesday  August 1st , Wednesday  August 2nd, at the Nomad Theatre, 11am to 10 pm, with three Public Performances at 7:30 pm.

Thursday August 3rd: 12:30 to 6pm. Closing

The location of the workshop is
the Boulder Circus Center
4747 26th St, Boulder, CO 80301, USA



Helikos 2013. Credit: Stefano Borghi



The aim of this course is to give participants professional theatre tools and emotional poetical awareness, in order to play and create within their own clown world. It is addressed to people with previous performance experience (theatre, circus, dance, music, etc.) who feel a strong poetic urgence to be on stage as well as a strong desire to create art from a space of emotional openness and vulnerability. It is a training based on generosity, and the commitment to turning one's own genuine humanity into play. It requires the participants a genuine curiosity about self-discovery through the healing power of humor.

The emotional work will be intense and ecstatic: the body will reveal what it needs to experience and express, in a dynamic of amplification, play, letting go, insight and theatrical transposition.

Shadows, archetypes, physical symptoms, dreambody processes will appear and will be welcomed in the alchemical space of the stage. All will nurture the sublime human poetry of each clown.


This is not just a theatre workshop. If you are only interested in the technical/theatrical aspect of clown and physical comedy, this might not be the work you are looking for. On the other hand, if you are only interested in the therapeutic or healing power of clown, you also might find the rigor of the artistic process frustrating.  Please read the attached document by Giovanni, as well as Giovanni's bio and the page my roots, to learn more about the ingredients of his approach to clown and theatre.



Boulder Red Nose 2015






There is no application form.

To apply to THE RED NOSE, please email

- a short bio, including a recent photograph
- a letter of motivation sharing the essence of your story, vision, dream, desire, fear or un-explicable intuition that leads you to this training.

Please include in your letter these themes:

-how did you come to know about this work;

-your experience with movement-based theatre;

-your previous experience with clown;

-for what purpose you apply for this program;

-some notes about your personal journey in terms of healing or therapeutical practices, or other relevant inner experiences.


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

Giovanni will choose students from the applications received, forming the group. In some cases Giovanni will ask the applicants to have a skype conversation.

Once accepted, to confirm the enrollment, a deposit of US$ 500 is due.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.

Once the application is accepted,  spots in the class, will be given i the order the application was received. Once Giovanni has selected 14 students, the workshop is full, and a waiting list will be created.  Please note that this workshop tends to fill up fairly quickly so if you intend to participate, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.



US$ 1,900.


Please note that tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Boulder. After the enrollment, we will  provide a list of useful information and contacts on how to organize your staying in the beautiful Boulder.



Boulder Red Nose 2015



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



Boulder Red Nose 2015




For any question regarding the pedagogical content of the workshop
and if you are interested in attending the workshop

please send your application to

For any practical information about enrolement, payment and your staying in Boulder, please contact 




 See you in Boulder !





Design & programming : DomRadisson.net