Commedia dell’Arte is what I first of all have specialized in through the years. The mad energy of the masks; the searching in the 16:th century world of theatre; lazzi and pranks; acrobatics, the music; the theatre of the actors – all those things are what attracted me to Commedia dell’Arte.
The Commedia dell’Arte that I work with is mostly early Commedia dell’Arte It is more original, more popular and closer to the rites than newer styles. It is also more physical and less literary.
The workshop stands on four legs, a short opening lecture, the character of the masks, the mask technique of Commedia dell’Arte and the mad, happy energy.
We start with a shorter version of the lecture in Commedia dell’Arte in order to work from common references later. It contains an explanation about what Commedia dell’Arte is, about its origins and beginning, its functions and how it is played now and then.
The first things we work with physically are the masks and their characters. The foundations of Commedia dell’Arte is are its masks and their characters. We try each mask on our feet, their physical attitudes, carriage and specific movements, their voice and inner life and character, after a short introduction.
A lot of that work is made by working on the bodies of the masks and improvisations. All participants also get the opportunity to try on the masks.
The technical side is the second thing we work with on the floor. That is the basis for how the masks will be seen and understood by the audience. The techniques in Commedia dell’Arte are as much about the masks tremendous contact with the audience, as its straight practical mask and movement technique. We work from exercises where the technique is a part of the expression itself instead of being a dead tool.
The last thing we work with is the happy energy, the crazy whims and motive powers of Commedia dell’Arte Without those we would not recognize Commedia dell’Arte It would just be plain comedy dressed up in mask. Here we are mostly working with improvisations and playing with the audience.
If we have enough time we complete the workshop by working with small scenes, lazzi* or canovacci. Here we will get the opportunity to put together what we have learned during the workshop.
The goal with the workshop can be anything from that the participants should be able to work independent with Commedia dell’Arte to give a “taste” of the form, depending on how long the workshop is, how prepared the actors are and so on.
If you are interested in this workshop click HERE.