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Artmedia - Physical Theatre News - May 2004
Keith Johnstone Impro / John Marsden Writing, Australia
Winter Clown School, Scholarships, Sydney, Australia
Tathra Bodyweather Workshop, Tess de Quincey, NSW
artsConnect - a Web Portal Promoting Australian Artists
Groundbreaking Physical Theatre, Edgefest, California, US
Summertime Clown Workshops, Christopher Bayes, NY
Belmont Burlesque Auditions, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Canada's Burlesque & Variety Festival, Toronto, Canada
Vancouver's New Comedy Venue seeks Acts, Canada
Laban Conservatoire for Contemporary Dance, London, UK
Teatro Asura Seminars on Clown in Dance, Madrid, Spain
Malaysian Martial Art Workshop, Dancers & Actors, Latvia
Cirque Alexander, Doc Willikers Therapeutic Clown, Canada
Summer Trapeze Business for sale, Whistler, BC, Canada
Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed, needs our help
Newsletter Subscriptions & Unsubscriptions
Newsletter Advertising and Artmedia site promotion
Welcome to the May 2004 edition of the Artmedia physical
theatre newsletter, a publication with an Australasian focus
and a global perspective. You are receiving this because
you are on the Yahoo Artmedia Physical Theatre News list.
Sponsoring this issue we welcome Keith Johnstone and
John Marsden, who are teaching a course in Australia,
comprising two strands; writing, with John Marsden, best-
selling novelist for children and teenagers, and Impro, with
Keith Johnstone, author of ?Impro? & ?Impro for Storytellers?.
Keith is coming to Australia for the 8-day course at the
beautiful Tye Estate, north of Melbourne.
In the Playspace section we have the latest news on the
Clown School this winter in Sydney, and we announce
some new Scholarships, to make it more accessible to
those with limited resources, and also to those with
existing skills, who require a regular training opportunity.
In the Features, we have information on the Tathra Body
Weather workshop by Tess de Quincey on the Sapphire
Coast of New South Wales in June, plus information on
artsConnect, a web portal promoting Australian artists.
In the networking, there is a week of groundbreaking
physical theatre at Edgefest, in June and July, as part
of the Mad River Festival in California, where Dell'Arte
also celebrates 30 years in Blue Lake. Also in the US,
we have some Summer-time Clown Workshops with
Christopher Bayes in New York City.
Two other themes in the networking are burlesque and
dance. In the USA, Belmont Burlesque have auditions
in Chicago, Illinois, and we have info on the Burlesque
and Variety Festival in Toronto, Canada. Vancouver's
'hottest new comedy venue' also seeks acts.
On the dance theme, the Laban Conservatoire for Dance
in London seeks an Education and Community Dance
worker for the delivery of school, youth and community
projects, while in Madrid, Teatro Asura has monthly
seminars on Clown in Dance, and there is a Malaysian
Martial Art Workshop for Dancers & Actors in Latvia.
In the Noticeboard, Paul Hooson of Cirque Alexander &
Doc Willikers Therapeutic Clown programme says hello,
there is a summer Flying Trapeze Business for sale in
Whistler, British Columbia, and Augusto Boal, Brazilian
founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, needs help, having
fallen ill while on tour in the US.
Great Clown Debate - Update
In an update on our Great Clown Debate, about training
at the Australian National Institute of Circus Arts, and
following the Australian budget which was presented last
week, news is that NICA will now receive an additional
$2.4 million in funding over 4 years.
This funding will be used to rent and equip a rehearsal
venue and meet the production costs of performances
by NICA students. NICA will also receive an additional
$6 million in 2003-04 for the construction of a training
and performance venue, extending it's current premises.
This funding will further inflame the debate about the role
of the NICA training in the industry, as these heavily
subsidised student performances compete with other
professional artists in the Melbourne market place,
which has been a festering issue for some years.
"Contemporary circus is experiencing a significant level
of growth, both in Australia and overseas, the Australian
Arts Minister said, on announcing the grant, "and
Australian companies such as Circus Oz are regarded
as some of the world's most dynamic and vibrant."
"It is essential for this industry that Australia has a
centre for training which offers innovative and high level
training to ensure that our most gifted young performers
can be developed and nurtured."
We would agree, the question is how responsive to local
industry needs is this training institution, and does it
train artists for the unique Australian culture or for some
The Australian industry is indeed growing, with Cirque
Du Soleil recently establishing an Asia / Pacific office in
Melbourne, and a permanent big top circus venue also
recently opening at Luna Park in Sydney.
In a hopeful sign, some of the NICA people opted into
this list in the latest yahoo sign up, and we remind
everyone that communication is the answer to resolving
these issues, and suggest that it looks like more debate
may be possible early next year in Tasmania.
The next Australian Circus Festival is being planned for
the last weekend in January 2005 in Tasmania, and the
Australia Circus and Physical Theatre Association is
looking at the possibility of running a forum on this issue
as part of their biennial Head to Head Conferences,
alongside this event.
We will keep you posted. We aim to provide an avenue
of communication for the physical theatre community,
so send us information for inclusion in this newsletter,
and also forward this to someone who may be interested.
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=================================================== Sponsor - Keith Johnstone, Impro, John Marsden,
Keith Johnstone, author of 'Impro'
and 'Impro for Storytellers'
is coming to Australia. He and John Marsden will teach an
8 day course at John's property, the beautiful Tye Estate,
half an hour north of Melbourne Airport, in Australia.
The course, from June 8 to 15, will comprise two strands,
writing, taught by John Marsden, best-selling novelist for
children and teenagers, and Impro, taught by Keith. There
will be at least seven hours of classes a day, with one free
day, which can include some group exploration of Mount
Macedon and Hanging Rock.
Keith Johnstone's extraordinary pioneering ideas were the
basis of Theatre Sports and the television program 'Whose
Line is it Anyway'. A former director of Britain's
Theatre, and the co-founder of the Loose Moose Theatre in
Calgary, Canada, he is a remarkable teacher.
Although many people are aware of Keith's work, and his
two books, what is not so well known is his remarkable skill
as a teacher. Among the games he will teach at the Tye
Estate are many of his inventions, including his Master and
Servant games, status games, and possibly the Life Game.
There may also be some work on masks ? another area in
which Keith has done fascinating and pioneering work.
John Marsden, author of So Much to Tell You, Letters from
the Inside, Tomorrow, When the War Began, and Everything
I Know about Writing, is a well-known teacher of writing. Like
Keith, he constantly travels the world, teaching adults and
young people. John was recently described in the Sydney
Morning Herald and The Age, as 'an inspiring
is the teacher we all wish we'd had.'
The Tye Estate is a remarkably beautiful place, managed on
organic principles, where kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas,
wombats, koalas and eagles can be seen. In among 1100
acres of bush are a group of buildings where the course will
take place. It is an ideal situation for living and learning, with
plenty of room for people to escape when they want to go for
a walk or read a book or take some time out.
Cost of the course is expected to be Aus$2945 + 10% GST.
This covers full accommodation (backpacker style at the Tye
Estate), all meals, as well as the workshops. The course is
nearly full, so immediate applications are recommended.
Keith has never taught a full-length course in Australia
before, and this opportunity is unlikely to be repeated.
Details can be obtained from
Estate, RMB 1250, Romsey 3434, or by ringing ( Australia )
0354 270384, or by faxing (Australia ) 0354 270395, or by
=================================================== Playspace News - 5 week Winter Clown School - Sydney
July 6 to Aug 5 , Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 4pm
Two days a week is a great learning rhythm, whether you
work, play, or rest, on the Wednesday, because skills and
knowledge are absorbed over time, on reflection, and
through relaxation, and so more progress is made with this
structure than on a regular intensive.
Clown is an art form which has existed for thousands of
years, and undergone a revolution in recent times, as it
made the leap back from circus into theatre, giving birth to
'new clown' and physical theatre. This course takes a broad
view of clown, which allows students room to develop their
own unique style.
Each day starts with a yoga warm up, followed by exercises
to develop physical and emotional expression, and impro
exercises to develop comic timing and audience rapport.
This course provides a fun way to approach clown because
of the way we interface the studio work with exploration of
the street as a learning environment, taking exercises from
the studio and working with them at street-cafe's in Newtown.
The school will be led by Alan Clay, who has been performing
for 27 years and teaching clown for over 20 years, including a
recent couple of tours, teaching clown masterclasses in
Canada and USA, New Zealand and Australia.
Scholarships: Two low income Scholarships are available, and
one Skills Scholarship, for someone more advanced in their
clown work to participate in a regular training opportunity. The
practice of ongoing training is important for the industry, and
for individual artists, and also benefits the other students on
the school, by bringing a more mature approach to the training
process. More info at
10-day intensive led by Tess de Quincey, Sapphire Coast, NSW
This workshop with Tess de Quincey will be held at Tathra, a
village on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, 100km north
of the Victorian border. It is beautifully situated amidst pristine
beaches, rain forests and national parklands. The workshop will
encourage a strong sensory immersion into the environment and
the 10 days will include an 11km coastal walk passing through
rocky ocean cliffs and wild bush land, and a day on Mt Gulaga.
Body Weather is a broad-based and comprehensive training that
proposes a practical strategy to the mind and to the body. It is
not just for 'professional' dancers or performance practitioners,
but is an open enquiry that can be relevant for anyone interested
in exploring the body. The term and philosophical basis for Body
Weather was founded by butoh dancer Min Tanaka and his Mai-
Juku Performance Co, Japan. Drawing from elements of both
eastern & western dance, sports training, martial arts & theatre
practice, it supplies a neutral standpoint and aims to expose
the intelligence of the body, emphasising a 'thinking
Tess De Quincey is a choreographer & dancer who has worked
in Europe, Japan and Australia as a performer, teacher and
director. Based in Japan from '85 until '91, she was a dancer
for 6 years with Min Tanaka and his Mai-Juku Performance Co.
Since introducing Body Weather philosophy and methodology
to Australia in '88, Tess has engendered an extensive teaching
& performance practice, which has Body Weather as it's basis.
The workshop will start Friday evening 4th June at 6pm, and will
run everyday until 4pm Sunday 13th June. All fees include full
board and accommodation. Participation: Full 10 days 4 - 13
June; or Weekend participation ( 6pm on Friday until 4pm on
Sunday ): 4 - 6 June & / or 11 - 13 June. For further info please
contact SEAR: (02) 6499 2286; eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
=================================================== Feature - artsConnect - a portal promoting Australian artists
is a free web portal
promoting Australian artists of all mediums - filmmakers,
painters, poets, musicians, comedians, dancers, fire artists
etc. Artists are invited to register for a free profile that
describes their background, shows images of their work and/or
live performances and provides an email contact for others to
communicate directly with them.
Currently the site features over 250 Australian artists, with
many gaining successful work through the site, with corporates
and businesses looking for artists and entertainers. There is no
fee for referrals received through the artsConnect website. The
site also publishes regular arts news and information for artists,
artists seeking other artists, arts exhibitions and live events.
Mad River Festival, June 17 to July 25. Blue Lake, California.
Dell'Arte celebrates 30 years in Blue Lake with a show called
"Greatest Hits", revisiting 30 years of amazing performances
all rolled into one spectacular evening in which Dell'Arte looks
back to look forward. Plus The EdgeFest, a week of ground-
breaking new Physical Theatre, July 13 to 18, including The
Mighty Euros, 'Sera Sera', an acrobatic adventure!... A woman
eating truffles. A man facing an operation. How do they
communicate? What is real? What is imagination? What is a
truffle? And Tribe of Fools, 'Echo: A Tragedy', A story of love,
betrayal and revenge. Bunraku puppets tell the story of Echo
and Narcissus. Plus Jane Chen, 'The Chinese Clown Cabaret'.
Clowning in European and Native American traditions looks at
all sides of the self and laughs at the sheer ridiculousness of
it. And Oddville, 'The Idiot Servantes', you serve tea to a man
his whole life. He dies. Do you keep serving tea? Now. What
if you're an idiot? Under The Table Theatre Ensemble, 'Fever
Pitch'. A Ukelele and the AmeriCAN way! The War on Terror
is "explained" through music, dancing, mask, & the twisted
logic of a government Public Relations duo." Find a link to
Dell'Arte under training at
"Announcing the 2nd Annual Big Summertime Workshops!
with Christopher Bayes, acclaimed Director and Master
Teacher of Physical Comedy/Clown: - clown 1! - Jump into
your body...open like a little flower...rediscover your playful
spirit and the simple pleasure and ferocious generosity of
performance. In this one-week intensive workshop we pursue
the clown together in all of its messy and hilarious beauty.
Your relationship to other forms of drama will be enriched by
the openness and reckless abandon that the clown requires.
May 31-June 4. 1-5 pm - And clown 2! - After the clowns are
discovered they can begin to make a mess together in gleeful
pandemonium. Students in this workshop will begin to work
in groups, create clown numbers, and develop solo material.
June 7-11. 1-5 pm. All workshops will be held at the Juilliard
School in New York City." Find a link to the Juilliard School
under Training at
"Belmont Burlesque Auditions, Chicago, IL, USA. We will be
holding open auditions on Sunday, June 20, from 3pm - 7pm
for Bombshells and other acts to join us onstage as part of
the Belmont Burlesque Revue. Revues currently take place
the fourth Saturday of every month at midnight. There is some
pay involved. The Bombshells like to share their billing with
other interesting, talented folks. We are currently looking for
comedians, dancers, novelty acts, magicians, geek acts and
singers to join us onstage. Comedy should be in the spirit of
burlesque and vaudeville. Auditions will consist of 3-5 minutes
of your act. For more information about the Revue or to set up
an audition time, please contact me. We encourage
interested folks to come check out our Revue on May 22nd at
the Playground Theater." Paris Green, email@example.com
"Howdy Folks! Check out this great event, 'Burlesk Goes
North', May 28-30. Toronto, Canada. Victory Burlesk hosts
Canada's first Burlesque & Variety Festival, For 3 Days & 2
Nights, the biggest & best performers in the industry will
decend on Canada to showcase themselves to North
America's 'Best Kept Secret'... Toronto! The Festival will also
consist of Film Screenings, An Art Exhibit and a Fabulous
Brunch. Do not miss this landmark event!" Find a link to the
Burlesque Festival under Festivals and Events at
"Hi Everybody, I just wanted to let everyone know that I will
be running a comedy night at a great new room called "The
Cotton Club", which is just outside of Granville Island, in
Vancouver, Canada. Thursday nights at 9:30 pm. If anyone
is interested in doing a spot in the weeks to come, don't
hesitate to give me a shout." Cheers, Byron Bertram. eMail
"Laban, Europe's leading conservatoire for contemporary
dance, is seeking to appoint an Education and Community
Dance Worker to be responsible for the delivery of school,
youth and community projects primarily in South London
but also across London. The successful applicant will be:
imaginative, a well qualified & experienced dance teacher/
animateur, able to demonstrate creative and innovative
practice, and interested in collaborative arts work. Above
all inspire, motivate and be committed to the development
of dance for all. Salary: 18,466 pounds to 21,718
date for applications: 28 May 2004. Interviews: 7 June. To
start: Sept." Find a link to the Laban Dance Conservatoire
under Training at
"On the last weekend of each month Teatro Asura in Madrid,
Spain, presents a series of intensive seminars on "Clown in
Dance". The clown is vulnerable, sweet and ingenuous,
peculiar, crazy and provocative. In the last weekend in May
we will work with solo performance, and the technical tools
for the creation of clown-dance pieces. In June we will work
with pairs and trios, and in July, with clothes and objects."
Find a link to the Teatro Asura site under Training at
"Warmest spring greetings from Latvia, and the International
University Global Theatre Experience. I would like to invite
you to take part in the workshop "Seni Pencak Silat for
Dancers & Actors" under the direction of Dr. Haji Zainal
Abdul Latiff from Malaysia. The workshop will take place in
the International Festival Theatre Methods, July 5 to 11, in
Malpils, Latvia. Seni Pencak Silat is the art of self defense
of the Malays who inhabit Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore,
Brunei, Southern Philippines and Thailand. Seni can mean
'art' or 'knowledge', and Pencak means 'systematic trained
body movements'. There will be a creative project in which
Dr.Zainal will show how the training works in a short scene
from a Malay script "Death of A Warrior", a famous Malay
legend. This will demonstrate the vocal pattern, texture and
energy, suitable to the kind of movements in which students
they have trained." Sincerely, Inga Ryazanova, Executive,
International University, Global Theatre Experience, Latvia.
Find a link to the International Festival of Theatre Methods
under Festivals at
================================================== Noticeboard and Feedback
"alan, i have been receiving your fabulous e-newsletters
( well done and big thanks for keeping us informed and
connected ) and reading about your workshops for ages.
i undertook my clown apprenticeship with clowns without
borders - america and sweden ( you published a bit from
my friend nalle last month ). since then i am keen to
develop my inner clown more, but i am never around to
commit to the workshops, because i am touring a lot with
stalker theatre. but the reason i am mailing is to let you
know i am out there and i am going to make it one day to
learn with you. i hope you keep teaching long enough for
our schedules to connect. hope the school goes well."
much love and laughter, emma leak. Find a link to Stalker
under Physical Theatre at
"Hello Clown / Mime / Street Performer / Circus buddies:
Paul Hooson here ( "Cirque Alexander", "Doc Willikers'
Therapeutic Clown Programme" ), from the west coast of
Canada. Got my first notice from the Artmedia Group, and
it's a lot of fun to hear what's happening in the big world out
there. I'm pretty isolated here, but have lots of Canadian
contacts in the variety arts world ( I've been a full time
professional theatre / street clown for about 30 years ), so
will pass anything of interest on. My background is physical
theatre, mime and clown ( studied and worked in France for
a couple of years in the early 70's ). Now, all I need is a pile
of cash to get to these festivals, and master classes." All
the best. Paul. firstname.lastname@example.org
"Excellent summer flying trapeze business in Whistler BC,
Canada, for sale. Includes all equipment and huge customer
base. 10 summer seasons show steady increase and the
olympics are coming in 2010. $75,000 Cdn. Serious inquires
only respond," Dennis Hudson, email@example.com
"Augusto Boal, Brazilian Theatre Director and founder of the
Theatre of the Oppressed, has fallen ill while on tour and has
had two emergency knee surgeries in San Francisco. He is
on the mend, but the situation has been very serious. We are
estimating that the hospital bills are going to be approx $60
to 80,000 US. He has no medical coverage. Obviously, this
is a large sum. Boal has dedicated himself to the struggle
for social justice all over the world and is now in a situation
where he could use our help. With the co-operation of Boal,
his family and colleagues in Rio, we are collecting donations
to help. 100% of the funds will go towards the hospital bill.
VISA payments can be made from anywhere in the world in
the "Support Us" section of the Headlines Theatre website.
Click "I'd like to support Augusto Boal", then fill out the form.
Or send funds to: Boal Fund, c/o Headlines Theatre
#323-350 East 2nd Ave. Vancouver, BC Canada V5T 4R8.
Thank you for your generosity." All the best, David Diamond,
Artistic Director, Headlines Theatre. Find a link to Headlines
Theatre under Physical Theatre, and information on Boal's
work at the Theatre of the Oppressed site, under Resources,
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