Welcome to the January 2007 edition of the Artmedia physical theatre newsletter, your e-publication with an Australasian focus and a global perspective, now in its sixth year and reaching over 2,200 subscribers, with a further 5,300 on related Yahoo lists.
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In the Angels Can Fly section we have another of the exercises, this month a street exercise, Attracting a Crowd. This exercise is what each street-theatre artist does at the start of each show and despite what you might imagine, it is actually very hard to get people out of their personal reality long enough so they even notice you in the street, let alone get them to give up their precious time to stop and watch what you are doing.
While in the Playspace section, I can report on a wonderful Clown Retreat last week on the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand. This was the first residential workshop I have taught, and I discovered that the idyllic location encourages relaxation, which is very important in the learning process, and that living together bonds the group, so we get more done. I still have some places on the February Clown Retreat and you might also like to check out the next Sydney Clown Intensive in April.
In the Special Features, we have information on the Performing Arts Championships which are coming to New Zealand. This competition is Olympics style, which starts with regional semi-final audition rounds, building up to the New Zealand Championships to be hosted in Auckland in April.
While in the networking this month, fun visual acts are needed for a showcase which has been a major variety entertainment event in the beautiful tropical Fiji islands for 15 years, and in Fremantle, Australia, we have information on a Clown Jam, an exploratory theatre space specifically for performers and individuals familiar with clowning to exercise their clown muscle. Also in Australia, a new trapeze company, High Flying Circus Arts is launched in Melbourne and, continuing the aerial theme, we have information on trapeze classes with Flying Trapeze Experience which will be held both in Florida, USA, and also at La Serena and Vina del Mar, in Chile.
Also in America, the New York Downtown Clown Review has information on the Downtown Clown Playground to be held on Monday, Feb 5th. The Playground is a monthly series of skill based clown workshops followed by an hour of open studio time and Feb 5th’s class will be slapstick with Mark Gindick. And New York theatre maker, Peter S. Petralia of Proto-type Theater, is seeking three or four performer collaborators for a 6-week research and development project at the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, UK.
Also in the UK, the Castbar in Manchester are looking for a team of comedy performers for the Rough Sketch Comedy Club, which will be a regular monthly event. And in Europe, the second New Clown and Street Theatre Festival in Milan, Italy, seeks street theatre artists and companies, especially those working on New Clown, for the festival which will take place in late February during Milan's Carnival. And in Norway the Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival, run by Greenland Friteater, have started the search for performers and performances for the out-door program for the festival in June.
And finally the High Fest International Performing Arts Festival to be held in October in Yerevan, Armenia, welcomes performing arts companies and artists to present their productions in all genres of performing arts including drama, comedy, mime, movement, circus, street performances, puppet/marionette, fingers theatre, visual theatre, dance, and other forms of performing arts.
We aim to provide an avenue of communication for the physical theatre community, so send us information for inclusion in this newsletter, and please also forward this to someone else who may be interested.
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Feature: Angels Can Fly, a Modern Clown User Guide, by Alan Clay
This month we continue a series of excerpts, with another of the exercises. You can find the paperback on Amazon by following this link:http://tinyurl.com/9nrwj And check out more information at: www.alanclay.com
Attracting a Crowd
Angels can Fly includes a mix of fiction which follows the adventures of ten clown characters, some personal clown anecdotes from clowns from around the world, a total of 50 practical clown exercises, and some theory on the nature of modern clown. The book is available on order through bookshops and online stores in New Zealand, Australia, America and England. Order your copy today.
"Clown is a fascinating, diverse, complex and exciting art form, which has existed around the planet for thousands of years. Like any art form it has to evolve to stay relevant to the culture nurturing it, and at the same time, and by its very nature, clown teases and turns upside down the cultural patterns and boundaries around us."
Playspace: February Clown Retreat with Alan Clay in Sandy Bay, New Zealand
The January Clown Retreat on the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand was a wonderful experience, with the idyllic location encouraging relaxation, which is very important in the learning process, and the living together bonding the group, so we get more done.
February Clown Retreat - Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th February (5 days), 10am to 4pm each day. NZ $620 including 6 nights accommodation
The Clown Retreat will be held in a secluded studio by the beach at Sandy Bay, at the top of the Coromandel Peninsular, about four hours drive from Auckland, New Zealand. The fees include six nights accommodation with kitchen facilities. The Retreat will provide an opportunity to reconnect with that playful, inquisitive, cheeky, clown spirit in a beautiful outdoor setting. A few places are still available on this workshop.
Sydney Clown Intensive - Playspace - Monday April 2nd to Friday 6th, 10am to 4pm each day. $500 Earlybird (by March 19th) $600 Full
Alan's Sydney workshop series for 2007 has been themed for greater targeting of individual preferences, however each workshop will essentially cover the same ground work in clown, with a good physical warm up, and exercises to develop emotional expression and clown communication skills. The April Intensive will focus on creating a play space.
"For a child everything is play, and when we grow up we start to take things seriously. This means we know more and more about the world and how it works, and we understand that some actions are frivolous and others are worth effort. What do we lose in this maturing process? We often lose our spontaneity, our ability to find the joy in each moment, which is what guides the playing process. We begin to understand that there are consequences to our actions, and that some outcomes appear more desirable than others. This means that we are less and less inclined to take risks, and more and more we want to play it safe. But risk is important in life, because we expand our world and learn new things by taking risks. It is common wisdom that if nothing is ventured, nothing is gained.
"When we play games, we suspend the 'real world' and allow interactions within defined rules, from which we can learn, and from which there are no real consequences. Games give us an opportunity to take risks in controlled ways. Through the experience of repeated attempts to achieve a goal, we refine our strategies, and thereby learn to evaluate the world, so the long term consequence of play, is knowledge.
Play is a natural part of the growth process, so natural it is instinctual when we are young, and forms the bulk of our learning experiences. As we get older this natural process gets ritualised into sport, or recreational activities, or lost altogether in the knowledge and experience of life.
"Playfulness is central to clown, and this is why we think of clowns as child like, and why they appeal to children. For a clown, it's all a game and the normal rules of life do not constrain the game, and there are no real consequences. This is the truth of it, if we let it be this way, and it is this freedom to play that we love, and sometimes fear, in clowns." Rediscover this play space in this one week intensive. email: email@example.com to hold a place or make enquiries about this workshop. More information at: www.artmedia.com.au/playspac.htm
"In the best clown tradition Alan held up a window-mirror for us to step through and reflect on the patterns, habits and rituals of our days... It was funny, moving and excellent theatre." NZ Herald.
Special Feature: New Zealand Championships for the Performing Arts
New Zealand Championships for the Performing Arts
The performing arts championships are coming to New Zealand! The competition is Olympics style which starts with regional semi-final audition rounds, building up to the New Zealand Championships to be hosted in Auckland starting on 08 April 2007 with the Special Awards evening on the 14th April 2007.
Amateur as well as professional performers in Acting, Dancing, Modelling, Vocal, Instruments and Variety Acts are eligible for participation. Each category has various styles that you can trial for. (Solo, Duet, Trio, Small Groups, Large Groups and Production Lines are catered for in all categories except modelling)
If you are an amateur or professional artist looking for a platform to launch your career, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for! Reaching the Nationals will not only present you the opportunity to go for a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal, but will also make you eligible to be included into the NZ National Team. This NZ Team will represent our country at the World Championships of the Performing Arts to be held in July / August 2007 in Los Angeles, USA. This is a prestigious event that has been running for 11 years and has produced world class talent year on year.
Regional Semi-final auditions will start mid February – mid March 2007 as follows: (Venues to be advised once entered).
Visit our website for more information as well as FAQs, competition rules, regulations and entry forms, www.aimtofame.co.nz
" Fun, Visual Acts needed in Fiji, 14 to 21st July. Showcase has been the major variety entertainment event in the beautiful tropical Fiji islands for 15 years. I am currently looking for fun energetic variety acts to perform 3 daily 30 to 45 min stage performances for this 7 day event. Ideally - looking for acts from Australia / New Zealand but will look elsewhere if needed. We will pay travel / accom and performance fees. Please understand that Fiji is one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world - but does not pay massive fees. If you are looking for one of the most rewarding performance experiences from an unspoilt audience - then this is your gig." Cookie, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Come and unleash your inner idiot at Clown Jam, in Fremantle, Australia. Embrace your stupidity! Awaken your nonsenses and nurture your authenticity! This is an exploratory theatre space specifically for performers and individuals familiar with clowning to exercise their clown muscle. The session will consist of games and theatre exercises and will be facilitated by Flying Heart Productions. Starts: Friday 2nd of February 2007, from 11am-1pm, every Friday, at 162 Hampton Rd (church hall), Fremantle." Hardey and Bec. Find a link to Flying Heart Productions under Clowns at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Hi to all trapeze enthusiasts. My name is James Holt, I'm half of a new flying trapeze company, High Flying Circus Arts , based in Melbourne, Australia. Thought id introduce myself and our new company to the world. Both myself and my business partner Adam Davis graduated from the national institute of circus arts Melbourne in 2005, where we specialised in flying trapeze on the petite rig, as well as chinese poles, adagio, pitching and other circus acts. Straight after graduating we put a plan in motion to create our own flying company. Both of us have had some experience in big rig flying trapeze over the years, working with different rigs throughout Australia, which we both fell in love with. After speaking to the trapeze community in Australia, as well as internationally, and asking for their opinions and support, we decided to build our own big rig and develop our company from there. We spent the early months of 2006 researching every aspect of big rig we could think of, techniques, equipment, rigging, safety, mentors who could teach us etc. We caught a lucky break when quasar flying trapeze from Sydney put us onto a second had rig in march 2006. We bought the rig, spent a few months replacing and refitting various parts on it whilst trying hard to find a home for it. After a long tender process, we managed to secure a contract at Melbourne's largest aquatic centre MSAC in November. Our rig is now situated there under a beautiful shade cover next to a nice warm outdoor pool, and we are now having the time of our lives spending time flying and teaching. We have started building up a flying team, and cant wait to perform in the near future." James Holt and Adam Davis, Wish us luck. Fly hard, fly passionately, and if your ever in Melbourne, look us up and come have a fly." Find a link to High Flying Circus Arts under Aerial Theatre at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Hello all Flying Trapeze enthusiasts, Trapeze Experience is open and available in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, with the flying trapeze through February 25th. There's plenty of room in our 2hr classes, so if you fly with us you'll fly your heart's desire and get plenty attention. I'll be there myself to make sure! We are also providing flying trapeze on the beaches of Chile in South America at; La Serena; February 1st to 4th and 8th till 11th; and at Vina del Mar; 15th to 18th and 22nd to 25th. All trapeze lessons in Chile for these dates are free. Just walk up and fly! We have a big sponsor that's paying for everything. We'll also have a great team there including my assistant James "J-Bird" Gibson, Ben Dayman from Australia, now living in Costa Rica, and Matt Altbuch from Florida." Best regards, Peter Gold, Director. Find a link to Trapeze Experience under Training at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Be sure to check out the New York Downtown Clown Playground on Monday, Feb 5th! The Playground is a monthly series of skill based clown workshops followed by an hour of open studio time. Feb 5th’s class will be Slapstick with Mark Gindick. 8:00-10:00 pm at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette St (across from the Public Theater), Studio # 3A. $10 for the 45min class plus an hour of shared open studio time to work on whatever you want. The next New York Downtown Clown Review is Feb 19th with featured performer Ambrose Martos. Also with My Funny Valentine, Adam Gertsacov, Christopher Loar, David Kaye." Thanks everyone! Christopher Lueck, producer. Find a link to the New York Downtown Clown Revue under training at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"New York theatre maker, Peter S. Petralia of Proto-type Theater seeks three-four performer/collaborators for a 6-week research and development project at the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, UK. Interested performers should send an email with a current CV, resume, or link to an online portfolio and an expression of interest. Please include a photograph that shows your full body (no headshots). It is recommended that interested performers visit Proto-type's website to get a better sense of Peter's past work. As part of the CCA's Creative Lab Residency program, Peter Petralia will be investigating invisibility. Peggy Phelan has called all performance spectral: "Without a copy, live performance plunges into visibility - in a manically charged present - and disappears into memory, into the realm of invisibility and the unconscious where it eludes regulation and control." This statement, when connected with Gabriella Giannachi's conception of virtuality, leads to the possibility that all performance is invisible through its essential ephemerality. Performance actually happens in the body and brain of the audience, where it is received, processed, and mapped to memory. This project will look at the intersection of three aspects of invisible performance (the 'gaze', 'polarity', and notions of 'the real') by drawing on techniques from the work of Janet Cardiff, Sophie Calle, and Bock&Vincenzi. Research will be conducted in the rehearsal room through rules-based exercises, in the context of the city, through performance interventions, and using original text fragments. Performers must be versatile and interested in non-traditional performance. This is not a showcase for 'acting' in the sense of the well-made play. During the course of the residency, there will be public and informal showings of the research. There is a possibility for interested performers to continue on with the project for its eventual premiere at the Nuffield Theatre in Lancaster, England. Performers must be willing to commit to rehearsing 4-5x a week, for 4-6 hours between 2 February and 15 March. There is no fee available at this time." Peter S Petralia, Artistic Director, Proto-type Theater. Find a link to Prototype Theatre under Physical Theatre at www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Castbar Manchester, UK, launches the Rough Sketch Comedy Club . We are looking for a team of comedy performers for a regular monthly comedy club at Castbar. Ideally the format will take that of a sketch show. The performances will take place each month and will be a great showcase for local performers. Each piece will last about 10 minutes and applications are sort from individuals, duo's and groups. This will be a profit share project based on door entry fee's. Castbar Manchester has recently opened and is undergoing refurbishment to transform the venue into a Themed Theatre Bar. Located next to the Palace Theatre, Manchester, the venue is managed by Live Nation UK." Darren Adams, Castbar, Manchester, UK. Find a link to the Rough Sketch Comedy Club under Resources at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"The 2nd New Clown and Street Theatre Festival in Milan, Italy, will take place in February, 22nd to 24th, during Milan's Carnival. Subscriptions are officially open: all Street Theatre artists and companies, especially those working on New Clown, are welcome to apply. We invite to the Festival all artists, of any nation, specialising in the art of entertaining the stroller with `nouveau cirque' techniques, such as juggling, clown, acrobatics, pantomime, humor. They'll be three eventful days! Four categories are available for appliances: Professional Companies, New Artists, Debuts, and We're here. The Festival will try and host especially those artists not inserted in official circuits - to make Milan experience three days of livelihood, joy, culture and contemporary theatre. In the streets, theaters, halls and gardens of the Isola district, at all times and simultaneously, the public will be offered performances of all shapes! Apply! Either solo or with your company! Download rules and appliance form from our website. The Isola district - within easy reach from the city centre, well served by public transports - will be the heart of the Festival, offering the one of the best environments the city of Milan has to offer. We want Street Theatre to flood again the roads, to seize back the space and standing that it deserves, particularly in a big city that seems to have forsaken its human face." Best regards, Milan Clown Festival Staff. Find a link to the Milan Clown Festival under Festivals at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival in Norway have started the search for performers and performances for the out-door program for the festival in June. The Festival is run by Greenland Friteater and, year by year, we improve our concept, searching wide to find the best performances for the festival. If you are interested in participating in the biggest (but still small) theatre festival in Norway, please let us know before the 1st of march. You might be selected." Find a link to the Porsgrunn International Theatre Festival under Festivals at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
"Dear friends and colleagues, the fifth of HIGH FEST International Performing Arts Festival will be held on 4-14 October in Yerevan, Armenia. We welcome performing arts companies and artists to present their productions in all genres of performing arts including theatre (drama, comedy, mime, movement, circus, street performances, puppet/marionette, fingers theatre, visual), dance (modern, folk, classic etc.), music (opera, classical, musical, contemporary, jazz, folk etc) and other forms of performing arts. You can find more information on our web site. The deadline for application is February 15th. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us." Best regards, Artur Ghukasyan, President, High Fest International Performing Arts Festival, Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema, Yerevan, Armenia. Find a link to High Fest under festivals at: www.artmedia.com.au/links.htm
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Last updated 22nd January 2007