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John Turner and Michael Kennard have used their extensive performance and show creation experience to create more advanced workshops specifically designed for the student that wishes to use this work in a professional capacity. Some are performance oriented and some are creation oriented but there are as many reasons for taking them as there are students.
Baby Clown Workshop
This workshop is based on the Pochinko technique. Richard Pochinko was a Canadian visionary who developed a style of performance training, drawing on traditions from European and Native North American clowning. It is however, not necessary to be a perfomer to take this course. This workshop is appropriate for all who are interested, from all walks of life.
Students begin with a focus on listening. Games and exercises are used to awaken and encourage a sense of pleasure, an awareness of one's immediate environment, and an honest response to internal impulses and external events. Individual creativity is explored with colour work and body work and eventually the students begin the making and wearing of six masks. These masks mark out the playground for the clown, guiding the participants through their innocence and experience, extremities and normalcies, culminating in the "birth" of their individual clown. This workshop is an intense blast and furnishes the student with a structure for creative exploration to last a lifetime.
(Over 100 hours)
This course is based on the work of Canadian Clown Master Richard Pochinko and has been named many things: From Mask to Clown, Clown Through Mask, or The Baby Clown Workshop (the student’s clown is born at the end).
In this workshop students begin with a focus on listening. The initial exercises are used to awaken and encourage a sense of pleasure, an awareness of the audience, and an honest physical and emotional response to internal impulses and external events. Many exercises are done with eyes closed to help exercise and expand the student’s experience of perception and focus. The body (through specific movement exercises) is approached as a source of visualization for character or story elements through improvisations that include a great deal of work with colors.
Once the color work is done the students are ready for the making and wearing of six masks. This is an involved process of physicalization and visualization, exploring the innocence and experience of each mask and the relationships between them. The masks are guideposts to the student’s creative playground and as such are also the guideposts to his/her clown. With each mask the student prepares a short turn (sketch) to express the essence of the mask without the use of verbal language. Through these turns and the exercises of the entire workshop the rules of clown emerge giving the student a fundamental understanding of clown, a structure for continuing creative exploration and story development, and a deeper experience of the elements at play in any performance situation.
Richard created it out of an intense desire to help people break out of their creative prisons or "glass jars" as he called them. He believed everyone has a clown force within them and through awakening and embracing this energy, the glass jars could be broken, leading toward unfettered creativity and expression.
Individual creativity is explored with color work and bodywork and eventually the students begin the making and wearing of six masks. These six masks become a structure for creative exploration that can be used for a lifetime.
Access to a myriad of creative options at any time during rehearsal of performance is essential for clowns and actors alike, as is a sense of play and an awareness of the playing space. Being in the moment and having a sense of being alive on stage, both physically and emotionally, is vital. Mask work has a long history of being a performance style. It is also a technique that enhances a performer’s training. All of these elements are covered extensively in this workshop.
Advanced Solo Clown
This course is designed for students who have completed the Pochinko Baby Clown or Clown through Mask course and wish to further explore their clowns. The course focuses on your clown and it's masks, writing for your clown and physically exploring your clown. The course culminates with each student presenting a solo clown turn at The SPACE for three nights.
Pochinko Baby Clown or Clown through Mask (prerequisite)
Joey and Auguste
Explore the sides of your clown - the manipulator, the victim and the intermediary. This workshop is done working in partnership with another performer. Writing, relationship and performing are explored. It completes with a student workshop performance.
The Weekend Intro to Clown Workshop
This workshop offers a tantalysing glimpse into the magical world of clown and is a wonderful opportunity to test the waters before embarking on the full Baby Clown course. Based on the Pochinko technique, games and exercises awaken and encourage a sense of pleasure, an awareness of one’s immediate enviroment, and an honest response to internal impulses and external events.
Students are then introduced to the clown world, where they will wear noses and hats to help discover their clown. An individual and group playground is created where the clown explores its physicality, innocence and experience, extremities and normalcies. The course culminates with students creating and presenting a short individual clown piece.
Clown Boot Camp
These seven day intensive workshops are designed to be a catalyst for a more expansive concept of what clown is and how it can be used. Using various writing and development techniques and exercises to evoke both left and right brain involvement, the participants explore their own unique approach to the creation of material and performance.
There will be some emphasis on the Bouffon perspective as well as the exploration of a clown/bouffon synthesis. Each day will consist of a minimum of 3 hours focused on creation, and 3 hours focused on performance. There will be many additional hours for exercises, discussions, and the exploration of themes that arise out of the classes.
Students should be aware they will be extremely challenged and are to bring 2 short prepared pieces in addition to other work to be discussed after registration.
Although a Joey/August (duos) workshop is not offered, duos wishing to work together can be accommodated within the regular Boot Camps. Please state if this is your desire.
Pochinko Baby Clown or Clown through Mask (prerequisite)