Renowned mask practitioners, A Conspiracy of Clowns, offer you an immersive introduction to mask performance and the art of physical expression.
VENUE: POPArt Theatre, 286 Fox Street Maboneng
DATE: Saturday 26 May 2018
BOOKING: Spaces are limited, so booking is essential
Performing objects (including masks, puppets, and materials) are central to some of the oldest performance forms in history, yet are still regarded with suspicion and fear by many contemporary practitioners. This is a pity, because masks make for invaluable training tools for all performers and theatre makers, regardless of what genre or medium you work in – yes, even film actors and animators.
“But if you take my face away, how will I be able to express my emotions?” you say; and “If you take my voice away, how will I be able to communicate??” you wail. Yes, it’s true – you will confront these things. But you will quickly learn how amazingly liberating masks can be and how they are capable of showing an exquisite range of complex emotions – without needing to say a single word. You will soon discover how much the body can show story, without you being aware of it, and in doing so you will encounter many of your “habits” and “tricks” that are potentially limiting your range of performance. You will be amazed at playing with form in space, how stillness and silence are your friends, and how one simple clear movement can say so much. You will discover, through mask and counter-mask, how differing emotions can be portrayed with a minimum of effort. And encountering the mask, you will build a complex psychological character from scratch – really getting under the skin of somebody else.
The workshop will explore fundamental mask techniques, starting from Neutral Mask (the mask of reference), to Larval Mask (the emergence of emotion), through Basic Character Mask, to Advanced Character Mask. By doing so, you will work to develop a greater physical awareness and an increased range and clarity of physical expression.
No previous mask experience is needed - this is a physical workshop intended for performers, dancers, directors, writers, students, researchers, teachers…ag, anyone really curious about how objects move in space and can project subtle and complex human emotions.
This Master Class is the first of a series of similar events A Conspiracy of Clowns will be offering in the near future, with the aim of slowly collecting a group of like-minded practitioners together for more regular playing and training, and eventually to create new work in Joburg. Watch this face for details.