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When in the course of a pandemic
it became necessary for a clown
to write poetry in order to surviv
e

Helikos Pedagogic Training 2009, Boulder, Colorado

Joan Schirle

(1944-2022) Rest in joy dearest Joan February 4, 2022 They arrived today on a wooden canoe on the Mad River They suddenly appeared on the crisp water skillfully stirring on the current They left the canoe by the bridge and they are now walking in the streets of Blue Lake Isabella Andreini is leading the company We heard the news…

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TEACHING AGAIN

I was teaching again the other day finally live after too many months One studio full of light Eight human beings in flesh and bones Eight fools in heart and soul Eight clowns in body and mind The studio was so happy that the windows did not want to close The tatami was whispering I missed your feet so much…

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SEND IN THE CLOWNS

Isn’t it sad? Are we adrift? Me here again in lockdown You on the screen Where are the clowns? Isn’t it sad? Theaters are closed You all out there starving for play Me who can’t teach Where are the clowns Send in the clowns Just when I want to make all my plans Finally knowing that soon I’ll be playing…

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I AM A DIGITAL LUDDITE

It is official. I am a digital luddite, a saboteur of algorithms, an analogical dinosaur. Technology is an extension of human ingenuity, a great creative event that simplifies our life and allows us to perform tasks that our body or mind could not achieve. I am happy with that. But when a technology stops serving us, and we start serving…

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THE WINTER FALL

Curled into the laziness of a locked day my worries unfurl like a fern buried in the winter of the couch. I am a bulb of an ancient flower wondering if I will ever bloom again. The memory of my life before is a cushion of wool and longing. Time tastes like pipe smoke and wine space glooms in slow…

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WHY I DON’T TEACH PHYSICAL THEATER ONLINE

ANTIVIRAL NOTES IN DEFENSE OF THE PEDAGOGY OF THE POETIC BODY. There is no such a thing as Virtual Physical Theatre. As much as there is no such a thing as Virtual Gardening. Or Digital Hiking. There is performance on-line. There is coaching on zoom. There is pedagogic supervision. There is facilitation of creative processes. There are conversations on the…

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ONLINE THEATRE ?

It is the end of Spring 2020. I am stuck in Italy. Theatres and studios are closed. I cannot travel, my potential students cannot travel. My work has vanished. And I have a new option in front of me. Teaching physical theatre on-line. Shall I? I am new to this remote option. Before Coronas, I have had occasional experiences with…

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EMBODIMENT DEFICIT DISORDER

These are very obscure days in Italy. Now that the health emergency is decreasing, the cultural, political and social response to this emergency is appearing in all its madness. A mix of incompetence, arrogance, confusion, bureaucracy, and manipulation of news and data, is creating an unprecedented police state of misery. I would have never imagined my country giving up on…

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A LITTLE HISTORY OF REMOTENESS

OR OF THE MIGRATION OUT OF THE BODY I’m 55, class 1966. I grew up with the Italian national television starting the children programs at 5pm. Until then, it was outdoor playtime, gardens’ and streets’ embodiment, dirt and runs, bicycles and scratched knees, fights, alliances and the marvelous intimacy with the city wild flora and fauna.There were two TV channels:…

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ON CONTACT AND CONTAGION

In my daily process of connection with reality, I try to remain fiercely anchored to phenomenological observation : a phenomenon is what is happening and can be observed. I try to pay attention, witnessing figures emerging from the background, gestalts that are searching for their manifestation. In this pandemic, as in all pandemics, the overwhelming figure emerging is the fear…

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THE PANDEMIC PANDAEMONIUM

pandemic (adj.) of diseases, “incident to a whole people or region,” 1660s, from Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandemos “pertaining to all people; public, common,” from pan– “all” + dēmos “people”. Distinguished from epidemic, which may connote limitation to a smaller area. pandemonium or pandæmonium, in “Paradise Lost (1667) “the name of the palace built in the middle of Hell,…

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MY FIRST QUARANTINE

This is my first Quarantine. I am staying in the loft of Helikos theatre studio. I am legally required to not leave the building, in case I have caught the virus during my 40 hours travel from Australia to Italy. I am in a state of shock and awe witnessing something that feels like the end of the worlds that…

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REQUIEM FOR THE RED NOSE INTENSIVE

Once upon a time there was a clown intensive training a month of poetic laughter in the warm Spring of the fair Padua, nursery of arts Twelve poetic knights were ready to fly here from North South East and West from Norway Italy Turkey and Germany from Finland Denmark Canada Mexico and the USA All was ready when a thirteenth…

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MARCH 28, 2020

March 28, Melbourne Airport Bye Beth, thank you so much, I’ll call you when I am through The best hug I wonder when will be the next one in this curse of social distancing I have the leather briefcase with me all of them are in We received the Exodus from our ancestors here is a new theme for The…

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