October, 2→ 28, 2023
RED NOSE INTENSIVE
A unique opportunity to study and practice
the essence of Theatre Clown
and the roots of Physical Comedy
Welcome to the Sublime Stupidity of Clowns !
Join us in Padova, birthplace of Commedia dell’Arte
for a new edition of this fundamental training.
A journey from the birth of your unique clown
to the performance of their poetic world.
Come and explore the art of playing, devising and directing
in the rigorous practice of Red Nose Theater Clown.
THE RED NOSE CLOWN
Clown is about comic poetry : funny and touching, essential and rigorous. It’s a dive into the mystery of laughter.
Deeply rooted in movement-based theater, this workshop proposes an intensive training in Red Nose Theater Clown – a specific theatrical and poetical genre. The pedagogy focuses in particular on the analysis, amplification and play of the physical and emotional world of each actor, as revealed by their body in space. This somatic approach will lead to the discovery of a unique individual clown, with a specific body, tempo, voice, costume, attitudes, emotions, and poetic universe.
The journey begins with the exploration and analysis of the body within the theatrical space. In terms of movement, no body is neutral – every body carries profoundly expressive themes, embodied in everyday movement. Within each person’s movement and physical presence there is a web of “non-neutral attitudes” and physical and emotional “background sounds”.
If an actor is observed with an eye to movement, using the reference point of the Neutral State, this web appears like a structure of dynamic patterns, or markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense: they contain a drama – an action.
The use of the smallest mask in the world, the RED NOSE, and the amplification and articulation of these very personal movement patterns, allows the actor to enter the Clown State.
Before being a character, the clow is a state of playing, in which everyone has access to the key question: what is so funny about me ?
To discover one’s own clown is to reveal one’s own unique comic persona and turn it into a universal comic form.
For the theater artist as a poetical human being, there is something fundamental about the discovery of their individual Clown: it’s raw, essential, personal, emotional, unique, challenging, empowering, revealing, and extremely rewarding… It brings the exquisite pleasure of touching the empty space of complete comedy.
As a theatre territory, Clown has a unique poetic potential because it allows the performer to explore and play with the naiveté and the vulnerability of the child and with the rigor and the technique of the adult, thus revealing the poetry of the ridiculous, and a unique personal poetic power and folly.
As a personal journey it is an ecstatic way to get in touch with one’s unique humanity, and play with it in a space of openness, vulnerability and poetical fun.
The sublime stupidity of the clowns is their enduring openness to life and to the present moment, despite their radical imperfection.
There are as many clowns as there are human beings.
There is one straight line and infinite ways to wander.
Intelligence is limited. Stupidity is infinite.
A Somatic Approach to Clown
The pedagogical approach integrates the Pedagogy of movement-based theatre of Jacques Lecoq with different principles and practices of physical and emotional awareness. In particular: Gestalt, Reichian Analysis, Bionergetics, Taoism and Process Work. The result is a deep artistic and emotional work, involving the body in a dynamic of play, technical training, awareness and performing folly.
This workshop is simultaneously an artistic process and a personal process.
The personal process within the pedagogy is based on the combination of three fundamental principles. The first two come from the bio-energetics field, first expressed in the West by Wilhelm Reich and then explored by many different somatic approaches.
The first principle says that what is not expressed by the body remains impressed in the body in the form of a structure, or a “character”.
The second principle states that the expression of all emotions brings fluidity (flow) to the body and this fluidity brings physical pleasure.
The third principle is related to the archetypal nature of theatre as a ritual of connection and exploration of the different aspects of human nature: the parts of ourselves that we don’t play with, will play us.
As a way of getting in touch with, and integrating different parts of the self, seen as a process, theatre becomes a powerful space of knowledge, awareness and personal and collective empowerment. Through the playful unfolding of the energies impressed in the body, a clown will appear, and through playing this form with the rigorous support of theatre technique, a unique poetic world will emerge, as well as a fundamental process of personal evolution. And deep fun.
The Way (Tao) of clown brings powerful and highly poetical insights, witnessed by the audience and celebrated with laughter, and generates the ecstatic joy of being who we are in a unique experience of letting go of all intentions (Wu-Wei).
First Week: THE CLOWN “STATE”
– Play, action/reaction and fun
– The empty space and the non-intentional mind
– From the neutral state to the comic state: movement analysis of the body in space
– The Red Nose as a mask: amplification and articulation of movement
– The clown as a state of being on stage
– Emotional presence and awareness and contact with the emotional body of the actor
– Awareness of awareness
– Contact and play with the audience
– Playing with space and with objects
Second Week: THE PLAY (le jeu)
– The relationship among clowns: hierarchy, masters and servants, levels of stupidity
– The Circus Clown Archetypes: Augustus, White Clown, Monsieur Loyal
– The Clown’s Voice
– Clown acts and le bide (fiasco)
– Rhythmical space and time: entrance, crescendo, development of themes, climax and exit
– The actor’s skills in service to the clown: playing with music, singing, acrobatics, juggling, dance and unusual or unique skills.
Third Week: DEVISING CLOWN ACTS
– Devising of Clown Acts based on the previous weeks’ improvisations
– Accidents and comic routines
– Devising a clown variety show
– Staging and directing clowns: each clown will work and rework on some acts /routines to be presented in three public performances
– Rehearsing a Clown Variety Show
Fourth week : PERFORMING
– Public presentation of a Clown Variety Show, devised by the participants under the direction of Giovanni Fusetti.
– Feedback on the performance and re-work for a second and a third performance.
– Feedback on the whole process and final celebration of the clowns and their world.
– How to continue the work
The aim of this course is to give participants professional theatre tools and emotional poetical awareness, in order to play and create within their own clown world.
It is addressed to people with previous experiences in performance (theatre, circus, dance, music, etc.) who feel a strong poetic urgency to be on stage, as well as a strong desire to create art from a space of emotional openness and vulnerability.
It is a training based on generosity, support and the commitment to turning one’s own most genuine humanity into play. It requires the participants a strong and bold curiosity about self-discovery through the healing power of humor. And a fierce commitment to bring this discovery to the audience in theatrical forms, through the rigorous practice of theater technique.
The emotional work will be intense and ecstatic: the body will reveal what it needs to experience and express, in a dynamic of amplification, play, letting go, insights and theatrical transposition. Shadows, archetypes, physical symptoms, dreambody processes will appear and will be welcomed in the alchemical space of the stage. All will feed the sublime human poetry of each clown.
This is not just a theatre workshop.
If you are only interested in the technical/theatrical aspect of clown and physical comedy, this might not be the work you are looking for.
On the other hand, if you are only interested in the therapeutic or healing power of clown, you might find the rigor of the artistic process frustrating.
If you want both… hurry up and apply now ! You do not want to miss this opportunity !
Please read the attached document by Giovanni, as well as Giovanni’s BIO and the page THE ROOTS, to learn more about the ingredients of his approach to clown and theatre.
There is no application form.
To apply to THE RED NOSE INTENSIVE, please email
– a short bio, including a recent photograph
– a letter of motivation sharing the essence of your story, vision, dream, desire, fear or inexplicable intuition that leads you to this training.
Please include in your letter these themes:
-how did you come to know about this work;
-your experience with movement-based theatre;
-your previous experience with clown;
-for what purpose you apply to this program;
-some notes about your personal journey in terms of healing or therapeutic practices, or other relevant inner experiences.
Please send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Giovanni will select the students among the applications received, forming the group.
Priority will be given to the people in the waiting list for the Spring Session of the training.
In some cases Giovanni will ask the applicant to have a skype or zoom conversation.
Once accepted, in order to confirm the enrollment, a deposit of EURO 700 is due.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable, except in the case of cancellation of the training due to reasons of force-majeure.
The remaining part of the tuition is due by August 1st, 2023.
Once Giovanni has selected 12 students, the training is full, and a waiting list will be created.
Due to the high demand, the application deadline has been anticipated.
Application Deadline: May 1st 2023
Tuition: EURO 1.800 → 2.200
The tuition is following a sliding scale approach. The sliding scale wants to acknowledge the fact that the “value” of money can change widely depending of many factors. Participants from different countries and with different backgrounds, may have different access to income or to financial support. In a highly international training, different participants will also have very different travel costs.
If you can and want to pay on the higher end of the scale, you will be supporting the collective field of practice and the social and cultural diversity of the class, as well as funding Helikos School and Giovanni’s ongoing pedagogic research. Please indicate in your application the amount that you choose to pay.
A limited number of ‘reduced tuition scholarships’ are available for this course. They are offered specifically to participants coming from countries with weaker currencies in relationship with the Euro/US$/AUD. It is up to you to identify if you think you are in need of a reduced price. If you are interested in this option please outline it in your letter of motivation.
Please let us know if you need any specific certificate or letter of support in order to apply for some form of funding or grant.
Please note that the tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Padova. Here is a list of useful information and contacts on how to organize your staying in Padova : WELCOME TO PADOVA
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Studies on costumes, Melbourne, Sublime Stupidity Workshop 2023
HELIKOS STUDIO, Via Monte Solarolo 16/A, PADOVA, ITALY
October 2nd – October 28th, 2023
Week 1: Monday October 2nd through Saturday October 7th
Week 2: Monday October 9th through Friday October 13th
Week 3: Monday October 16th through Friday October 20th
Week 4: Sunday 22ndth through Saturday 28th
Time: 9:00am – 5:30pm each day
There will be a lunch break, and morning and afternoon tea breaks.
Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th and Thursday 26th: Public Performance at 8:45pm.
Please note that the workshop is a pedagogic continuum so it is not possible to attend it only in parts, or to miss classes.
The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH and a basic understanding of this language is required.
The program will be less than 90 days, so citizens from many nationalities can enter ITALY and the EU without a VISA. You can check online on this web site for the requirements for your country: http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en
If you come from a country for which a VISA is required, please contact us and we will provide a certificate of enrollment for the VISA application.
The last edition of The Red Nose Intensive in Padova in 2022 has gathered students from Australia, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Turkey, the UK and the United States.
For further information about the content of the workshop
and for application and practical inquiries, please contact Giovanni Fusetti at
A SAFETY MESSAGE IN POST-PANDEMIC TIMES
At the moment, April 2023, there are no specif anti-covid regulations in place in Italy, and no restrictions for travelers.
Before the beginning of the training all participants will receive a document with the most updated regulations and all participants will have to agree in engaging with these rules.
Given the unpredictability of the current world scene, the training will be confirmed only if the Italian and International scenario will allow the safety necessary to travel and to practice in close proximity with other human beings and clowns. The final decision will be taken no later than August 1st, 2023. In case of cancellation due to force-majeure, all paid deposit and tuition will be refunded.
Please check which travel restrictions have been put into place by the Italian Government for visitors wishing to come to Italy. You can find the most up to date information on this web site of the Italian Ministery of Health.
See you in Padova !