THE JOURNEY OF THE NEUTRAL MASK IN NATURE

THE JOURNEY OF THE NEUTRAL MASK IN NATURE


November 28 → December 2, 2022
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019


The Neutral Mask is one of the most precious gifts that we have received from the research and practice of theater masks within the lineage of Jacques Copeau, Suzanne Bing, Jean Dasté, Jacques Lecoq and Amleto Sartori, just to name some key names in the story.
The Neutral Mask is a fundamental step in the journey of Movement Based Theatre. It is a mask that doesn’t have any dramatic expression,  it exists before all other theatre masks.
It emerged from poetic and pedagogic questions like these ones.

Is there a mask that can train the actor to reach the physical state of engaged presence that is necessary in order to play all other masks?

Is there a mask that can prepare the poetic body to the process of shape-shifting and form-shifting that character play requires?

Is there a mask that can teach the actor not only to create space and time, but to become space and time?

What is the body saying while the actor is trying to not say anything?

Sartori’s Neutral Mask, HELIKOS 2011

The Neutral Mask is a powerful pedagogic instrument. It inspires a fascinating learning process, profoundly poetic, both intimate and collective. It allows the actor to explore the difference between movement and drama, between body and character.



No-body is neutral. Each person is “moved” by a variety of physical events: postures, attitudes, emotional patterns impressed in physical dynamics, rhythms, characters, archetypes…
Within each person’s movement and presence in space, there is a web of “non-neutral attitudes”, that resonate like physical and emotional “background noises”. If observed through the reference of the Neutral State, this web appears like a landscape of paintings/markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense. They contain a drama: an action.

Twelve Twigs, Chris Kenny, 2020


Thanks to an enhanced  physical awareness, the actor-player can let go of their physical persona in order to touch the Neutral State: a state of embodied presence, available to the here and now of theatrical space, aware of the infinite possibilities of creating physical characters, all based on variations from neutrality.
The Neutral State has no past and no future, no memory and no projects. No previous experience of events and no projection of future outcomes. It exists in the fullness of the present moment.
The Neutral Mask reveals the state of calm that exists before the drama of the character, and it manifests the expressive potential of the Poetic Body in space.
As the color white in the words of Kandinsky, it is “the silence before the beginning”.

NATURE AS THE TEACHER

The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019



This lineage of practitioners not only left us this unique mask, but also a set of exercises and a training vision for the moving theatre artist. In particular, Jaques Lecoq developed “the Journey of the Neutral Mask in Nature”. Starting in the sea, the journey goes trough different landscapes: the beach, the forest, the mountain, the river and finally the plains. Each of these landscapes teaches specific movement dynamics, rhythms, duration and crescendo. Usually these themes are explored through improvisation in a theatre studio, relying on the physical and dynamic memory of the actors and the audience. But in order to return to the essence of these themes, an actual experience in the real Nature can refresh and remind us the extraordinary details of this journey.


Some classes of the workshop will happen in nature and the cycle of observation, identification, mimesis and transposition will be practiced with the powerful support of nature itself. Learning verticality and grounding from the tree, learning the undulation from the sea, the suspension from the air, accents from the fire and so on.
The landscape is a dynamic symphony of movements.
The poetic body of the actor/player learns to become what they see and in this becoming, the individual persona is transposed into the collective body of humanity.
Once the actor has discovered the neutral space, he becomes like “a white page, ready to be written on in the future dramas“ (Jacques Lecoq).

The Journey in Nature,
Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019


PRACTICALITIES

Neutral Masks by Donato Sartori, Helikos 2021

ADMISSION
This workshop is for theatre practitioners with previous experiences in movement-based theatre and the Pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq.

LOCATION
The training will take place at Hotham Mission, 2 Elm St, North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia, as well as in two outdoor locations in Melbourne region.

SCHEDULE
Indoor classes will take place from 9:30 to 17:30, with one hour lunch break. Day 2 and Day 3 will happen outdoor, with departure from Melbourne at 8am and return by 7:pm .

There is no application form. To apply to the workshop, please email a letter of motivation to giovanni.fusetti@helikos.com. In your letter please share the essence of your story, vision, dream, desire, fear or inexplicable intuition that leads you to this workshop. Please include your experience with movement-based theatre and in particular with Neutral Mask

Giovanni will contact you after receiving the application.
Giovanni will choose students from the applications received. Places will be given in order of email submission.
The class will be confirmed as soon as it reaches 8 participants. Once 16 participants will be confirmed, the workshop is full and a waiting list will be created.
If you intend to participate, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible!

Once accepted, you will need to confirm your enrolment with a deposit of 300 AUD.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable.


The Journey in Nature, Pedagogic Training, HELIKOS 2019

TUITION

Early Bird Registration: AUS $ 750
(Full tuition is due by Nov 1st, 2022.)

Full Price: AUS $ 850.
(If you pay after Nov 1st.)

For those interested in applying to more than two workshops of the series, there is a reduction of 10% on the cumulative tuition if you apply to THREE workshop, and 20% if you apply to FOUR. Please enquire for further details.

A limited number of ‘reduced tuition scholarships’ are available for this course. It is up to you to identify if you think you are in need of a reduced price. If you are interested in taking advantage of this please outline it in your letter of motivation.

Please note that tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Melbourne.

APPLICATION DEADLINE : November 15th, 2022
 

Enrollment situation as of October 1st: the workshop is confirmed and TWO spots are still available.

Before the beginning of the workshop the participants will receive a message outlining all practical details about the workshop.

LANGUAGE
The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH and a basic understanding of this language is required.



Learning the undulation from the Sea, Helikos, 2010

For further information about the content of the workshop
and for APPLICATIONS, please contact Giovanni Fusetti at

For enrollment and practical enquiries please contact

KIMBERLEY TWINER
ktwiner@gmail.com

Tel: 04 68664466


COVID PROTOCOL

The training will happen in the rigorous respect of the National and Regional anti-Covid regulations.
All participants will have to agree in engaging with these rules. On the first day of the class, all participants will have to present a COVID negative test (Rapid Test or PCR), taken in the 24 hours before the start.