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Aesthetics of the Oppressed as emancipatory tool 10-15th of March 2014 Casaltone (Parma) Italy

MONDAY 10th • INTRODUCTION • Theory: what is Aesthetics for Boal. • WARMING UP Stretching. Circle of names: I say my name, I say the other's name. Rhythm of name: first individually, then group copy. • WORK ON AESTHETICS - Listen to the environment: eyes closed, focus on noises coming from outside you, let the body react to sounds. - Personal story: how is your life in this period? Make an image with people. Titles and perceptions from the group. Rhythm starting from the sculptor, the rhythm changes following the sculptor's desire. Then sculptor creates the ideal image; dynamisation with a rhythm. This is the micro-cosmos, now choose an object representing this micro and then create an image of the macro-cosmos. Titles. Rhythm of this ideal image. Now the sculptor acts on the others' body and makes a change. At the end, walk and feel. The same with an other sculptor. • CLOSING Sitting down we decide to work on the issue: crisis, not only economical, also social, cultural, lack of democracy. Lunch break

• WARMING UP − A-B: in pairs, I give different roles and they improvise a relationship, with word or not. − Rhythmic machine: neutral, then about crisis. Each one enters the circle and makes a rhythm by body, the second joins with his/her own rhythm. At the end, I ask one by one to exit and reenter again with a new rhythm following the machine. − Fluid images: in 3 groups, one group proposes a sentence, a rumour/stereotype connected to crisis, the second group react by creating an image, one by one. Then the second group gives a sentence to the 3rd and so on. • WORK ON AESTHETICS − Sculpting a theme with the others' bodies: one person creates an image of the crisis using the others' bodies and objects. A second proposes a different image. We vote the most real and proceed in this way, since we get an image enough shared by the group. − Dynamisation: once reached the common image we start all together with the monologue of character, then I touch one by one to start a dialogue, finally slow motion following the character's will. − Discussion about reality of what did happen. − Solo/Chorus: with the previous character in groups of 4. One by one a character stands in front of the group and starts a sound and body movement that is copied by the other 3. While the chorus is established the first starts to improvise a rhythm/melody. − Every group choose one improvisation and show it to the whole group. • CLOSING − Evaluation in a line: I ask to evaluate the day by putting him/herself in a line from 100% positive to 100% negative. − Boal's sentence: ter coragem de ser feliz.

TUESDAY 11 • WARMING UP − Mariana: stretching, then 3 breathing and going down. − Mariana: closed eyes, feel the body, imagine to see you from outside, from front, from backwards, from left, from right and then circularly. − Mariana: arriving: imagine to walk in the fog, think to cross this fog from a wall to the opposite one... over there, there is something desired... − Matteo: cat and mouse: in circle in pairs, person A is the crisis and runs against person B who runs away. If A touches B the roles swap. If B is in danger can hold a person in pair; then the opposite person in the pair becomes the new B and runs away. Variation: the person who is liberated by person B becomes a bigger crisis and the person A escapes. • WORK ON AESTHETICS − Dancing: how to express the crisis by body/movement? Find different possibilities. Fix some of them and transform these elements in a dance, with a structure (regular or not). Define a sequence and fix it. Now from time to time copy an other dancer for a while, then go back to your sequence. Two groups with one leader each. Person A proposes his/her own dance to group A who copy. Group B observe. Now each person can lead the group by taking the power (don't watch the leader all the time). The group B make sounds. At the end we discuss what was linked to the topic “crisis”. Which sequence was more interesting to express the issue? Then we swap the group acting and the group observing. Finally the two groups dance in the same time following a leader who changes from time to time. The groups try to interact. − Image of the crisis: we construct the image of yesterday. From the image each character goes back in the past, then return to the image of crisis, trying to be consistent in his/her movement. Back to the past in a character's routine, then again in the future to the image, slow motion, and talking. − We discuss to collect what concrete situation came up from this improvisation: delusion, mass-media and other manipulating tools, the frustration of people...

13-15 break • WARMING UP Deirdre: Zip Zap: in circle, leader starts giving a zip to a person beside her; this one continues. • FINDING KNOTS We tell stories concerning crisis: ◦ We as activists, artists and the poor class oppressed ◦ Who should be fire due to crisis and small size of our cooperative ◦ I am uneducated and with no job, what to do? ◦ Single, with a child, I survive ◦ Workers forced to accept worse conditions because of crisis in a information company. We create 2 groups. • Sub groups work: everyone starts to discuss the issue and then to create scenes concerning the oppression and its consequences. • Show: each group shows its story with rehearsal for depth technique (it means without words, amplifying the gestures) and finally with normal rehearsal. While a group perform the second play as audience, but split in 3 pairs: one writes down meaningful word and sentence imagined (first time) and heard (second version). A second pair draws a scenography re-organising the objects already present on stage. The third follow the two versions by playing some instruments. • Then the first group is audience and the second perform • CLOSING − Breathing and screaming 3 times to blow off steam. − Dorothy: finger and palm: standing in a circle, right hand with palm open on the beside person's finger of left hand. Everyone is in this shape. At the <Go> from the leader everyone tries to catch the finger of his right and tp escape from the left person's hand.


• INTRODUCTION • WARMING UP - Paulina: KETTY THE LIER: a circle, person A in the middle is doing an action, person B from the circle asks <What are you doing Ketty?>, person A answer with a lie and replaces person B. Person B goes in the middle and does the action told by person A, until person C asks him/her... and so on. - Matteo: PRINCES AND PRINCESSES: circle and the person in the centre is the prince and calls two numbers. Everyone is getting a number is fix to that person. The Actor in the centre call two number: the first number called should try to kiss the prince, while the second one tries to obstacle the previous trying to kiss the first number called (the other participant) If the first kisses the prince/ess, the second replaces the prince. If the second kisses the first, the first replaces the prince. − Two lines: on one side of the room, actors stand impoersonandeo the character of the image. Feel the character; take on the social mask of your character and at the signal walk to the opposite wall, keeping the character. When on the other side change and take on the character you had in the scene. Walk in the opposite direction keeping the second character. Two steps ahead if you feel the two are similar. One step ahead if you recognise your second character in someone else in the image of crisis. If so, try to swap the character in the image with the latter you have. • WORK ON AESTHETICS − Recovering Monday's songs: we try to remember and re-singing the Monday songs. Where we can link a song to some specific character? IN which scene? Do you remember any song that could be included in an appropriate scene? − Recovering dances: in circle, remember the dances created on Monday; do it now one by one. For each dance: is it possible to connect it to a scene or an oppression or a character? − Devising: take one sheet and pen and write down a structure of the performance you ideally would like to set up on crisis, keeping the best we have created until now: songs, dances, images, scenes. To a director is useful to develop an aesthetic sensitiveness − Group work: Create 3 groups of 4 people, 2 from the first group (the ones performed yesterday the first story) and 2 from the

second one. One group elaborate a text (poem, narrative, etc.) a second group a song with music, the third a scenography (which objects to keep or to take off, in which place to put them, etc.). − Instructions: − stenographers: walk in the structure and choose hot objects, the ones that can express better the main features of your scene and oppression, object that tell about the character and about power relationship. You are allowed to modify the objects. Or you can use a reel object in a metaphorical way to represent else. Make this search alone and then come together in the sub group and decide how to use the objects and when in the scene. − Musicians: find ordinary objects to play music, alone; then come together and create an ambient music for the 1st scene and one for the second. Decide together when to put music in the scenes. − Poets: use sentences and key words collected yesterday, individually, to create a poem: with rhymes r not, but creating rhythm anyway). Then read this poem to your partners in the sub-group and decide in which scene to use them and how, who can say them, when... − Group work to elaborate the instructions 13.30-15 break • Dorothy: Look up and down: when you look up you must direct to one person. If 2 people look each other the go out of the game. • Jeroen: Fainting: in circle, he counts from 1 to 10 and again so that every person has a number. Then we walk in the room and he calls a number. The related person/s start to fall down by back, screaming and raising harms; the group sustain them. • WORK ON AESTHETICS • Group work to integrate everything interesting produced until now, pursuing the previous group work. • Show: every group show its product. The audience comment. • CLOSING • 2 POTS EVALUATION: at turn, in one pot I put what I keep and in the second one I leave what I want to leave from the day.

THURSDAY 13 • INTRODUCTION Organisational issues. • WARMING UP • Agneta's looks: in circle, at the signal everyone starts at the same time to look at the group members, one by one, in clock-wise direction. When two people watch one the other they promptly swap the places. • Áilbhe: Brain stimulation: in groups of 4, 2 sit down face to face (person A and B), 2 besides person B (person C and D). A starts moving and B copies. C starts to question B, while B is answering, person D start a new question, and so on. The questions are about the character. The challenge here is to keep him/herself focused, by managing two levels of communication. A second level is to make stranger movement and questions. Variation: person A proposes a movement following the character. • The character's will: Circle, you are you. One step ahead, you become your character. Once more, slowly. When you are on the actors line I ask <What is your desire now?>. We should have a concrete but also an abstract level of our desires. Now to the line of the characters. What do you want as character in the story you are going to play? Concrete and abstract desire. Now walk with your desire focused. Where is it in the body? Express it by body. Try to get it. Stop. Make an image of this desire. Symbolic one or realistic. Now make a sound. Find a clear and short sentence to express this desire. Say this sentence 3 times with the voice of the character and his/her emotion. In pairs 5 minutes to discuss the character of both, how they are seen internally and externally. • WORK ON AESTHETICS • Group work to integrate everything interesting produced until now, pursuing the previous group work. 13.00.


• Dancing the name: we walk and try to dance our own name; one person shows and the group repeat. • Jeroen: rhythms sitting down: A starts clockwise clapping his hands against the left partner, B bit hands on his legs, than turns left and claps together with person C... and so on. Variation: to bit on legs all together. Sending more than one clap. • Matteo: salt statues: everyone runs in the room except one who tries to catch someone else. Who is touched blocks as a statue that can be free by someone else kissing or passing through the partner's legs. • Contact dancing: in pairs, keeping a body contact dance with the partner, explore different possibilities. Change part of the body in contact, 3 times. Now change continuously Now touch and leave, many times. Every 3 times change partner. Now make a group choreography WORK ON AESTHETICS State of art and desires. Explanation about devising. Collective devising: we try to proceed in devising the different pieces we have produced in a scheme consistent and aesthetically nice. We proceed with questions and voting With which piece we start? How do we follow? What is the next piece to add? Etc. Final rehearsal of first part of the devised play. • • • •

13-15 lunch break • WARMING UP • Almudena: Dotti's counting: close each other we start to count from 1 to 20, with no agreement. When 2 persons say the same number together we re-start. • Mariana's dance: in pairs dancing with eyes contact; then only a physical contact, no look at the eyes but on the other's body. Third step, you look at outside with body contact too. Now every-time we change way to dance we change also partner We cross the room and change way on the other wall.

• WORK ON AESTHETICS • Costume production: theory about the importance to self building costumes also reclining objects. • Round of characters: groups of 4-5 people; one is the character in the middle and the rest around are actors One by one every actor shows by body the perception he/she has about the character in the middle. They try to translate the character in movement. Every movement is replayed by the person in the middle. AT the end the character in the middle give his/her perception by moving as character, as he/she perceives it. Then one changes character in the middle and the cycle restarts. When everyone took the centre, the cycle restarts but with rhythm. The third time with sound; this time the character takes rhythm and sound together. • Costume: make a draft of your ideal costume as character. Use the materials in the room to create your costume. Better if a group of character implied in the same action start to define some general ideas together. • Individual and group work. • Rehearsal scene 2. • CLOSING Taking off the character: we un-dress our character and in the meanwhile we breath out the character. Hand in the middle: circle, we put our right hands in the middle, covering the other hands and one by one we say a sentence. The same with left hand and an other sentence or word.

SATURDAY 15 In the morning we try to go to Parma and perform but the situation is complicated. 15.00 • INTRODUCTION Comments about the morning session • WARMING UP

• Laura: Knots: in circle, hand by hand, the leader starts to move and cross the line. Version 2 close eyes, singing. • Matteo: the 2 revelations of Saint Therese: choose one character which whom you are in relation in the story. Person A has a secret concerning B that changes their relationship. A starts to tell it and B mist justify A for this, accepting and explain why: <Yes, it is OK, it is right why...>. The idea is to transform the potential conflict in positive way. • WORK ON AESTHETICS • Forum-Theatre: we decide to start a classical Forum because some participants is interested to know it. Some people (Matteo, Mikhail, Paulina) takes on the role of Joker. • CLOSING Paulina: Empty the character: one by one turns right, look at the other's eyes and say his/her own name. Boal's sentence: in many languages.

Report of tc on theater of the oppressed