Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making A Charivari

April is the cruelest month for first year students at Dell’Arte International. More tears are shed during April than at any other time of the school year. They are tears of frustration, usually followed by the tearful comment, “I’m just not funny…”
But by the final week of this five week study of Clown, the final public showing is in rehearsal and every student will have at least one brief moment of ‘funny.’

Photos: Students Rosi Hughes (England), Marie-Louise Hoog (Sweden) and Anne Waehrens (Denmark) rehearse their ride in the charivari. Ronlin Foreman gives notes to the cast. (Photos: Joan Schirle)


Clown is the last dramatic territory to be explored in the first year of DAI’s actor-training program, under the direction of Ronlin Foreman. Every bit of skill and insight developed during the previous twenty-five weeks must go into the work— movement, voice, acrobatics, dance, timing, focus, partnering, ensemble play—based in the foundation of our training: to listen, to see and respond, to find delight in the playing.

Each year’s Clown finale includes a charivari, a chaotic circus parade with music. This year’s charivari is based around a vaulting horse (built by our new Technical Director, Daniel Spencer.) Twenty-five clowns leap, dive, roll, straddle, somersault, bounce and more, in a torrent of comic acrobatics. Rehearsals are many, as timing is critical when clown bodies fly in from all directions. Enjoy this video clip, as acrobatics teacher Joe Krienke rehearses the charivari with the Class of 2010.
copyright 2010 Dell'Arte International
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