I think of teaching as a kind of performance, maybe like a DANCE between the teacher and the student sharing in the moment of discovery. There really is no RIGHT way or WRONG way -- the teacher makes a suggestion, the student -- free of doubt or inhibition -- makes a choice and runs with it. Therefore it is important to me as a teacher to provide a supportive environment, to listen and observe empathetically, to find ways to encourage each student in their journey of discovery. I've shaped many different ideas into classes (mime? masks? puppets? dance?) and I've customized them for my students (from pre-schoolers to those with 96 years of living). My classroom, WHERE EVER it is, is a place of play!
Mime: The Language
As a clown you need to use your whole body to communicate. Mime is the art of using movement to create physical characterizations, express emotion non-verbally, and tell a story without depending on words. For clowns, mime is a vital tool for making physical choices that will take us out of everyday life and into a clownesque world of play.
Using a set of papier mache full face masks as well as neutral hoods, this class will explore the specific techniques of bringing a mask to life. Besides being a fun experience, we will be studying how the body becomes more precise and expressive once the face is covered. Students will explore new ways of moving but also exercise their ability to observe and critique and then adapt what they learn into a new movement vocabulary.
Try out a few crazy dance steps and then learn a simple dance routine. Will you dance a little solo, do duo dance with comic interruptions, or can we improvise our own dance steps and string them into a group routine? Have fun getting your groove on with a clown dance teacher who doesn't know which one is her right foot!
Bring Your Puppet to Life
Your puppet is your partner -- how will you share the stage? Explore techniques on how to perform with a puppet, create stories and learn how to bring your puppet to life.