The Arshinagar Project along with Kosmos Project and Innerspace organized a week long residency at the Walden Pond House, Kerala.
Details below: Theatre of Connection workshop on TRAINING-UNTRAINING-UTOPIA ®
India, Walden – Kerala
19-28 February 2016
Conducted by Stamatis Efstathiou
In the frame of KOSMOS PROJECT & in partnership with THE ARSHINAGAR PROJECT (http://thearshinagarproject.in/ ) and Innerspace LittleTheatrehttps://web.facebook.com/innerspace.littletheatre
What is KOSMOS PROJECT?
It is a long term project led by ATROPOS Laboratory Theatre Company under the direction of STAMATIS EFSTATHIOU that aims to explore the interconnections between theatre, anthropology, sacred traditions and environment. Main tool of this research are expeditions to the places that are at the marge of technological, economical and political processes of nowadays world.
After the expedition in Tuva, second stop of the project is India and precisely the area of Kerala. The first 2 phases of the project are focused on observation, research and theatre integration of local rituals and sacred traditions. The third and last phase will consist of an open workshop of Theatre of Connection addressed to Indian and international participants
What is the Theatre of Connection?
The Theatre of Connection, Atropos laboratory theatre group’s philosophy of work, researches into forms of energy building bridges: from impulse to action, from our rejected or hidden nature to being more open and from the daily social codes to a non-everyday behavior. In a framework of research, experiment and individual work, the participant-performer, first of all energizes his will for discovery, development and change of level. In this Theatre of Connection the entire presence of the “doer-performer” reveals the inexhaustible energy and its transformations. The primordial vision of Theatre of Connection is to trace the links of the person-performer with space, time and the universe that surrounds him.
Founder and artistic director of Atropos, Stamatis Efstathiou, researches in his work the connection: energy-body-sound-speech-chant-song. In this particular workshop from the very beginning the basis of the sacredness of the work’s environment and of the most “in disrepute” action will be put into question in a totally viable and practical framework. On parallel we will constantly research the points of collapse of ostentation, the landscapes that flirt with the profane and guide to commentary and to poetry.
There is not workshop nor session in performative arts which respects its self that does not provide its participants with tools and techniques of presenting in an interesting way the human material to one at least spectator.
And this is one basic part of the path the performer.
Nevertheless, if we are interested to work on the performer-human we absolutely need to break this never ending process of collecting, adding knowledge to the basket of human’s mind and next to this cultivate the garden of human consciousness. And for that we somehow need to break through, to un-fold, to take out everything, to un-train in order to see one’s stage presence, one’s life from the beginning, clearly and with transparency.
Towards this direction the workshop will propose training paths that embrace the “reaction”, the “rhythm” and the “form”, the main actually platform of all kind of performative styles and at the same time it will encourage the participants through precise processes to go beyond, to search for the human substance even if they have to skip the tools that they will have accumulated during the training
We will work on the eternal wish for radical change, for harmony, for longing for re-definition of the human destiny, using as vehicle the “white” color of soul and the mystery of dreams. Together with the white color, we will for sure face its opposite, black side and we will probably face just after our mysterious dreams dystopic nightmares.
The participants after having connected their individuality with their partners and with the precise place and time, they will do a first “jump” in their own utopic visions and we will give to them theatrical form.
Elements of the 2 first phases of the investigation of KOSMOS PROJECT in India inspired from the topic “Sacred paths in Theatre” might also be integrated in “Utopia” work…
The topic of UTOPIA is the second phase of a long term research of Stamatis Efstathiou and of Atropos with the title TETRAPTYCHO [Waiting-Utopia-Sacred-Aletheia (trough)]. Stamatis Efstathiou has already worked on “Utopia” in an intensive workshop in Saratov and in St Petersburg (Russia) and in August 2014 he worked intensively with his close collaborators from Russia during ENERGIA 2014, that took place in the half-abandoned village of Bela Rechka in Bulgaria. This work has culminated with the space specific performance “ANIMA-L-ISMUS”, inspired from G. Orwell’s novel “Animal farm”.
Culmination of the Laboratory
The work will end with a sort of presentation – pre/performance in progress open to observators. At the very end a sharing of feedback between observators, the participants and the leader of the work will also take place
We will also explore perspectives of further development of the collaboration in the frame of Atropos actions in India and all over the world.
Content of the workshop:
Warming up and research on energy and technique
Organic song and research of voice and body landscapes
Song(s) of different-world traditions
Transformation of the object
Organic and guided improvisations
Embodiment of text and song/voice work
Morning and night marches and observation in nature
Projections, discussions, exchange with local artists
Setting of a group structure/ performance
****The participants are asked to read and know by heart a small fragment taken from utopic/anti-utopic texts in their mother tongue. Proposed texts: “Us” of Evgeny Zamyatin ///// “Animal farm” George Orwell //// “Brave new world” Aldous Haxley //// “1984” George Orwell //// “The joke” Milan Kundera //// “The anarchist banker” Fernando Pessoa
****They should also propose 3 songs of their choice (the older and the more unknown the song the better). The language of the songs is not important. It is though important that the songs really touch the participant.
Stamatis Efstathiou- Atropos artistic director – (atropostheatre.blogspot.com)- is practicing theatre as director & researcher, performer’s trainer, performer and writer.
He has wandered around Europe following masters in Poland, in France, in Germany and in Serbia. On parallel he founded Atropos Laboratory theatre ensemble at 2004 and since then he participated as director, performer and writer in various theatre projects in Greece, in India, in Poland, in Iran, in Germany, in Armenia, in Bulgaria, in Denmark, in South Korea in European and Asian Russia, in Mexico and in Spain.
He is interested in anthropological theatre, in Butoh dance, in spiritual and in sacred traditions, and in voice and singing research, fields which he tries to investigate through the “Theatre of Connection”, the method and vision of Theatre that himself established and which he tries to develop through different long term projects (ENERGIA, CARNAVANI, KOSMOS, TETRAPTYCHO, etc).