Train The Trainers session in Palermo (Italia) - DAYS 5 & 6
The last days of the Train-The-Trainers session were devoted to deepening the artistic proposals made by the participants, but also to a more general reflection on the format structuring the A.N.T.Y.G.O.N.E. methodology and on its transmission to young people for the theatre workshops to come between February and June 2023.
What is our goal ? ….
On the fifth day, the participants imagined and tested formats integrating all the materials they had encountered during the week. The choreographic exercises of Moshe Feldenkrais and Alwin Nikolais were thus not only used as the basis for the warm-up at the beginning of the session, but also as dramaturgical tools to stage the acts of Antigone's myth involving the Chorus. This improvisation-based practice was appreciated a lot, because it places the participants not only as executing performers but as initiators, choice makers of the creative process.
Indeed, this format combining improvisation and body rehearsals to help participants write a given scene by themselves has many advantages. It allows professional theatrical skills to be passed on to amateurs without rushing them, it enhances the creative abilities of each participant, and it reinforces listening to one's body and within the group.
1) Feldenkrais warm up.
2) Staging all the materials.
3) Guided meditation.
…. To explore all the possible!
On the last day, the participants tried to reproduce what would be a restitution based on improvisation. They were surprised to find that while this format allowed them to move easily from Creon to Antigone, it was very difficult to move from an individual character to the collective character of the Chorus. This observation led them to the idea of performing the same scene several times in the final restitutions, which would allow all the young people to perform their own versions of Antigone and Creon one by one.
Several questions emerged from this proposal :
Is it not a risk to lose the audience, and thus to make the young people on stage feel uncomfortable ?
Is the myth of Antigone and the character of the Chorus a pretext to help the young people regain their self-confidence, in which case the final restitutions can be based solely on improvisation?
Or is it also about pursuing an artistic aim and giving a new version of the myth through the eyes and opinions of these young people ?
To answer those concerns, the participants from the Slovakian partner Divadlo Bez Domova shared their approach to the A.N.T.Y.G.O.N.E. methodology, which they had already used once in Bratislava. From their point of view, the specificity of this method lies in its flexibility, its ability to explore all possibilities.
Reading of the myth.
Body improvisation games.
Debate on the methodology format.
This definition, a method that explores the possible, fits well the ambition of the Train The Trainers week and overall the A.N.T.Y.G.O.N.E. project. To conclude we can state that :
The aim of the theatre workshops and their final restitutions is to show the work in progress achieved by the young people, not to present a finished product in the spirit of a spectacle. The importance of the text, of one character rather than another, or of the improvisation scenes, depend on the participants.
By keeping an open format, without a predetermined result, it is possible to adapt to the needs, limits and desires of the young people (social perspective), but also to make them the authors of their performance and to give them a stage on which to express their opinions and experiences on the major social themes addressed by the myth (artistic perspective).
This week of training in Palermo was very beneficial for all participants. It allowed us to grasp the A.N.T.Y.G.O.N.E. methodology, to share our feelings, and to plan the theatre workshops with our different audiences.
We look forward to working with the young people and sharing these experiences with you!