Presented by Fenella Kelly, chief examiner of the IBDP Theatre Research Presentation and expert in Kathakali, this workshop will explore how to build teaching around a variety of world theatre traditions, a key component of the IB Diploma in Theatre. Finding links between traditions as diverse as Kecak, Rakugo, Commedia dell’Arte and showing how the common aspects such as puppets, stock characters, movement, gesture, rhythm and facial expression can be explored, will allow teachers to design challenging internationally-minded drama courses for students of all ages. This course is particularly useful for teachers who are preparing students for the IB Diploma Research Presentation.
Each session will focus on a different key element (convention) of performance from traditions in each session (with links to ToK). During the sessions participants will learn how to apply this key element practically and put themselves in the position of risk-takers.
At the end of each session links to other world theatre traditions will be made, cultivating curiosity and opening up choices for life-long learners, and research.
Sources and resources used in the sessions will be shared with the participants to enable them to get started with planning their own work in class, and with students doing their own research. Links throughout will be made to the IB Learner Profile and the DP Theatre programme, where students are encouraged to be independent researchers and presenters.
The workshop programme will consist of four sessions relevant to all participants.
Session 1: Kathakali & Rakugo (Gesture & facial expression)
This session will introduce the participants to the unfamiliar dance theatre form of Kathakali, starting with a lecture on the history and context, modelling research, life-long learning and presentation skills. Participants will then learn some Kathakali mudras (hand gestures) to communicate some words, and experiment with how to put these together with the navarasas (facial expressions).
Cultivating curiosity: The last 15 minutes will be spent exploring the connections to other traditions such as Melodrama (gesture, facial expression, movement) and Beijing Opera (gesture and movement), and give participants time to make links to their own work in class.
Session 2: Kecak & Kathakali (Movement & rhythm)
This session will practically introduce the participants to key talas (rhythms) and kalashams (dance steps) implemented in Kathakali. Participants will learn the key elements of the chembata rhythm and how the trio (singer, dancer and musicians) work together in a performance.
Cultivating curiosity: The last 15 minutes will be spent exploring the connections to other traditions such as Wayang Kulit (Indonesian Shadow Puppetry) and Bunraku puppetry (ensemble working together to manipulate one puppet) and give participants time to make links to their own work in class.
Session 3: Commedia dell’arte & Kathakali (Stock characters)
This session will practically introduce participants to the stock character of Italian Commedia dell’arte, focusing on stock walks, lazzi, hierarchy of characters and stock scenarios. The main focus will be on the servants (Zanni) and their interaction with the masters.
Cultivating curiosity: The last 15 minutes will be spent exploring the connections to other traditions such as Melodrama (English Theatre with stock characters) and Punch and Judy (Puppetry inspired by Commedia character), Pantomime (English Theatre inspired by Commedia and Melodrama) and give participants time to make links to their own work in class.
Session 4: Planning session
In this session, participants will have the chance to look at all the research materials used in the presentations and practical workshops, then use them to follow their own paths of curiosity, in planning their own work with students.
9:30 – 10:00 Arrrival – breakfast available
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome
10:15 – 11:30 Workshop 1
11: 30 – 11:45 Break
11:45 – 13:00 Workshop 2
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:15 Workshop 3
15:15 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 16:45 Workshop 4
16:45 – 17:00 Closing
Optional Evening event: Join colleagues out in the fabulous city of Amsterdam for a social gathering.