Les Ateliers du corps Studio


morning stretch before training at Les Ateliers, photo by Fanny Gilbert-Collet, 2010

Les Ateliers du corps conducts ongoing practical research to develop more effective and integrated methods of performer training. This research then serves as the basis for aesthetic innovation in the creation of original theatrical performance. Les Ateliers offers its participants sustained training in embodied practices including Taijiquan, Qigong and contemporary voice work. Participants are also trained in a comprehensive and integrated approach to the creation of new work, that offers them concrete creative and practical tools to use in their own subsequent artistic endeavours.

Curriculum, Summer Intensive, May 26 - June 14, 2014

Daily work; 6 hours; 2 hours of technique followed by 4 hours of creation and rehearsal:

  • Chen Taiji Jibengong (foundations)
  • Chen Taiji Yilu (choreographed form)
  • Chen Taiji Tuishou (partner responsiveness and balance training)
  • Strength, Flexibility and Endurance Training (various bodyweight routines)
  • ‘Kinerhythms’ (stepping, clapping and voiced rhythms in unusual meters and combinations)
  • ‘Composition’ (movement tasks, text and rhythm work leading to the creation of original performance material)

September 2012 - July 2013

Academic leave for training and research:

  • Fall 2012 - Kurikara Tanren with Master John Evans, London, UK
  • Winter 2013 - three month full-time personal training retreat, Ottawa, Canada
  • Winter 2013 - training and creation exchange with dancer Sionêd Watkins, Ottawa, Canada
  • Spring 2013 - Trulkhor (Ancient Tibetan Yoga) with Tsewang Sitar Rinpoche, Bhutan
  • Spring 2013 - Jingju (Chinese theatre) with Prof. Lu Suosen, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Beijing, China
  • Summer 2013 - Chen Taijiquan with Master Chen Zhonghua, Daqingshan, Shandong, China

Curriculum, Summer Intensive, July 2 - August 12, 2012

Daily work, 9:30am-5:30pm:

  • Chen Taiji Jibengong (foundations)
  • Chen Taiji Yilu (choreographed form)
  • Chen Taiji Tuishou (partner responsiveness and balance training)
  • Strength, Flexibility and Endurance Training (various bodyweight routines)
  • Neo-Byzantine Chant: Anastasios Iméra
  • ‘Circulation’ (ensemble responsiveness training integrating all other movement and voice training in a flexible, improvised and ‘live’ format.)
  • ‘Composition’ (tasks and text work leading to the creation of an short individual performance, devised by each participant.)

Curriculum, Winter 2012

Weekly work, 3 sessions per week, 9 hours per week:

  • Chen Taiji Jibengong (foundations)
  • Chen Taiji Yilu (choreographed form)
  • Chen Taiji Tuishou (partner responsiveness and balance training)
  • Strength, Flexibility and Endurance Training (various bodyweight routines)
  • Neo-Byzantine Chant: Anastasios Iméra
  • ‘Circulation’ (ensemble responsiveness training integrating all other movement and voice training in a flexible, improvised and ‘live’ format.)
  • ‘Composition’ (tasks and text work leading to the creation of an short individual performance, devised by each participant.)

Curriculum, Fall 2011

Weekly work, 3 sessions per week, 9 hours per week:

  • Chen Taiji Jibengong (foundations)
  • Chen Taiji Yilu (choreographed form)
  • Chen Taiji Tuishou (partner responsiveness and balance training)
  • Strength, Flexibility and Endurance Training (various bodyweight routines)
  • Neo-Byzantine Chant: Anastasios Iméra & Tis Métanias
  • Chinese and Tibetan Chant: Buddhist Prajnaparamita, Guan Yin and Daoist San Jing
  • Various folk and ancient songs
  • Fundamentals of Overtone Singing
  • ‘Circulation’ (ensemble responsiveness training integrating all other movement and voice training in a flexible, improvised and ‘live’ format.)
  • ‘Composition’ (tasks and text work leading to the creation of an short individual performance, devised by each participant.)

Curriculum, Summer Intensive, May 30-July 9, 2011

Daily work, 9:30am-5:00pm:

  • Chen Taiji Jibengong (foundations)
  • Chen Taiji Yilu (choreographed form)
  • Chen Taiji Tuishou (partner responsiveness and balance training)
  • Strength, Flexibility and Endurance Training (various bodyweight routines)
  • Neo-Byzantine Chant: Anastasios Iméra & Tis Métanias
  • ‘Circulation’ (ensemble responsiveness training integrating all other movement and voice training in a flexible, improvised and ‘live’ format.)
  • ‘Composition’ (tasks and text work leading to the creation of an short individual performance, devised by each participant.)

Curriculum, Winter 2011

Mondays, voice and ensemble work, 3 hours:

  • Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Frolics Qigong)
  • Huashan Qi Fa Gong (a sound and movement qigong)
  • Two pieces of Byzantine Chant (Anastasios ImÈra and Tis MÈtanias)
  • Moondog Madrigals: a series of sung rounds by the eccentric 20th century composer Moondog
  • Rhythmics training
  • Peng Qi Guan Ding from the Zhi Neng Qigong

Wednesdays, Taiji and Ensemble work, 3 hours:

  • Warm-Ups (an extended series of simple qigong-derived calisthenics, loosely based on the Ba Duan Jing or Eight Brocades series)
  • Taiji Jibengong (the standing and stepping basic movements of the Practical Method of Chen Taijiquan)
  • Taiji Taolu (the first 3 sections of the Practical Method of Chen Taijiquan form)
  • Taiji Tui Shou and San Shou (simple partner drills for responsiveness and flow)
  • Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
  • Gun Fa (basic staff manipulation and fencing techniques)
  • Dao Fa (basic saber fencing techniques using Taiji principles)
  • Peng Qi Guan Ding from the Zhi Neng Qigong

Saturdays, Composition, Dramatic Text and Ensemble Work, 3 hours:

  • Warm-Ups (an extended series of simple qigong-derived calisthenics, loosely based on the Ba Duan Jing or Eight Brocades series)
  • Taiji Taolu (the first 3 sections of the Practical Method of Chen Taijiquan form)
  • Long Circulation (refining our ensemble physical improvisation)
  • Rhythmics training
  • Luo Shu Composition (tasks in physical composition using the magic square of 15)
  • Scenes (fragments from a new post-apocalyptic science-fiction ìsensawondaî piece called Shah Mat, being co-written with Michael Geither)
  • Peng Qi Guan Ding from the Zhi Neng Qigong

Curriculum, Fall 2010

Mondays, voice and ensemble work, 3 hours:

  • Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Frolics Qigong)
  • Huashan Qi Fa Gong (a sound and movement qigong)
  • Two pieces of Byzantine Chant (Anastasios ImÈra and Tis MÈtanias)
  • Peng Qi Guan Ding from the Zhi Neng Qigong
  • All of these activities were tied together using our ensembleís response and improvisation game called the Circulation.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, Taiji and Ensemble work, 3 hours:

  • Warm-Ups (an extended series of simple qigong-derived calisthenics, loosely based on the Ba Duan Jing or Eight Brocades series)
  • Taiji Jibengong (the standing and stepping basic movements of the Practical Method of Chen Taijiquan)
  • Taiji Taolu (the first 3 sections of the Practical Method of Chen Taijiquan form)
  • Taiji Tui Shou and San Shou (simple partner drills for responsiveness and flow)
  • Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
  • Dao Fa (basic saber fencing techniques using Taiji principles)
  • Peng Qi Guan Ding from the Zhi Neng Qigong
  • Like the Monday schedule, the circulation tied all these together. The goal of this termís work was to concentrate on giving the participants a stronger technical base and to give them time to focus on learning the various exercises in more detail.