The Art of Idiotics

By: Alison Bennett  

The art of the clown allows a human to make themselves genuinely vulnerable and available to their audience. The relationship is real and immediate. The clown must respond quickly to their audience feedback i.e. laughter or no laughter, by quickly processing the data they gather from the engagement of all of their senses. The clown works in forward motion, comfortable in it's errors yet keen to please; instantly self forgiving in an effort to continue towards it's desired goal. This forward momentum is a key trait for both students and educators as we hurdle into an unknown future. The essence of the clown lies in the combination of naivety and cleverness. The aim of this workshop is to explore the potential applications of these elements of clown in other areas of education including technology, social cohesion, and communication skills. The workshop considers some of the fundamental performance elements of contemporary clown and demonstrate methods of applying these in other areas of research and education. The work focuses on the benefits of actively bringing joy into the day to day experience and how this can strengthen and expand research practices. It will help people to think creatively by embracing the power of their own idiotics!

Clown,Technology,Communication,Soft Skills,Presence,Humanity,Senses,Active
Arts Education
Workshop Presentation

Alison Bennett

Program Manager/Tutor, NIDA Open/Acting, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

Alison is a performer, director & educator with a particular interest in the use of comedy and the grotesque in the creation of both live performance and screen work. She is interested in the use of comedy for tragic story telling and the intergration of comedy with technology. She holds a Bachelor Performing Arts (Drama) from Monash University and trained at the Lecoq International School of Theatre in Paris. She is currently the Program Manager for Adult Learning at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney (NIDA). At NIDA she is also a tutor on the BFA (Acting ) program teaching comedy, grotesquerie and clowning. Alison has recently collaborated with the Sydney Opera House/Sydney Festival/Spiral (Japan) on Join the Dots, a cross cultural, digital drawing and performance project. She has performed The Magic Hat (Casula Power House), TROUPE (commissioned by Bestival Music Festival UK), Roadkill Confidential (Lies,Lies & Propaganda) & This is Not Mills & Boon (Glorious Thing Theatre Co). She is a regular collaborator on the Sydney Opera House Digital Education Program and has facilitated large scale international programs including 'Global Conversations' in the Asia Pacific region and 'International Jazz Day'. She has created new works of theatre with non-English speaking students at Langues-en-Scene in Paris as well as facilitating workshops with ATYP, NIDA Open, Casula Powerhouse & Shopfront Centre for Contemporary Youth Arts. She has worked as a creative mentor for young people suffering from mental health issues with Spark Youth Theatre and as a professional mentor with Milkcrate Theatre on the Pathways Program. She was a producer for PACT Centre for Emerging Artists (Rapid Response Team program). Alison is the Artistic Director of Hurrah Hurrah, a company dedicated to the creation of new work for both screen and theatre. With Hurrah Hurrah she has directed and produced TRADE, Roomba Nation and Frenzy for Two. She is also directing a new work, The Duck Pond, by Tabitha Woo.