Catalog 2023-2024

Accademia Dell Arte

DANC i21: Dance Performance Studies I
This course approaches ways of moving using a focus on efficiency rather than a focus on shapes through a somatic approach. Elements such as strength, flexibility, restriction, limitation, abilities and supplementation enable the participants to create freedom, stability, variety and natural acceptance. Based on exploration, improvisation and technique, students are offered simple patterns of movement that will be developed into different combinations. Classes flow from floor work through standing combinations and the connection between levels of space. The course utilizes improvisational games and tasks to compose material and create scores. 

DANC i25: Dance Technique
Classes address fundamental elements of dance training, such as endurance, flexibility and accuracy in execution of combinations. Students sustain and further their technical and expressive skills and consolidate their knowledge of their own body’s potential whilst extending this to their ability to learn and perform short solo and group sequences. Students learn to approach acrobatics through a heightened awareness of balance and weight. Regular classes in ballet and modern technique prepare students for the demands of improvisation and composition, as well as the rigors of Tarantismo.

 DANC i30: Cultural Dance Studies
This interdisciplinary course focuses on expressive performance that thematically emerges from the traditional Pizzica and Tarantismo and from Butoh and Tanztheatre developing its theatricality through an exploration of its vocal, narrative, and ritual elements. This course of dance and theatre takes its inspiration from the phenomenon of Tarantismo in Italy to introduce the popular culture of Italy and the Mediterranean and its relation to myth and history. Butoh was born in Japan in the sixties and derived from traditional Japanese dance and performance forms. Tanztheater is a form of dance that developed in Germany. Difficult issues, such as personal identity, narrative, character and authenticity, come under serious scrutiny in Tanztheater, which freely crosses the boundary between pure dance, theatre and mime.

DANC i31: Dance Performance Studies II
This course opens the educational process with a non-invasive teaching/learning environment in which transmission of knowledge, physical and cognitive practice happen in a collaborative way. The aim is to liberate the dance studio and provide a space in which communication channels can open. The course is a half-structured and half-improvisational format in which teachers invite students to share the teaching and learning processes so that practice and theory are combined. Activities and exercises are selected from a variety of physical techniques, practices and studio hybrids of contemporary dance techniques. Students gain an understanding that the classroom and studio are relational.

DANC i35: Extended Performance Topics: Dance
Extended Performance Topics is a class that is specially designed to expose students to specific practices and aesthetic traditions that can serve to deepen the dance student’s understanding of the aesthetic range of their art as well as specific structure of their corporal techniques. The course is comprised of 45 hours Dance Performance, 30 hours Laban - Bartenieff Studies and 10 hours Contact Improvisation/ Feldenkrais Method. 

ITAL i10 & ITAL i11: Italian Language I & II
This elementary level course is directed towards students who have no prior knowledge of the Italian language. Our language component course is loaded towards the first portion of the semester in order to give students basic skills for comprehension and communication in their work with Italian faculty and guest artists throughout the semester. The emphasis in the first semester is on developing listening and communication skills in addition to cultivating a solid grammatical foundation. Direct interaction with Italian Faculty, students and guest artists ensures the skills acquired in the classroom are implemented into the daily life and activities of the student. If a core group of students already has completed a cycle of elementary Italian studies at their home institutions, an elementary level 2 or intermediate level may be conducted simultaneously. A placement test on site at ADA is required for entry into the appropriate course. The Italian language component at ADA is required of all students.

ITAL i21: Italian Advanced Grammar/Conversation
Students attain a degree of linguistic and cultural competence. Conducted entirely in Italian, this course reinforces, builds upon, and refines the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills that students obtained in  ITAL I10 and ITAL I11. The course increases students' ability to understand and use the language, introducing them to more complex grammatical structures, expanding their vocabulary, and building their confidence through a variety of activities and assignments. The course materials allow students to explore various cultural matters and develop cross-cultural skills through comparisons between their native culture and the Italian world.

LBST i31: Social Change and the Avant-Garde
This course is an interdisciplinary survey that looks at the intersection between the acceleration of change in social forms in the 19th and 20th century and the perception of those changes as experienced in contemporary Avant-Garde art movements, e.g. mechanized speed/Futurism, Industrialization/Constructivism, Industrialized war/Dada, Freud’s Id, Ego, Superego/Surrealism, etc. By challenging not only aesthetic, but more widely philosophical and cultural values, the Avant-Garde art movements, and their manifestations in literature, theatre, and other performance practices, were responding to the most signification scientific, social, and political events pervading the world scene.

MUSA i30: Applied Skills – Voice
This course consists of weekly individual voice lessons. Lessons and Studio Classes are devoted to the development of the vocal, musical and dramatic talents of each individual.

MUSA i40: Applied Skills – Voice (Master Class)
This course consists of weekly individual voice lessons and Master class (specializing in Baroque Music). Lessons and Studio Classes are devoted to the development of the vocal, musical and dramatic talents of each individual.

MUSA i42: Applied Skills – Horn
This course consists of weekly individual horn lessons that are devoted to the performance of horn concertos (Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Arnold, Brahms) and orchestral excerpts. The student will work to improve his technique, his musicality, and the knowledge of appropriate performing style.

MUSA i44: Applied Skills – Guitar
This course intends to deepen the study of classical guitar from the technical point of view and propose outlines of analysis and musical composition for solo guitar and chamber music ensembles. It takes into consideration classical and contemporary composers, paying particular attention to Scarlatti, Tarrega, and Domeniconi, analyzing the repertoire both from the compositional point of view and the demands made on the instrumentalist. This in-depth analysis allows the instrumentalist to master the technical challenges of these compositions, thereby enabling him to fully enter into creative interpretation.

MUSI i20: Music Composition I
This course focuses on inciting musical creation through collaboration with artists in visual and dramatic media. Students build the skills necessary to conceive and bring to fruition musical soundscapes that grow out of the imaginative force of multiple creators.

MUSI i31: Basic Conducting
This course is designed to develop the basic skills necessary to become successful in leading a musical ensemble. Topics include, among others: posture and presentation, baton grip, basic time patterns, preparatory gestures, expressive gestures, and score study. Observations of professional educators (if available) and conductors, outside reading assignments, reports, and periodic testing of conducting technique form the core of the evaluation process.

MUSI i41: Music History Before 1750
This course offers a survey of Western Art Music up to approximately 1750. It is the companion course to MUSI I42, offered in the Spring Term. A large number of specific pieces of music are the basis for discussion of changes of musical style and genres, within the context of social and biographical history. Students complete regular reading and listening assignments, as well as projects for each professor.

PHIL i20: Philosophy of Art and Performance
The proposal of the class is to provide students with tools taken from the modern philosophical currents to analyze contemporary cultural shifts and shifts in social perception as influenced by the development of a “modern world system.” The course explores topics such as mass production, fragmentation and specialization of life and work, the development of the information age, the commodification of culture, the compression of time and space, and the aesthetic shifts which have accompanied these developments with an emphasis on the development of what one might call a “performance culture.” Readings are taken from both classical and contemporary authors: Aristotle, Schiller, Hegel, Mark, Nietzsche, Croce, Breton, Artaud, Deboard, Baudrillard, Foucault and others.

TART i15 & i16: Commedia Dell’Arte: Acting I & II
In addition to providing a comprehensive introduction to the history and influence of Commedia, this class explores the practical use of the mask as derived from the classical characters of the Commedia Dell’Arte. Through work on gesture, voice, and movement within a specific socio/historical context, students study the characteristics of Arlecchino, Zanni, Brighella, Pantalone, Colombina and others, with the intention of developing the student’s own character. The student actor is led to discover the vital force locked in the masks, by being at the service of the mask: this apparently banal notion actually has far-reaching effects on the performers own practice and their relationship to the public. This is a core acting class and includes: introductory mask design and construction. A course feature is regular evening performances devised by the student body in the multiple locations of the Villa Godiola. Topics may vary each semester.

TART i20: Voice and Performance Topics
Students work on: voice and body integration, extended vocal techniques and textual expression using the internationally recognized work developed by Alfred Wolfsohn and Roy Hart. The intention is to open the boundaries of what is possible with the voice to provide essential material for the development of vocal character within the mask.

TART i21: Contemporary Performance Seminar
This short theoretical module aims to introduce artistic currents and relevant artists and companies active in the field of physical theatre, contemporary dance and performance art in the 1900s and to contextualize their work within the broader field of contemporary art. The module challenges ideas of traditional theatre and performance, and provides a broad view of the work of inspiring artists in the previous century and in recent time and prsenting the diversity of approaches and researches that flourished in this art field.

TART i22: One-act Play or Opera
How does the stage design process begin? What are the steps involved? How can a captivating image found in a book or historical archive be brought to life on the stage? Where do we look for inspiration and guidance in creating a physical world for the characters of a play or opera? What are the practical requirements that we should keep in mind? This course teaches students process for creating scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, and projection Throughout the course, both practical and imaginative aspects of theatrical space are considered equally as vital elements of artistic expression. 

TART i23: Architectural History of Theatre
This course teaches the history of Italian theatrical architecture through site visits to buildings and performance spaces central in the development of Western theatre. It includes reading and discussion of text dating from the time the buildings were constructed. Additionally, at each architectural site, students complete sketching assignments as a form of visual record-keeping, which reinforces learning. The course examines a range of building types such as the amphitheater, the arena, and the opera house. The architecture represents different artistic and cultural periods from Ancient Greece and Rome through the Italian Renaissance to the present day. 

TART i24: Mask Making
This course focuses on the creation of leather masks. Students study facial types and traditional character masks from commedia dell’arte. Using this research, the students sculpt the mask in clay. These sculptures are used as a model for the mould each student will carve in wood. On this mould the student shapes, refines, and paints their own original mask. The purpose of the course is to give each student the ability to create a functional leather mask. Students understand how to fully realize an artistic idea in a concrete form through sculpture. Students take the first steps in wood sculpting, creating a matrix for the leather form.

TART i25 & TART i26: Masked Theatre Topics I & II
Courses for theatre students interested in the use of the mask in performance, with a specific focus on Contemporary full head masks, clown work, and mask making. We begin with improvisation and incorporate masks to the improvisational structure. We begin each day with training games during which we create the foundation for our nonverbal and action oriented work. We conceptualize and execute the creation of paper Mache masks that are tested and further developed by the actors themselves. In addition to discussions and reflections we also present and discuss various arguments and aspects of mask making and construction techniques. Taking from the material created and the experiences had early in the course the participants collaborate to develop a sequence of scenes that will be presented to the public at the end of the course. Topics vary each semester.

TART i27: Poetics I
A course conceived to enhance students physical, emotional, imaginative and cognitive playfulness in order to develop individual and ensemble devising techniques. The course prepares students for the challenging task of creating their own work through pre-expressive training, sonic improvisation, musicality/physicality, textual studies, composition, and experimentation.

TART i28: Principia Comica I
A course conceived to investigate key comedic and popular theatre practices and practitioners within the historic and cultural grounding from which they emerge. The course introduces aesthetics and techniques underlying mainstream contemorary physical theatre. Specific philosphical and cultural themes are examined through a constant and active exchange between theatre history, comedy theory, and practice, with particular attention for the avant garde, physical and experimental.

TART i30: Applied Skills: Theatre I
This course is a selection of movement, voice and acting options that reflect the interdisciplinary thrust of the program. Depending on Visiting Faculty and on-going developments in the program, students are able to choose from a variety of options that are integrally connected to the core substance of the training. The course includes a concentrated period of daily class designed to prepare students for the intensive needs of commedia and mask work.

TART i32: Applied Skills: Theatre II
Students are exposed to a selection of theatre practices that reflect the inter-disciplinary thrust of the Accademia program. The course focuses on voice, musicality, and acting (e.g. Roy Hart Experimental Voice, Fizmaurice Voicework®, text work for the physical actor, music and the actor, storytelling). Students will experience a variety of teachings integrally connected to the core substance of physical theatre training. Continuation of TART I30 Applied Skills: Theatre I.

TART i35: Extended Performance Topics: Theatre
This course, designed to prepare students for the intensive needs of commedia and mask work, is chosen from a selection of movement, voice and acting modules that reflect the inter-disciplinary thrust of the program and that are integrally connected to the core focus of the training. These courses are a combination of regular classes scheduled over a sustained period and intensive workshop segments. It includes a three-day field trip to Venice.

TART i37: Poetics II
A course conceived to enhance students physical, emotional, imaginative and cognitive playfullness in order to develop individual and ensemble devising techniques. The course explores and understands various contemporary paradigms and performance practices such as solo work, composed theatre, ensemble devising work and other experiential and technique-driven approaches to devising physical theatre.

TART i38: Principia Comica II
A course conceived to investigate key comedic and popular theatre practices and practitioners within the historic and cultural grounding from which they emerge. The course focuses on comedic dramatic structures as they develop from Commedia dell'Arte, to Dario Fo, Clown, and other significant comedy styles in contemporary performance.

TART i39: The Physical Performer II
Combines acting disciplines rooted in bodywork to create a dramatic theatrical experience in which the performer is at the center of his/her creation. By enhancing awareness of the body as a conduit of meaning and expression, the course engages students in a process of exploration that focuses on the physical relationship of the performer to the physical reality of the stage. The course explores mainstream and contemporary techniques such as Clown, Decroux, Laban, Biomechanics, Michael Chekhov, and Grotowski, among others.

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