L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq

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L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq is a school of physical theatre situated in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Founded in 1956 by Jacques Lecoq, the school is a professional two-year course. The school’s graduate list includes celebrities such as Ariane Mnouchkine of Théâtre du Soleil and Simon McBurney of Théâtre de Complicité.

The professional two-year course emphasises the body, movement and space as entry point in theatrical performance and prepares its students to create collaboratively.

Program[edit]

The Lecoq program lasts for two years. Ninety students from all over the world are accepted in the first year, and out of these, thirty will be accepted into the second year. Classes are conducted in French.

Two year program[edit]

The first year focuses upon observing movement dynamics in the world and in doing so, rediscovering life anew. In the words of Jacques Lecoq:
To mime is to literally embody and therefore understand better. A person who handles bricks all day long reaches a point where he no longer knows what he is handling. It has become an automatic part of his physical life. If he is asked to mime the object, he rediscovers the meaning of the object, its weight and volume. This has interesting consequences for our teaching method: miming is a way of rediscovering a thing with renewed freshness…
Aside from observing the world anew through the study of natural elements, materials, animals, words, sounds and colours, students also discover themselves anew with the Neutral Mask, an exercise which reveals their habits and tendencies and teaches stage presence.
The second year focuses on exploring major dramatic territories, such as melodrama, buffoon, tragedy, Commedia dell'arte clowning and so on.

Classes[edit]

In general, each day students have three sessions:
  1. Movement analysis. This includes physical preparation – learning and analysing 20 essential movements, acrobatics, juggling, stage combat, etc.
  2. Improvisation.
  3. Autocours. Each Friday, students are asked to work in groups to prepare for a performance upon a certain theme related to their other classwork. The process of collaborative directing is often frustrating at first, but allows students to engage with each other creatively. In this way, students get to know each other extremely well, and also learn to work with others to create a piece of work.

Laboratory of Movement (LEM)[edit]

In addition to the two-year professional course the school also offers LEM, a course which studies space and rhythm through scenography.

Noteworthy alumni[edit]

References and related articles/other links[edit]

  • The official website of the school [1]
  • Lecoq, Jacques (2000) The Moving Body. London: Methuen.
A comprehensive overview of his pedagogy written by Jacques LeCoq himself. Originally published as Le Corps poétique in French.
  • A quick overview of the school in Parisvoice[2]