L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq

Coordinates: 45°28′41″N 9°13′39″E / 45.4781°N 9.2276°E / 45.4781; 9.2276
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq
TypeTheatre school
FounderJacques Lecoq

École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq is a school of physical theatre previously located on Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. In May of 2023 the school announced its departure from Paris and relocation to Avignon, where its next season training would commence that autumn.[1]

Founded in 1956 by Jacques Lecoq, the school offers a professional and intensive two-year course emphasizing the body, movement and space as entry points in theatrical performance and prepares its students to create collaboratively. This method is called mimodynamics. The school's graduate list includes renowned figures of stage such as Ariane Mnouchkine of Théâtre du Soleil, Steven Berkoff and Simon McBurney of Théâtre de Complicité, among others.


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…

His method, called mimodynamics and involving corporeal movement, is not miming in the traditional sense, as the spoken word is involved. The focus and the goals of mimodynamics are widely different from those of miming.[2]

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.


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.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "L'école de théâtre Lecoq et une Ecole nationale de l'humour s'installent à Avignon". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2023-07-17. Retrieved 2023-10-17.
  2. ^ *Grogan, Molly (September 1989). "Teaching the moves that make world-class theater". Paris Free Voice [later ParisVoice: The magazine for English-speaking Parisians]. Paris, France: The Paris Free Voice: Online version...co-published by Gyoza Media. Archived from the original on 2005-03-28. Retrieved 3 March 2019. [The students] enthusiasm is sparked by Jacques Lecoq, who founded the school in 1956, and his method, in which numerous theater celebrities have trained.... This method is one of mimodynamics, which holds that the dynamic of man and nature can be represented through the miming body. Mimodynamics does not mean mime in the traditional sense, however; although corporal movement lies at the heart of the Lecoq method, the written and spoken word figure among the resources students are taught to tap.
  • Lecoq, Jacques. (2000) The Moving Body. London: Methuen.
  • Lecoq, Jacques. A comprehensive overview of his pedagogy, originally published as Le Corps poétique in French

External links[edit]

45°28′41″N 9°13′39″E / 45.4781°N 9.2276°E / 45.4781; 9.2276