By Ira Seidenstein

April 20, 2013

2 of 40. Saturday April 20 2013. Belfast to Dublin. Last day this trip training Ponydance. I love working with them. This week we missed Duane and Carl. With us were the Director/Choreographer Leonie McDonagh and her team of Paula, Jenny, Oona, Sara, Neil, Ryan. All great folks!! Here is Oona’s own site Leonie and I met at my first workshop in Belfast arranged by Maryke del Castillo of The Tutti Fruiti. I had mentored Maryke for several years and when she relocated to Belfast she felt it would be good for the folks there to experience my methods. We did a 9-day workshop for a number of the main circus performers then in Belfast. Leonie and Ken have a young son and then he was only a tiny tot. So Leonie could only come in the very last part of the last session. Will of BCC met with me and invited me to come back for a month. I taught daily with a breakdown of a few subjects over the four weeks Irabatics, Clown, Choreography. That was 2008. Again most of the circus community attended. Some sporadically as they had teaching and gigs. Amongst those who attended were Hugh, Anita, Kelsey, Flora, Hillas, The Migilligans (a then trio now duet – amongst my favorite clowns in the world – albeit highly skilled and well choreographed juggling clowns), Ken and Tiny of Tumble Circus, Leonie and several others. One the final day Leonie asked me if I would come back and work just with her dancers. I returned to work 3-weeks with Ponydance. In that week I created a new exercise for them that is now a part of my regular The Four Articulations. That is the “Ponydance Circle”. The Belfast mob incl the circus folks are wonderfully talented, skilled, disciplined and CERTAINLY have a genuine sense of humor!!!! FINE clowns!!!!

Reflection on possibly case of Clown Myopia – how astray is much clown ‘teaching’? Astray in the sense of denial, in the way of Machiavellian ‘divide and conquor’. By seperating ‘clown’ from other performing arts there seems to be an obvious schism in how a clown could benefit EMMENSELY from actual professional practices such as daily training in movement, dance, acrobatics, mime, voice, singing, acting. For example, musicals, many many many have so many of the greatest clown roles and certainly in most cases the most talented ‘clowns’ are in those musicals and playing such comic roles. Yet how many clowns, clowns students, clown teachers EVER go to see a musical? 2 days ago I was given a ticket to see Spelling Bee (i.e. The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee). It IS a GREAT clown show!!!!!!!!!! Full stop. This particular production is generally a (nearly) completely Irish team. Brilliant on every level. The show itself originates from Broadway, NYC. … gotta run. Write to me if you like bye for the mo’ Ira

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