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Art Residency SäVäri 

Sastamala/ Finland 





Physical theatre workshop, Lecoq pedagogy, neutral mask, larvaire mask, expressive Poppius mask, non-verbal expression, residency


For performing arts professionals, students or long-time amateurs.
No previous mask experience is required. You can consider the course as an inspiration for your future mask theater fun, or you can approach masks purely as a pedagogical tool. The course is suitable for performers, teachers, dramaturgs and directors who need physical and movement tips for their work.



The workshop, which takes place during Tampere's winter vacation, provides a relaxed but active option for vacationers. Art residence SäVäri is located in Sastamala, in the heart of nature, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. The idea is to create an unhurried and communal atmosphere that supports the group's intensive course work.

There are two old village schools in SäVäri, one of which has facilities for sleeping and the other for working. In the elementary school, there is a common kitchen, a dining room, a rehearsal room, a music studio, and sanitary and washing facilities. The middle school has accommodation facilities and a common lounge. There is a sauna and a barbecue hut in the courtyard area.

Accommodation is included in the course price and takes place in rooms with bunk beds.

Eating: Lunch and dinner are enjoyed in SäVäri's dining room with a big gang. Cooking is done among the group, in small groups.

A thirty-hour dive into the world of mask theater introduces participants to the basic techniques of physical theater, which originate from the French Lecoq pedagogy. We do movement and spatial exercises with and without different masks. The aim of the course is to increase the courage and accuracy of expression, and to strengthen the participants' non-verbal storytelling and bodily expression skills.



First, we'll get to know the neutral mask. It is a pre-dramatic training mask, which is used to study the movement qualities of the performers and become aware of possible mannerisms.


The goal of neutral mask work

is to increase the performer's body and spatial awareness, and to activate the poetic body. Poetic body in Lecoq pedagogy means that the performer's expression does not have to be limited to the boundaries of the body, but the performer can use the surrounding space in his expression and create fictitious worlds through movement.


The course uses high-quality Italian Sartori leather masks, which serve as a reference in the pursuit of a neutral movement.



The second mask type we will discover during the workshop is Larvaire masks. These big and odd white masks stimulate the bodily and movement imagination of their wearers and increase the courage of expression. With the help of these masks, you can examine e.g. strange and animalistic movement language and make cartoonish characters. The origin of the masks is in the Swiss carnival culture, and they entered into Lecoq's pedagogy in the sixties.

The masks that are used in the workshop are made by Teatteri Metamorfoosi.



With the expressive masks we learn physical role-building techniques and how to express emotions and stories, relationships, intentions and tensions between characters without words.

We use a mask series designed by Finnish mask manufacturer Antero Poppius and realized by Metamorfoosi. The masks are approachable, they look affectionately familiar in all their grotesqueness, and they lend themselves to both tragedy and comedy.



Soile Mäkelä approaches theater from a physical point of view, and her teaching is strongly based on the French Lecoq pedagogy.

Mäkelä lost her soul to masks already in 1996, while studying at the Metropolia, Helsinki University of Applied Sciences. After that, she applied to study physical theater according to Lecoq pedagogy in Paris and Padua. Mäkelä completed her pedagogic studies at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy 2004-2008. In addition to this, numerous study trips to France, Italy and Switzerland have supplemented her knowledge in the field of physical theatre. In 2005, Soile founded Teatteri Metamorfoosi together with Davide Giovanzana and Laura Mäkelä.

Being an artist and being a teacher go hand in hand in Mäkelä's professional identity. During almost thirty years as an artist, she has taught physical theater for twenty years.




Finnish, if necessary English.





Wed 28.2.–Sun 3.3.2024
10am-5pm (includes an hour lunch break daily)




Min 8

Max 12





(Includes course fee €259 + accommodation costs for four nights total €80)

The Early Birds offer is valid until January 30, 2024.



(Includes course fee €300 + accommodation costs for four nights total €80)

Deadline 13.2.


In addition to the course fee and accommodation costs, everyone will have to pay travel expenses and around €10/day/person for food costs.

If someone does not come with their own car,  a ride can be arranged from e.g. Tampere train station to Sastamala.



Art Residency SäVäri
Hako-Ojantie 25

Sastamala 38510



Kaisa and Antti Jussi Kortesoja are responsible for hosting the residency.


Säväri's homepage 







(Teatteri Metamorfoosi reserves all the rights to make changes)


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