Alternative Camp of Exchange and Learning

Organised by Atropos Theatre 
17 – 24 AUGUST 2015
In the alternative camp of exchange & learning “The farm of peace”
Greece (Macedonia region, Pella area)
The possibility to take distance from the city and from the "sirens" of civilization is a timeless idea of working frame of Atropos theatre. The essence of this idea is that the actor-researcher devotes himself in a daily, undistracted and intensive basis in his creative training.
Until now this distance was associated with a parallel connection with small semi-abandoned communities (Novina - Poland, Bela Rechka - Bulgaria). For the first time Atropos introduces the idea of building a group in an absolutely virgin and untouched from tourism natural environment and even far from human communities.
At the same time, Atropos invites external masters from different parts of the world, who develop their own independent path and share as basic philosophy at the same time the research, the constant training and the spiritual dimension of art, far away from the industry of entertainment.

Starting from the condition of isolation the participants will be confronted with their solitude through all classes and the everyday life in which they will participate. In terms of knowledge and mainly in terms of experience they will encounter the organic movement, the silence, the stillness, the emptiness of different non-conventional theatre spaces and the music that all these generate.
Furthermore, because of the collective life, the participants will experience particular qualities of coexistence. The constant connection with the partner-fellow and the untouched nature will function like a mirror and a frame of revelation of oneself. Moreover the sharing of everyday‘s practical needs will contribute to the grounding and will serve as an exercise of survival into the group.
All four teachers will introduce different paths of transformation of the performer. Through different masks, through text, singing, physical involvement, through silence, we will explore with depth and lightness possibilities of transformation of the movement, of the use of text, of the voice and thus face various sides of oneself.
The hosting venue will be the camp - "The farm of peace" - located in Karatzova plain, in the shadow of Mount Kaimaktsalan in Pella (Central Macedonia). This is a huge ecological farm with countless possibilities for shade or no shade. It offers basic living conditions (plenty of space for tents, toilets, outdoor kitchen, shower), and drinking water from a source.
All the work will be done in secret and less secret spots of the farm, which the team will use exclusively, without being distracted by other people since there is no nearby house.
We will be working roughly from sunrise to sunset (8-9 hours) all 6 days with the necessary breaks for eating, relaxation, individual work or silence.
Four teachers will guide the team in four different themes:
- "The empty performer”
Leader: Stamatis Efstathiou – Atropos Theatre director / Founder of Theatre of Connection
- “The journey of the actor in the world of masks”
Leader: Sabry Zekry – Multidisciplanary artist / Founder of Recycling performance factory
- “Body and natural landscapes”
Leader: Maria Lappa - Butoh trainer / Performer
- " Working with and without your 5 senses”
Leader: Svetlana Antropova – Performer and organizer at Atropos Theatre
On the sixth and last day of the camp participants will present individual actions, group impro and musical improvisation under the supervision and guidance of Stamatis Efstathiou.

LEADER: Stamatis Efstathiou (
The Director-researcher and leader of Atropos Theatre Stamatis Efstathiou will guide the team in a process of theatrical and existential transformation through paths of solitude and coexistence. Based on the philosophy of the Theatre of Connection he will invite-challenge each participant firstly to be emptied. To be emptied of his heavy or light biography, from nostalgies and aspirations and to be confronted with the physical and human landscapes that will surround him in the camp.
In a framework of research, experiment and individual work, the participant-performer, first of all will energize his will for discovery, development and change of level.
Stamatis Efstathiou researches in his work the connection: energy-body-sound-speech-chant-song. In this particular workshop from the very beginning the basis of the sacredness of the work’s environment and the most “in disrepute” action are put into question in a totally viable and practical framework. On parallel we constantly research the points of collapse of ostentation, the landscapes that flirt with the profane and guide to commentary and to poetry.
Directions of the work
Explore hidden or less hidden vocal and spatial forms of the surrounding nature and integrate them in the presence of the performer
Experiment forms of the links “CHORUS-CORYPHEE-PROTAGONIST”
Point zero and multi-phases improvisations
Vocal improvisations and traditional singing
Active marches in nature
Creation of individual action
Stamatis Efstathiou - Atropos artistic director - ( is practicing theatre as director, researcher & master, performer’s trainer, performer and writer.
He has wandered around Europe following masters in Poland, in France, in Germany and in Serbia. On parallel he founded Atropos Laboratory theatre ensemble at 2004 and since then he participated as director, performer and writer in various theatre projects in Greece, in India, in Poland, in Iran, in Germany, in Armenia, in Bulgaria, in Denmark, in South Korea, in Russia, in south Siberia, in Mexico and in Spain.
He is interested in anthropological theatre, in Butoh dance, in spiritual and in sacred traditions, and in voice and singing research, fields which he tries to investigate through the “Theatre of Connection”, the method and vision of Theatre that himself established and which he tries to develop through different long term projects (ENERGIA, CARNAVANI, KOSMOS, TETRAPTYCHO, etc).
LEADER: Sabry Zekry (
Masks belong to the world of archetypes and have been present in the history of humanity since the beginning. Through covering the facial expressions of the actor, the Mask forces her/him to go back to the roots of her/his own presence in space. Gestures have to be amplified, and everything is brought back to the body, thus giving the actor a complete new sense of space, presence and dramatic expression.Our work encompasses fundamental approaches to specific types of theatre masks, including the study of Neutral Mask, Larval Mask,Half mask and creative recycled mask.
1ST DAY: Neutral Mask
Once the actor has discovered this space, s/he becomes like “a white page, ready to be written on in the future dramas“(Jacques Lecoq).
The journey starts with the Neutral Mask, a key moment of the whole Movement Theatre experience. It’s a mask that doesn’t have any dramatic expression, and allows the actor to explore a state of pure presence, in the here and now of space.With this mask the actor explores the state of neutrality that exists before the action. The Neutral Mask also allows the actor to discover the difference between movement and drama. It gives the actor the awareness of the natural "drama" that is present in her/his body and that tends to become a form of character or style. By unfolding these physical "background noises" the body reaches a state of silence and presence, available to the theatrical space.
Larval Masks were first used as part of actor training by Jacques Lecoq. The masks are simple, innocent and very naive. Unlike the neutral mask, where there is no character and just purity of movement and expression, Larval Masks explore an almost caricatured form of character drawing upon animals or insect like movement depending on the mask, yet they contain the naivety of neutral mask only much more exaggerated. The Larval Mask is the next step in mask training for the actor and is a great tool to open the actor up to movements they would not necessarily have tried before in character work.
3RDDAY: Half Mask
The half masks help transform performers into vivid archetypes such the Child, the Hero, the Mother and the Devil and are a fantastic starting point for devising physical performance. The half mask exercise prepares participants physically and vocally to improvise and devise in half mask using the archetypal characters and can be adapted to cover the following:
Greek gods and goddesses
Greek chorus work
4th DAY: Creative recycled mask
"I believe that recycled materials or as artists call it 'junk' can be used to create art," Taher added
The Creative Recycled Masks invites its participants to use their imagination to the maximum. We want actors to visualize the material they have in front of them and transform their imagination into reality.The creative recycled mask depends to the participant’s creativity and the connection between actors and the environment surrounding them. This improvised mask allows actorsbecome able to look at things differently at the moment and later. Participants try to put the environment surrounding them to its best use. Actors with holding recycled materialin front of their face for a few seconds imagining how their recycled mask will look like.
5TH DAY: The 5th day of workshop will include the devising of a short mask scene
Sabry Zekry is an Iranian - Egyptian multidisciplinary artist and the founder of Recycling Performance Factory; RPF is a platform and manifesto for reviving and recycling rituals and traditions to convert them into theatrical events and collective creations.
Sabry's work includes Physical actor's training, Mask making and theatre directing. He received his Diplomas in Film-making and Conceptual Photography in 2007 and in 2011 he received his B.A. in Theater Directing. The following years, he performed in various Festivals in South Korea, Egypt, Greece, Poland and Iran. In 2013 he received a grant from Al Mawred Al Thaqafy to produce the project based in intercultural encounters between Egyptian and Persian storytelling styles.
Currently Sabry is teaching the Russian theatre approach called Biomechanics at Cairo Contemporary Dance Centre and at the same time he is teaching a variety of theatre workshops based on physical theatre and mask trainings in Egypt, Iran and Spain.
LEADER: Maria Lappa
“Body and natural landscapes”
In this workshop we are going to discover the relation and the borders between our body and natural environment, using specialized exercises from physical theater, Japanese butoh dance and kinesiological material from the natural environment.
What happens to our aesthetically fields when we are out in the nature?
Which inner landscapes and motivations arise when we are out in the wind, and which, when we are near water?
What happens in our eyes when we observing the fire?
How different our center actuates when we step on the ground instead of water?
The workshop contains strengthening exercises for our center.
Exploration of movement combinations through the basic dance elements.
Movement arousal through brain aesthetic system
Creating atmospheres.
Free and structured improvisations.
Creating and choosing performing space.
Poetical dance.
Maria Lappa is a physical theatre trainer. The basic axis of her work is Butoh in which she has been traind by varius distinguished teachers worldwide. She is working as a professional actor and performer while coordinating seminars in Greece and abroad. Some of her works and collaborations have been presented at the Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia - Thrace, the Concert Hall of Thessaloniki, the Royal Theatre of Thessaloniki, the ''Michalis Cacoyanis'' Foundation in Athens, the 15th Biennale of European and Mediterranean Young Artists - "Symbiosis; / Symbiosis?", at the ''Short Film Festival of Drama'' , the theater 104 of Kastaniotis publications, as well as in smaller autonomous theatres

LEADER: Svetlana Antropova (
Quick introduction. Vision and hearing.
About 80 to 90% of all information from the outer world we receive from our eyes, and about 5 to 10% - from our ears. But are we using our vision and hearing at their full capacity? And are we always attentive to what our eyes and ears show and tell us?
As performers we often “put” eyes and ears on different parts of our body to orientate in space, to sense what’s going on around us, to receive impulses from the space and to answer to them. The exercises and experiments that we will do during the session will help us to depart from the everyday use of our sense organs, will check their abilities and our abilities to exist and move in partial sensorial deprivation (blindfolded and with closed ears). We will work with central and peripheral vision, with hearing and with different sounds, will try to listen to the surrounding nature and to catch the sounds that are difficult to hear.
The exercises under the deprivation of vision and hearing will demand heightened sensibility of other sense organs. We will see how much information about the surrounding space we can get when the main receivers of this information will be temporarily turned off, and how many new impulses for creation and movement can be born from darkness and silence.
This precise work on the senses is a key process to train in “Theatre of Connection”, the guide philosophy of work of Atropos Theatre.
Svetlana Antropova (Russia-Greece) is a performer, trainer’s assistant and organizer at Atropos Theatre. She has a philological background, studied Thai yoga-massage and explored different kinds of movement and vocal techniques and improvisations and performing arts such as spontaneous dance, butoh and contemporary dance learning from and working with OddDance Theatre (Russia), Katsura Kan, Alisa Oleynik (ex-DEREVO), Merja Malkki (Finland), Dialogue Dance school (Russia). Staged several solo performances in Saratov and Saint-Petersburg (Russia) and in Finland, participated in the performances of OddDance Theatre (Russia). In 2012 she started to follow Theatre of Connection workshops and laboratories led by Stamatis Efstathiou (Atropos Theatre) and became a performer and a close collaborator of Atropos. Meanwhile apart from work in Atropos she continues to explore different fields of interest from human anatomy to intercultural communication through MOOC (massive online open courses). The work she proposes in Laboratory theatre camp is an experimental course on getting familiar with the five senses of human body and taking it further (peripheral vision, orientation in space with closed eyes, etc.) plus working with sense deprivation, all of which is essential for the performers as well as for any person who wants to experience life and the abilities of their sense organs as fully as possible.

* The International Laboratory Theatre Camp is open to people who already have an amateur or professional experience in theatre, dance or singing. The working language will be Greek and English if there are non-Greek-speaking participants.
* Due to the fact that the camp will be psycho-physically intensive, a good physical and mental health is a prerequisite for participation.
* Participants will be selected up on the application form that they will send.
* Accommodation will be in tents that will bring the participants themselves [The farm does not provide nor rents tents]. They should also have with them their individual utensils (plate, knife, fork, spoon, and cup)
* Cooking and cleaning will take place in working groups involving all camp’s members without exception.
*** Participants should be in Xifiani, the nearest village to the camp, on Monday the 17th of August. The point and the exact time will be set in July (not earlier than 2pm not later than 6pm). From Xifiani everybody will be transported to the farm by a car of the camp’s organization.
260 Euros if the enrolment is done by 1st of June. In order that the registration becomes valid it has to be accompanied by a deposit of 60 Euros {Includes: tuition + place to camp and use of farm’s infrastructure (toilets, showers, kitchen) + 3 meatless and fishless meals per day}
280 Euros if the enrolment is done after the 1st of June. In order that the registration becomes valid it has to be accompanied by a deposit of 80 Euros {Includes: tuition + place to camp and use of farm’s infrastructure (toilets, showers, kitchen) + 3 meatless and fishless meals per day}
** The total amount should be submitted the latest until the 20th of July. Otherwise the registration will not be considered valid and the place will be conceded.
*** Applicants should contact the organizing team of the camp in order that they receive the application form. After they return it back fulfilled they will be soon notified if they are accepted and will be given a dead line to make their deposit either via paypal either via the following bank account: NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE -> IBAN GR2701104050000040560560528784/BIC(SWIFT) ETHNGRAA .
*** In case of cancellation for any reason (under the responsibility of the participant) the deposit (60 or 80 euros) is not refundable. In case of cancellation (under the responsibility of the participant) for any reason after the 21st of July the total cost of participation will be kept.
*** Minimum number of participants: 8 / Max number of participants: 14

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