“Taking humor seriously enables people to not take themselves too seriously”
Workshops directed towards clowns and performers, as well as those for the general public are listed below. Trainings for organizations focusing on lightness and awareness in the workplace, please visit the lightfulness website.
For Performers: Inner Clown/Butoh Clown
For clowns and performers, offering opportunities to explore, deepen and expand humorous expression, lightness, awareness and connection. Integrating a fair amount of Eastern influence (Butoh, Taoist Health Exercises, Shintaido, Kyogen) into clown and physical theater, the workshop asks participants to embody clown, to strengthen their connection to inner clown in order to expand their outward capacities.
Moshe’s clown teacher, Richard Pochinko, often said that workshops are simply opportunities to be in the clown zone. Indeed, the workshops main goals are to be actively clowning: being, exploring, enjoying, opening, expanding, deepening, embodying. Improvisational work in solo, duos, trios are essential vehicles in mapping out and developing the individual’s clown worlds. Moments are embodied and expanded using poetic aspects of Butoh dance. Formal stage/audience presentations occur, as well as spontaneous performance moments.
This workshop is offered as a training for health care clown organizations. Moshe has worked with many organizations over the years….
From Spring 2019-GoogleArts@Google classes:
“Moshe is an excellent teacher, helping us find comfort in our own skins through embracing the moment.” M.G.
“Thank you! I had a glorious time yesterday. Your light shines bright!” O.M
“Moshe was a fantastic teacher and guide. He taught many useful concepts like complicity in the eyes, building a connection with your partner, and inviting lightness that I intend to use in everyday life.” C.X.
For Non-Perfomers: Sacred Mischief
When Bernie Glassman, pioneering Zen master came to study clown with Moshe back in 1998, he was looking for tools of tricksterdom, humorful ways to deal with some of his disciples who took themselves too seriously. This workshop is designed to develop similar skills. Bernie’s perspective was to embody the role of sacred clown, a community leader found in most Native American traditions and many indigenous nations around the planet. These contrarians use humor to teach wisdom, keep the community in balance, and were, in older times, often healers and shaman as well. When I asked Roshi Egyoku (ZCLA) why they are called Sacred, she suggested:
” Sacred means JUST Human” Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao
In this context, the workshop explores our JUST human, honoring it, nurturing it, and injecting (positive) mischief into our daily lives, as well as our connection with other human beings.
If you imagine that Tool of tricksterdom implies smart words, you might discover that the tool is a well-timed glance, or a subtle gesture, of offering humor to release tensions. We will be working in the nonverbal realm and positive humor, rather than spoken word, and sometimes destructive humor. Through various methods, the workshop will offer opportunities to let go of habitual rational mind, and hand over the conductor’s baton to our creative/intuitive mind.
We will explore sacred mischief using physical theater, clown, solo, duo and trio improvisations. We will use elements from butoh dance, qi gong, feldenkreis movement, zazen meditation, outward mindfulness practices, and voice work to develop usable skills and a capacity for spontaneous interaction. Over the course of two days, we will work hard at learning to not take ourselves too seriously.
Sacred Mischief + Zen
These workshops combine Sacred Mishief with meditation sessions lead by a Zen teacher, and investigate the parallels between Sacred Mischief and Zen. The humor investigations are similar to those described above, and are designed to address all participants.
“Do you have fun? YES! Thank you very much for the wonderful workshop and the huge amount of exploring and remembering!”
“Thank you so much, Moshe, for your quiet style, your seriousness in the humor and your confidence in us. That carried me.”
“A journey to the inside. Listening, exploring, expression. The sacred mischief in the eyes as an entrance to the humor and lightfulness. The clown doesn´t need a red nose, he´s inside you!”
“Thank you for showing me the way to my inner clown. Thanks for you awareness.”
“ Beautiful touching and funny moments with others and myself … Those were deep, energetic days with you! Thank you also for your fine, loving kind to be …!”
“To be here and now with the strength of the earth and the wings of a bird. Thanks”
”I’m looking forward to the humor in my eyes. Thank you for bringing him closer to me.”
“Feeling lightfulness, discovering sacred mischief, feeling to be a clown. Thanks!
One of the best 2 days of my 2017. The other was jumping out of an airplane.”
“I loved the definition of ‘levity’ as a lightness and a letting-in of light. Humor is always a possibility, but not an imperative. So freeing.”
“It was so liberating…”
“I found the exercises you shared really applicable to our work. We sometimes have an idea that we are ‘present’ but in reality just think that we are. I think any practice that aids us in getting into the right hand brain is vital and frankly delicious! So thanks again! ”
This is a workshop for everyone and anyone who wants to bring joyous mindfulness into their spiritual practice…”
“Thank you for being an exquisite teacher…You point to the heart of things so gently, always making it so light that there is no space for the mind to argue or the ego to get involved.”
“You create a wonderful space where I felt safe to try out, to play and where it was possible to take risks….. I really like the Butohclown-to slow down, to reduce creates an awareness for the small moments that are so full of secrets…”
“Butohclown is so good for the awareness of/for myself, and the others, and the world around you/me! Thank you very much, I’m so happy with this!”
“Your work is still working. Very powerful stuff. Thank you!”
“Moshe’s workshops are more than just a ‘clowning’ experience. His emphasis on connecting with the audience and with teammates provides a solid foundation in how to meet someone on a common ground and truly be present in the moment.”
“We had a couple of opportunities to clown today (in business meetings 2 days later) and they were a big hit and release of tension for all.”
“The bottom line for me with Moshe’s work is how it can contribute to a wider range or palette within which to move in life…. I’m finding access to a new degree of lightness and limberness through physical movement …and awareness as a powerful tool. ”
“Very memorable, very useful, very inspiring.”
“Specially for me, I like the butoh energy for the clown work. There is a good way to connect both and it feels comfortable.”