Theatre in Nature 2017

Physical Theatre Camp

01/10/2017 — 04/10/2017

Leaving the City…

When we train or work as performers, usually we’re coming in off the street or MTR into a studio space a few times a week. We cannot help but be influenced by our environment, and what we create becomes a product of the city rather than a reflection on it. By leaving the city behind and working in a natural environment, we can fully commit to performance training and regain the essential parts of our humanity that are being lost through the overcrowding and technology we are adapting to. Theatre in Nature 2017 is the third in our annual series of training camps in the rural areas of Hong Kong.

This idea is one that has many precedents in the work of other companies and theatre practitioners. Jacques Copeau took his actors to the country outside Paris to train as early as 1913, to find a method of training to improve their physical dexterity, authenticity and ability to work in harmony. Most famously perhaps, Jerzy Grotowski moved from the city of Wrocław to a remote forest base in 1972 to pursue his own paratheatrical experiments. When Gardzienice was established in 1977 by one of Grotowski’s former collaborators, Staniewski, the company took the name of the tiny Polish village where they are based, creating and performing theatre in this ‘natural environment.’ Tadashi Suzuki relocated his company to the village of Toga in 1976, and there are other modern examples in Asia, such as Cloud Gate Dance Theatre and U-theatre.

Our main instructor – Ivor’s performance and movement training is influenced by these groups, and in particular his time living, training and performing with Gardzienice. His approach involves site-specific performance techniques and demanding physical training that heightens the actor’s awareness of self, others, and our environment. Alongside methods from European theatre practitioners, Ivor incorporates training from his background in tai chi.

Another main instructor – Billy’s movement training focuses on the psycho-physical process of acting, and methods of building an ensemble. He focuses on helping actors to develop the body’s awareness, and understanding the universal states of groups and individuals is as important as training one’s imagination and observation. This enables actors to bring transformation through their outward expressions of inner intents. Billy is passionate about sharing a variety of methods and the work of different movement practitioners. Billy is also a certified yoga instructor, and he includes yoga training for actors as a way of balancing the physical, psychological and mental bodies and enhancing one’s self-realisation.

Theatre in Nature Camp Details

  • Date:
  • Location:
  • Gathering time & venue:
  • Finish time & venue:
  • Fee:
  • Quota: 8-10
  • Main Instructors: Ivor Houlker, Billy Sy
  • Course Content: Sunrise Yoga, Sunset Run, Tai-Chi in the water, Mutuality Training, Rhythm work, ‘Psychophysical’ Actor Training, Site-specific performance making, Polyphonic singing
  • Suitable for: People who have experience in theatre, movement or performance, and have a reasonable level of physical fitness. (Professionally trained theatre practitioners will be considered first)

* This training programme will be conducted in Cantonese and English.

Application and Enquiries

Please e-mail

Main TeachersIvor Houlker, Billy Sy

Notes for Applicants

  1. Applicants should evaluate their own physical condition for joining this programme.
  2. Participants will have to help carrying a small amount of food and tools.
  3. Participants will take turns to prepare meals and clean up.
  4. Meals will be vegetarian, one meat dish will be provided per meal for those who request it.
  5. Mobile internet signal is weak on site, but it has phone reception, and is equipped with shower and toilet facilities.
Map, Bradbury Hall, Sai Kung, Chek Keng Pier, Hong Kong
Bradbury Hall, Sai Kung
Chek Keng Pier, Hong Kong