East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

International Lab for Choreographers & Directors of Physical Theatre, Italy

Sylwia Śmigiel

In the city of Marble - Carrara - Tuscany, Italy

The role of the choreographer is becoming more and more popular in contemporary performance making. It requires both particular experience and the natural flair in order to embody artistic images through dance and movement and to fill the choreography with action, energy and life. Choreography conveys the performance dynamics, its tempo-rhythm, unfolds the meaning content of the performance climax.

It allows the audience to perceive the whole span of the performance idea, to comprehend and trace all the complex inner tangles and parallels built up by the director, by integrating dance, word and action into one whole. Choreography helps to convey the fascinating harmonious unity in communication with spectators intimate world of associations and images... 

The programme includes the intensive practical training, lectures and discussions with the choreographer, director, teacher Sergei Ostrenko and the programme of IUGTE International Conference with performing arts teachers from different countries. 

This intensive Lab in Italy is open to practicing choreographers and directors of physical theatre working in various genres, techniques and styles interested to acquire reliable toolkit to create contemporary professional productions. Ostrenko Method will introduce some of the effective techniques and approaches towards contemporary performance practice in the context of the short rehearsal time and multicultural aspect of the creative team.

IUGTE intensives open the door towards unique professional development opportunities for choreographers - practical acquaintance with the Russian Theatre Tradition, participation in collaboration projects and performance productions with professional performers at professional repertory theatres. Find out more.


During the Workshop participants will become acquainted with Ostrenko's method of psycho-physical training and rehearsal, formed and inspired by the Russian Theatre Tradition. Methods of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold and M.Chekhov, Meyerhold's Biomechanics Etudes, Tai-chi for performers, training by method of improvisation, scene composition from exercises to performance: these are some of the elements uniquely transformed and combined in Ostrenko's teaching system.

Participants will research the connection between physical action and voice, gesture, movement, dance and word, explore performer's physicality as the key to form, style, atmosphere and emotional palette, learn to build up the composition of the form and the artistic space of the performance, gain helpful practical tools and valuable tips for mounting contemporary performances. The understanding of the basic principles of a methodological directing approach concerns any genre, whether it is a dance performance, physical theatre performance, drama performance or musical theatre. 


The morning practical sessions develop in the form of various exercises based on improvisation, space exploration and interacting with partners. Individual, pair and group exercises develop in particular sequence from simple to more compound. According to Ostrenko Method, each set of exercises follows out of the previous and is connected with the subsequent one. Through the intensive physical training participants will explore how the systematized psycho-physical approach fosters connection and cohesion among the performers, creates creative atmosphere and dynamics in the group.

After the lunch break the group proceeds to ensemble structural improvisations which gradually evolve to little etudes and improvised performances. Choreographers will learn how to provide the guidance to the performers in creative process: how to help the actors to build up images and characters, how to connect various modules and elements into the whole performance fragments, how to unfold the actor’s creative nature, encourage relationship with artistic space, freedom in improvisation and spontaneity on the way to the light and joyful performance. 


In the evenings participants will become acquainted with Ostrenko Method of choreographer's preparation, formed and inspired by the Russian Theatre Tradition. The group will develop enlightening and informative discussions, analyze their discoveries and explore relevant topics on contemporary performance making. 

The workshop is highly recommended to choreographers and directors of physical theatre interested in learning about ensemble building, structuring the rehearsal process, to clarify and hone what they already know, to get exposed to new techniques and methodologies, and ultimately, to network with practitioners from different countries and establish future creative partnerships with like-minded people. 

The workshop working language is English.


To apply for participation, please send these documents to [email protected]:

  • detailed CV/resume with photo;
  • brief cover letter describing interest to join the workshop.

Participation fee:

750 EUR (early bird reduced fee - if payment is made before September 5th);

(850 EUR - if payment is made after September 5th);

The fee covers participation in all events of the programme.

There are several partial scholarships available supported by ArtUniverseApply for the scholarship.

Additional important information: 

The Conference programme includes practical workshops, presentations, works-in-progress, performances, exhibitions, lectures and discussions with performing arts teachers from different countries. Please follow the news, the programme is being regularly updated.

The schedule is designed so that participants will be able to take part in all events of the programme - the Lab and the Conference.

See programme details here