Brisbane Womens College

The Tao of Clown: Giovanni Fusetti

The Tao of Clown

A poetic journey of awareness through laughter

Welcome to a unique adventure, in which poetry meets healing and your personal clown will reveal your own crazy wisdom.

A human being, alone in front of the audience, a Red Nose, the smallest mask in the world. No costume, no text, no devised actions, nothing: the emptiness, the simple silent presence… Suddenly a gesture appears: a spontaneous movement, an emotion, a sound… The audience recognizes something profoundly human and the miracle of laughter is there: the mysterious gift of all clowns.

The Clown is a very personal comic state

It exists in the fullness of the present moment: in this state of being without doing, the person touches the richness of the “here and now” and becomes aware of her/his way of being in contact with the world. In this letting go of all intentions s/he touches the magical “poetry of the ridiculous”: to play with one’s uniqueness, to laugh at oneself, to laugh with oneself, transforming fragility, imperfections, wounds and contradictions into comic poetry and personal power.

Artistically, the Clown has a profound poetic potential because it allows the person to explore and play with the naiveté of the child and the rigor of the adult. The clown state is raw, personal, unique, challenging, empowering, revealing, extremely rewarding. The clown exists in a state of playing where everyone has access to this key question:

What is so funny about myself?

And the red nose as mask has the sublime power of transforming any true emotion into comic presence.

Deeply rooted in Mask and Movement Theater, the pedagogy of the workshop focuses on the analysis of the physical and emotional world of each person, as revealed by the body moving in space. In terms of movement, no-body is neutral: every-body carries themes that are profoundly expressive, em-bodied in everyday movement as physical patterns. There is a web of physical and emotional “background noises” within each person’s movement and physical presence. This web appears like painting/markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense. They contain a drama: an action.

This work of analysis leads to the discovery of a unique clown, with a specific body, tempo, voice, attitudes, emotions, and poetic world. The search of one’s own clown is an intense and fascinating emotional journey. It’s a quest of self knowledge and emotional awareness that brings each person in contact with her unique way of being in the body and in space: to inhabit and play with one’s own unique physical and emotional world, to amplify it and transform it into a universal comic form. 

The pedagogy of the workshop

The pedagogical approach integrates Physical Theatre with Gestalt Therapy, Bioenergetics, Taoist Principles and Process Work

The result is a deep artistic and emotional work, involving the body in a dynamic of play, laughter and awareness. In the core of the work there is the combination of three fundamental principles.

The first two come from the lineage of the body-oriented psychotherapy, first expressed in the West by Wilhelm Reich and then explored in many different approaches.

  1. The expression of all emotions brings fluidity (flow) to the body and this fluidity brings physical pleasure.
  2. What is not expressed by the body remains impressed in the body in the form of physical tensions and movement patterns.

The third comes from the ancient tradition of theatre as a ritual of connection with the powers of the human soul.

3. The parts of ourselves that we don’t play, will play us.

Combining these principles, playing in the clown state becomes a form of playful and embodied awareness, reconnection and empowerment.

Through the unfolding of the impressed energies of the body, a clown will appear, and through playing this form a unique freedom and a pleasure will arise.

The Way (Tao) of clown brings a powerful insight, witnessed by the audience, and generates the ecstatic joy of being who we are, in an amazing experience of letting go of all intention (Wu-Wei). This workshop addresses to every person wishing to experience a journey of self-discovery through the healing power of laughter. It is open to any person interested in working on her-himself, and to any one who is involved in the arts, education, social work, health care (educators, social workers, therapists…)

The emotional work will be intense and ecstatic: the body will reveal what it needs to experience and express, in a dynamic of amplification, play, letting go and awareness. Shadows, angels, demons, archetypes, physical symptoms, dreambody processes will appear and will be welcomed in the alchemical power of the group.

A strong and playful desire of diving in one’s own folly is required!


Come and walk off the cliff and discover that we don’t fall. Actually, we are falling upward.

About Giovanni Fusetti 

Giovanni Fusetti is an Italian multi-disciplinary fool. Natural Scientist, Theatre Artist, Pedagogue, Gestalt Therapist and Permaculture Designer, he works internationally as a teacher, director and process facilitator, exploring theatre as a tool for artistic training, education, healing, personal awareness and political awakening.

Trained in agriculture and ecology at the University of Padova, he became passionate about the social and educational use of theatre. Street theatre, puppets, storytelling, clown and political theatre, led him to the Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where he was a student, pedagogic assistant and then teacher of improvisation. He has been the pedagogical director of KIKLOS school in Padova and he is the founding – pedagogic director of HELIKOS, International School of Theatre Creation, which he founded in Florence in 2009 and now operates in Padova, Italy.

As a pedagogue, he runs trainings and lectures internationally, and has collaborated with theatre companies, theatre schools and universities, including Pig Iron Theatre Company (USA), LISPA-London International School of Performing Arts, Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre (USA), Accademia Teatrale Veneta, Venice, The University of London, Naropa University (USA), Stockholm Uniarts.

His 25 years of pedagogical research include studies and trainings in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, Gestalt Therapy, Reichian analysis and Process Oriented Psychology. In his pedagogy, he integrates physical theatre with different practices of physical and emotional awareness, for the training of the actor/poet/creator, on the path reconnecting theatre to its origin: ecstasy.