Corazza and his boys: psychodrama and massage at Conde Duque Cultural Center

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A pleasant and revealing but at the same time exhausting three-hour experience: to attend a class by reputed and controversial theatre director Juan Carlos Corazza. The bare-foot male and female students receive us emitting nasal and guttural sounds with the sight lost in the infinite, like sect members meditating in a never-ending introspection. Once the mystical music is over, 20 youngsters dreaming to become theater and movie stars come back to life and Corazza explains to the audience the meaning of this open exhibition of his school’s 4th year student’s training session.

They start performing Lorca’s Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding) in pairs. He interrupts them, correcting here and there, questions them, massages their shoulders, puts a hand on I-don’t-know-which chakra, places someone from outside of the scene in front of a promising actress to make her feel something, so that she can project her own excitement into the scene and repeat it ad nauseam. Further on, with Chekhov’s Seagull, he will confront and embrace an actor for half a minute to extract tears from his touched face.

Corazza applies Stanislavsky’s method to his own style and personality, most times flooding the stage with his huge and eager-to-be-worshipped ego, but undoubtedly getting unprecedented performances from the student actors and actresses. He makes them explore the dramatic texts’ hermeneutical nuances using their own intern conflicts, as a form of reverse psychodrama. As an expected Argentinian theater man, Adler and Gestalt practical psychology mixed with Freudian psychoanalytical delirious ideas about the trauma theory enters his professorial speech, and, the same way homeopathic medicaments cure without having been empirically proven or Scientology blends subjective science and SF to save people’s souls in the Earth, he actually improves his students’ performing quality.

From the outside, someone could argue that he plays favorites, disregarding the average and unattractive ones and promoting nasty competition, as in a theater Spanish version of Fame, but, in the end, that’s the way the world works, isn’t it?

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