An Interview with Marco Bendoni about the Commedia dell’Arte workshop in Florence
Go Inspired was introduced to Marco Bendoni a few years ago by chance and we are thrilled to continue to be working with Marco since then. He brings so much to the course that we consider ourselves extremely lucky to be able to share his talents with our participants. During the time spent with Marco, students find themselves challenged and inspired at the same time. For most of the participants, it is their first experience going deeper into their acting and also themselves as well as taking themselves out of their comfort zones.
We talked to Marco about Commedia dell’Arte so our future participants can have a better idea of what to expect from the workshop.
1. First, tell us a bit about you.
I am a professional dancer. I was a contemporary dancer who worked with Philippe Decouflé in Paris, Vicecte Saez in Valencia, Simona Bucci in Florence and Luciano Padovani in Vicenza. Then I worked as a dancer and a mime in “Teatro Comunale” of Florence. I studied Commedia dell’Arte as part of the training.
I have my own company of Renaissance and Baroque dance “Il Ballarino” and I collaborate with different orchestras in Europe in order to bring these nobles dances all over the world.
I am also a Holistic operator who is specialized in movements, yoga, chi gong, energetic protocols, acro yoga, and aikido.
2. How did you begin your career?
I began as a contemporary dancer after working as an accountant for 5 years.
3. What can participants expect from this course?
They can expect a better knowledge of the period of Commedia dell’Arte, learning about the history, the way these characters were moving, dancing…
4. What will participants learn from you in this course?
They learn about awareness of the body, mind, emotions and know more about the meaning of energy. They learn the basis of acrobatics, acro yoga, and training for dancing. They learn a few dances as from the books of choreography of the ancient times from the renaissance to baroque.
5. What are some things participants find challenging?
They will find out how important and challenging it is to be present, to grow and develop as a human, to learn about him/herself and the study of their own personalities. They will also have the chance to learn to be neutral in order to be the right tool to become a Commedia dell’Arte character.
6. Why is your part of the course important (as you divide the course with Roberto)?
Commedia dell’Arte is very physical work. The masks used to dance a lot and of my knowledge on the treatises of the time is a philological precious apport to the actor’s work of improvisation. To learn a noble or popular dance as it was and done with the body of the mask it allows the actor to have a solid structure that help him/her to give his/her best. To show one of his/her artistic talent…prestige.
7. What do you like about Commedia dell’Arte?
Commedia is our history; the characters are like lenses pointed on our “negativities”, such as fears, greed, abuse of sex, to manipulate others, wanting to dominate, being a victim,etc…but in a comical way. So that allows myself to recognize which of these negative emotions are still in me and how ridiculous they are.
8. Why is it important for actors to study Commedia dell’Arte?
Commedia dell’Arte teaches you to be a character completely with all of your body, emotions and thoughts. The use of the mask allows you to disinhibit from the heaviness of your own personality.
9. You do acrobatics and teach dance moves to the participants. Why?
How can you tease a noble if you don’t know what nobles knew about philosophy, their longing to be better humans through experiencing the different arts, playing music, dancing, painting. Some of the characters are masters and noble. The servants are normally acrobats in order to earn their living they have to jump from one place to another.
Also, acrobatics is a skill of most of the Commedia dell’Arte characters.
10. Who is your favorite Commedia character and why?
My favorite character is the Capitano, a bit like a Don Quijote; a crazy, dreamy character but full of hope and energy.
11. What is special about this course in Florence?
The course in Florence is held by 2 passionate teachers who love to transmit the preciousness of this art, giving an amount of details on the characters, the different arts and much much more.
Thank you Marco for your time!! We look forward to working with you in our next workshop!