Rhythmic Exercises with Claudia Castellucci/Societas

A theoretical and practical workshop on movement and pauses


10 to 19 October 2022

Directed by Claudia Castellucci

Assistant Sissj Bassani


This workshop is intended for dancers or people with a highly developed sense of rhythm. It aims, during 9 days, to transmit a dance that is born and comes to maturity in a more extended context than one aimed at forming a performance. We wish to convey the sense and meaning of the rhythm underlying this dance, starting with the daily chronological structure of our work itself, by characterising the various moments of the day.


Rhythm is the foundation of the conception of dance we wish to propose, by developing the essential moments of the downbeat and the upbeat (movement and pause). The subject on which we will work when constructing the dance is the invention of law in Rome. At the dawn of one of the largest European civilisations, social life became a subject for reflection, so much so that concepts such as justice and equity had to be conceived and established, in order to organise a coexistence between many individuals and groups. The essential decisions that give rise to certain motions in social action, especially those that are typical of the initial forms of communal life, are retraced through the unfolding of the rhythms and patterns of the dance At the Beginning of the City of Rome. The rules of Roman law are one initial reference to the set of attitudes that we have collected over time, which capture the legal part of our affects. The primitive experience underlying those legal abstractions also captures what characterises human individuals: the instinct of self-preservation, the sense of property, the concept of justice, the rationale of solidarity; and, last but not least, the relationship between these laws and time, which remains in the background but nonetheless is extremely relevant.


With a structure so deeply rooted in the temporal dimension of dance, music is truly the foundation, both in terms of its specific link with the steps and actions, and in terms of contrast. 


The study proposed in this theoretical and practical workshop includes:

- Chorogymnastics, movements performed in a circle, following music created specifically for this purpose.

- Rhythmic movement, related to the music.

- Exercises in the psychology of duration (making the action to be performed happen immediately, so as to weigh up the value of its duration), through which to become more deeply aware of the concept of “interpretation” specifically pertaining to dance, between real physicality and mimesis.

- Reading and commenting the essay On Marionette Theatre by Heinrich von Kleist and some excerpts from Robert Bresson’s Notes on Cinematography. Both texts provide an introduction to the theory of interpretation mixing reality and fiction.

- Construction of the 50-minute dance At the Beginning of the City of Rome, which will be performed in public.

About Claudia Castellucci:


Dramaturge, choreographer and scholar, Claudia Castellucci was born in Cesena in 1958. During the years of her scholastic artistic training (Arts High School, Architecture, and Fine Arts Academy in Bologna, Painting), along with her brother Romeo, Chiara Guidi and Paolo Guidi, she founded the Societas Raffaello Sanzio, a theatre company active from 1981 to 2006, the year in which it was transformed into Societas, leading to separate developments for each of its founding artists. Since then, she has continued to produce art, including the exhibition The Passers-By, an exposition of newspaper clippings with an application of moral judgments, and the Celebration of Illuminated Gestures, an imitative action based on a series of her own drawings. After writing the dialogues for Santa Sofia-Teatro Khmer, the manifesto of an iconoclast theatre staged by the Socìetas in 1986, Claudia Castellucci began her own metric and melodic research that she transmitted to and further studied in the Theatrical school of the descent, a group of young people who met regularly for five years, bringing together gymnastics and a practice of philosophy (1989-1993). In later years, she broadened this study to include rhythmic movement. She was responsible for the main motor sequences in Julius Caesar, 1997, of which she also curated the classical oratorical gestures, and in Genesis. From the museum of sleep, 1999. From 1993 to 1999 she resumed her work on other three-year cycles of free schools, once again involving gymnastics and philosophy, and then, in 2003, began another school more specifically dedicated to rhythmic movement: the Stoa, held in Cesena at the Teatro Comandini, where the Company is based. The Stoa, too, is marked by regular encounters covering all of the seasons and lasts five years, in which the Dances are created, oriented towards an interpretation of movement that takes time as its main dimension. This is when Claudia Castellucci does particular studies on circular rhythmic movement, in relation to music, drawing near to the most archaic folk experiences. Travelling for research to Budapest’s Tànchàztalalkozo in 2004 allowed her to discover the dance fields in the Moldavian region of Romania, where she spent time during two summers. This same interest for rhythm brought her to study Gregorian chant with Nino Albarosa, professor of palaeography and Gregorian semiology at the University of Udine. The Gregorian aesthetic follows a non-mensural principle for rhythm, which does not take quantity into account, and with which Claudia Castellucci experiments in her Dances. In 2009, Claudia Castellucci founded Mòra (whose named indicates the slightest rest required to distinguish two sounds), a dance company that created Homo Turbae, to organ music by Olivier Messiaen. This experience opened up a long period in which she retired from public performance and developed a dance that considers the entirety of rhythm, with its upbeats and downbeats, thanks to an impulse coming from Olivier Messiaen’s conception of ‘melodic rhythm’. This is how the Mòra School originated (2015-2019), and once again, in 2019, became established as a Company, with which she created the dance Towards the Species, a dance modelled on the metrics of archaic Greek poetry, the meta-dance At the beginning of the city of Rome, on the earliest transitions of humanity when dealing with life in a mass society, and the dance The treatment of the waves, based on the sound of bells. In 2011 she led the École du rythme in the city of Bordeaux, as part of the Arte Urban Art Biennial. In 2012 she began writing The deep realm, a drama divided into three parts: the monologue The life of lives, the ballad Dialogue of the slaves, with musical arrangements by Scott Gibbons (2013), and the dialogue Why are you here? (2017). In 2014 she founded the Scuola Cònia, a summer school in Techniques of Representation that is developed over three years, intended for Students who wish to follow through on their ideas in a critical context, helped by various external teachers, all specialists in aesthetic disciplines. Since 2015 she has pursued her idea of a school conceived like a work of art, through the “Rhythmic exercises” and “Scholastic fragments” which take place in Italy and abroad. She writes dialogues for some works by Romeo Castellucci (Metopes of the Parthenon, Go down Moses, Democracy in America, The Minister’s Black Veil and New Life). She has written various texts dedicated to dramaturgy, scholastic art and choreography, including: Mouth Egg (Bollati Boringhieri 2000), Setta Scuola di tecnica drammatica (Quodlibet 2015), and Bollettini della Danza (Edizioni Sete 2019).


Period: 10 to 19 October 2022

Venue: Danscentrum Väst, Ärlegatan 3, 414 57 Göteborg

Daily working hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including 1-hour break for lunch)


To apply send your application to by September 25, 2022.

The application must include the following:

- CV

- Headshot and full-length photo

- Video of 1-2 min of a movement sequence of your choosing (video can be sent as attachment or sent via link to youtube or vimeo)


Confirmation of acceptance will be communicated by September 30, 2022, the latest.


If selected, attendance is required the entire duration of the workshop including the final public presentation at Kronhuset on October 19, 2022.


The workshop is free of charge.


In collaboration with Iraqi Bodies and Danscentrum Väst  

Supported by Konstnärsnämndens Internationella Dansprogram and Göteborg Stad