Expanding the Clown

Derek Kwan

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Expanding the Clown

Derek Kwan

Derek Kwan is seeking more inclusive forms of clowning through developing training that decentres and decolonizes the notion of what clown is. Derek shares:

I have a passion for clown—as an art form, pedagogic tool, and a form of healing. Clowning is fairly young; it may have ancient roots, however our current understanding stems largely from articulations by Jacques Lecoq (and other white European men), particularly clown in theatrical contexts. The project of clown (and teaching it) has never examined its European colonialist roots, and this within a context that demands us to bare our souls and live in our vulnerability.

“I propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown”

For those of us othered by society, who are continually the butt of jokes, bullied for our identities, and blocked from the mainstream, this vulnerability is painful, difficult to access, and re-traumatizing. However, I truly believe in the positive power of clown (and related concepts of presence and game) and it has become a cornerstone of my life and practice. I therefore propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown.

I hope to see more diverse and intersectional clowns both in clown shows (theatrical clown) but also in related clown forms (such as therapeutic clown) and beyond. I would also love more people to learn what clown can do for them as human beings and as performers.

A person wearing a white mask.

Derek Kwan is a theatre creator working at the intersection of theatre, music, and movement in a number of forms including opera, clown, and puppetry. His performing career has taken him across Canada and the globe, from London, England, to performances in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and China. In addition to performing, he has previously held administrative and producing positions at fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, Cahoots Theatre Company, Tapestry Opera, and Butterfly Effect Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan. Derek has a particular interest in celebrating intersectional identities, telling stories from different perspectives, and creating theatre for more audiences. Derek is also a therapeutic clown, serving paediatric clients as well as Elders.

Photo

Jean-Jacques Chen

→  Artist Statement

→  Common Boots Theatre Company

→  Rednose Therapy Training

Expanding the Clown

Expanding the Clown

Derek Kwan

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Derek Kwan is seeking more inclusive forms of clowning through developing training that decentres and decolonizes the notion of what clown is. Derek shares:

I have a passion for clown—as an art form, pedagogic tool, and a form of healing. Clowning is fairly young; it may have ancient roots, however our current understanding stems largely from articulations by Jacques Lecoq (and other white European men), particularly clown in theatrical contexts. The project of clown (and teaching it) has never examined its European colonialist roots, and this within a context that demands us to bare our souls and live in our vulnerability.

“I propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown”

For those of us othered by society, who are continually the butt of jokes, bullied for our identities, and blocked from the mainstream, this vulnerability is painful, difficult to access, and re-traumatizing. However, I truly believe in the positive power of clown (and related concepts of presence and game) and it has become a cornerstone of my life and practice. I therefore propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown.

I hope to see more diverse and intersectional clowns both in clown shows (theatrical clown) but also in related clown forms (such as therapeutic clown) and beyond. I would also love more people to learn what clown can do for them as human beings and as performers.

A person wearing a white mask.

Derek Kwan is a theatre creator working at the intersection of theatre, music, and movement in a number of forms including opera, clown, and puppetry. His performing career has taken him across Canada and the globe, from London, England, to performances in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and China. In addition to performing, he has previously held administrative and producing positions at fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, Cahoots Theatre Company, Tapestry Opera, and Butterfly Effect Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan. Derek has a particular interest in celebrating intersectional identities, telling stories from different perspectives, and creating theatre for more audiences. Derek is also a therapeutic clown, serving paediatric clients as well as Elders.

Derek Kwan is seeking more inclusive forms of clowning through developing training that decentres and decolonizes the notion of what clown is. Derek shares:

I have a passion for clown—as an art form, pedagogic tool, and a form of healing. Clowning is fairly young; it may have ancient roots, however our current understanding stems largely from articulations by Jacques Lecoq (and other white European men), particularly clown in theatrical contexts. The project of clown (and teaching it) has never examined its European colonialist roots, and this within a context that demands us to bare our souls and live in our vulnerability.

“I propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown”

For those of us othered by society, who are continually the butt of jokes, bullied for our identities, and blocked from the mainstream, this vulnerability is painful, difficult to access, and re-traumatizing. However, I truly believe in the positive power of clown (and related concepts of presence and game) and it has become a cornerstone of my life and practice. I therefore propose the de-colonization and re-contextualization of clown pedagogy—towards an anti-oppressive, inclusive clown.

I hope to see more diverse and intersectional clowns both in clown shows (theatrical clown) but also in related clown forms (such as therapeutic clown) and beyond. I would also love more people to learn what clown can do for them as human beings and as performers.

A person wearing a white mask.

Derek Kwan is a theatre creator working at the intersection of theatre, music, and movement in a number of forms including opera, clown, and puppetry. His performing career has taken him across Canada and the globe, from London, England, to performances in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and China. In addition to performing, he has previously held administrative and producing positions at fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, Cahoots Theatre Company, Tapestry Opera, and Butterfly Effect Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan. Derek has a particular interest in celebrating intersectional identities, telling stories from different perspectives, and creating theatre for more audiences. Derek is also a therapeutic clown, serving paediatric clients as well as Elders.

Photo

Jean-Jacques Chen

→  Artist Statement

→  Common Boots Theatre Company

→  Rednose Therapy Training

Ancestors
Memory
Courage
Transmission
All
Ancestors
Disruption
Vulnerability
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Curiosity
Care
Courage
Curiosity
Opening
Expansion
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Invitation
Meditation
Expansion
Memory
Courage
Curiosity
Kinetic
Expansion
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Invitation
Transmission
All
Disruption
Courage
Opening
Meditation
All
Absence
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Vulnerability
Disruption
Vulnerability
Impulse
Kinetic
Corporeal
Opening
Corporeal
Organic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Organic
All
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Immersion
Corporeal
All
Disruption
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Edge
Transmission
Disruption
Elusiveness
Care
Corporeal
All
Elusiveness
Impulse
Invitation
Immersion
Meditation
Elusiveness
Curiosity
Corporeal
Transmission
All
Disruption
Memory
Impulse
Curiosity
Expansion
Elusiveness
Opening
Organic
Meditation
All
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Invitation
Transmission
Elusiveness
Immersion
Expansion
All
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
All
Disruption
Invitation
Immersion
Organic
Transmission
Care
Edge
Corporeal
Expansion
All
Elusiveness
Memory
Care
Courage
Vulnerability
Ancestors
Vulnerability
Corporeal
Transmission
Expansion
Care
Courage
Invitation
Transmission
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
Corporeal
Organic
Absence
Disruption
Impulse
Edge
Kinetic
Memory
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Meditation
Kinetic
Ancestors
Courage
Disruption
Opening
All
Memory
Care
Corporeal
Meditation
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Memory
Edge
Expansion
Ancestors
Opening
Invitation
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Ancestors
Invitation
Curiosity
All
Ancestors
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Edge
Meditation
Absence
Disruption
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Care
Kinetic
Transmission
All
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Opening
Corporeal
Disruption
Elusiveness
Courage
Edge
Expansion
Ancestors
Memory
Care
Courage
Transmission
Absence
Memory
Edge
Curiosity
Immersion
Elusiveness
Impulse
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Disruption
Care
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Ancestors
Care
Impulse
All
Disruption
Courage
Impulse
Edge
Organic
Ancestors
Memory
Invitation
Meditation
Expansion