Theater of International Standard
Well-known artist couple puts on workshops for students
He is a dreamer, and she has to work. This is how the story starts. At the end, both are a successful couple on stage. This is how it ends. We are talking about a performance of the piece “Zweier Circus” (circus for two). The actors in this picturesque act, Pierino and Olga, have been delighting audiences for many years. On Tuesday, November 16th, they will be presenting their new program at the Schlossaula at 7 pm. Additionally, both internationally renowned artists will run a workshop with students enrolled in a course in acting and stage at the University of Osnabrück.
“I am happy we have managed to bring this famous duo to Osnabrück. After all, both have been working for 16 years at Europe’s largest circus, Circus Krone”, explains the Osnabrück art therapist, Prof. Peter Steineke. Pierino trained at the Swiss Dimitri Theater School, his partner Olga has been working as a choreographer and dancer for many years. She is a graduate of the St Petersburg Ballet School. Steineke hopes his students will have two kinds of new experiences: “On the one hand, it is going to be exciting to get to know the expressiveness of Olga’s dance. And on the other hand, we will get new insight into object theater from Pierino.”
Osnabrücker Zeitung (newspaper), 7. November 2004
Report from the Specialist Clinic in Lower Saxony for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for Children and Young People, 2004
«I was very happy at the end of the performance»
Psychosis patient, aged 17
Dear Olga, dear Pierino,
Here, finally, as promised, is the report on the effect of the circus project, held at our clinic in the summer of 2004.
In the summer of 2004, patients from different wards participated in the circus project at our clinic. They were children and young people suffering from multiple psychiatric diseases (HAD, depression, severe compulsions, Asperger autism, ADD, social behavior problems, social phobias, elective mutism).
Before they were admitted as a residential or semi-residential patient, these children had traveled a path of much suffering. Most of them could not cope with their social relationships any longer and were not able to fulfill performance expectations. Immersing themselves in a world full of magic and new experiences has touched the children and young people in very different ways. In spending time with you, Pierino and Olga, the children and young people experienced an unprejudiced acceptance of their person; people who respected them and took them seriously.
The subsequent creative work process often forged a good relationship. The patients identified some of their own undiscovered aspects and abilities. They learnt to work on a goal, to persist through frustrating situations, to cope with stress (e.g. during the performance), and afterwards experienced feelings of relaxation, pride, and the sense of having accomplished something really special.
This offer was special in that it created space outside of the familiar and school context as well as outside of therapeutic structures, in which resources and personal developmental opportunities could be released and could flourish in a totally new and different way. This was made clear in some of the comments by patients after participating in the circus project, when they talked more about their experiences, their efforts, and moments of happiness. Family members and caregivers, also, saw their ‘sick children’ in a completely new light. All participants passed on their joy to friends and fellow-patients and relatives. Some of the children and young people are continuing to pursue their newly acquired hobby with enthusiasm, even though the project is finished.
We are already looking forward to next time.
Report from the Waldorf School Nuremberg, 2004
Training your Senses with Olga and Pierino
For two weeks I have been observing dancer Olga and her partner, Pierino the clown, working hard with students and two adults.
Olga never tired of tap-dancing, demonstrating the respective figures, offering corrections in a friendly manner, and encouraging. Finally, she succeeded in getting her charges to tap-dance confidently on stage. There is much that has to be activated at the same time when tap-dancing: Orientate yourself in space, observe exactly, listen precisely to the music, remember unusual step sequences, move quickly, be aware of the others, in short, there is a lot to coordinate concurrently. Senses like balance and orientation, movement, life, touch, hearing, seeing, and sensing warmth were not only exercised with Olga, but received a workout with Pierino, also.
Pierino, who has introduced large groups to the art of juggling, has become a master of intuition. He grasps quickly which exercises are needed at the time – and thus he is constantly changing them – and, as the situation demands, even thinks up new ones. Extreme concentration spreads, affecting some of them so deeply that they can work silently. Relaxing, and yet, very demanding and exhausting.
If Pierino notices that some of the students have a special talent, he will immediately ask a little bit more of them, and so the enjoyment of practicing, and therefore also the skill, increases for everyone. Throughout his work with us, Pierino shows us his subtle humor, in between he also shares some of his circus adventures with us. The stage scenery, which surrounded us during practice, and the music helped to make us feel like we were in some small way connected to circus people. Many, many children and their parents packed into the Blue Hall late in the afternoon on the 22.10 and followed the program happily. We hope that once more some seeds were planted in the children’s souls which will ripen into a desire to also be allowed to become Olga’s and Pierino’s students in a few years from now.