National Clown School in Las Tunas

After five months away from face-to-face classes, students and teachers from the National Clown School, in this city, returned to their school work to finish the first of the courses in this newly created specialty of the Artistic Teaching in Cuba. 

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Back to the routines that form them as future professionals in the performing arts, the nine members of the academy are already in the classrooms of the El Cucalambé professional art school and on the stage of the Teatro Tuyo cultural center, with their hands on and complying with the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ernesto Parra Borroto, leader of the consecrated Teatro Tuyo clown group and director of the school, told the Cuban News Agency (ACN) that the unanticipated interruption of this course was a very abrupt change for this specialty, in which the direct contact between teacher and student is vital to correct poses, perfect techniques and channel emotions within the theater.

We immediately set out to take advantage of the benefits of new technologies through a Whatsapp group that allowed us to give key guidelines, but also demanded to adapt the teaching projection in that sense, an effort that was complemented by the initiative Clowns at Home, through which Teatro Tuyo imparted elements of the clown in a creative way through the social network Facebook, he said.

Parra Borroto added that resuming the 2019-2020 academic year in these epidemiological conditions forces the National Clown School to redouble its efforts since there is only a little more than a month left for the staging of Narices (Noses), a recognized pay of the Teatro Tuyo repertoire that will become the final evaluation exercise of this first year.

In the middle of an evaluation of the Circus Art subject with teacher Aixa Prowl, the ACN spoke with Bexy María Pérez Pla and Luis Carlos Pérez Cedeño, from Las Tunas and Granma, respectively, who agreed that although being away from the teaching preparation was difficult, especially for the physical part and group work; this time at home helped them to connect much more with their essence as future artists and work with greater emphasis on emotions.

Since 2019, the National Clown School has been a materialized dream of the Teatro Tuyo Company and Artistic Teaching in this territory, a preparation in which students from Las Tunas, Granma and Guantánamo receive personalized training in which they must develop the technical skills of the specialties of puppetry, circus, acting, pantomime and conjuring.