The DUENDE School of Ensemble Physical Theatre is a professional training initiative.

DUENDE’s unique training process – Self-With-Others – develops physical discipline, presence, liveness, creative process, site-specificity, interdisciplinarity, psychophysicality, improvisation, interconnectedness, ensemble, and pedagogy.

The DUENDE School offers short workshops, residential workshops and extended training processes in various places round the world. We also offer performers shared and supported places for creative exploration, and train teachers in Self-With-Others.

The DUENDE School recognises that everyone has the capacity to perform and so trains at all levels of expertise and experience.

  • DUENDE School training is practical, detailed, ensemble and physical.
  • DUENDE training is based in clear principles; positivity, joy, passion, self-discipline, mental strength, physical expressivity, intellectual rigour and deep respect for the craft of the performer.
  • DUENDE training combines physical technique, expressive skills, presence, creativity, liveness, playfulness, ensemble connectedness, improvisation and self confidence. We train skilful, fearless performers.
  • DUENDE training is ensemble. The heart of performance is communication: DUENDE training develops the self in relationship with others.
  • DUENDE trains body and mind. Our work is psychophysical – treating mental and physical development as inter-related and holistic.
  • We celebrate the creative possibilities of interdisciplinary, international and intercultural collaboration.
  • We train across disciplines. We don’t ask: ‘Is this theatre? Is this dance? Is this circus?’ We ask: ‘Is this passionate. Is this live? Is this necessary?’
  • DUENDE trains performers to learn, AND to learn how to learn.

DUENDE performers learn to develop, grow and adapt throughout life- long creative careers.

The various projects of The DUENDE School are run by Artistic Director, John Britton, and DUENDE’s team of Artists and Associates.

‘Self-With-Others’, the method of training individuals in ensemble created by John Britton which underpins all DUENDE’s work, is the foundation of the school’s pedagogy.

Collective Creation 2020

The DUENDE School/ Collective Creation, Athens 2020

We are delighted to announce this four week course of training and mentorship with The DUENDE School in Athens. During the course you will train with other artists, under the guidance of DUENDE specialists, and will conceive, create and present your own performance project. The course offers a chance to develop your own work within a community of artists, mentored by DUENDE Artists who have long experience of creating unique, individual and radical performance work.
Each morning there will be shared DUENDE training. This core training will give you powerful tools for:

• overcoming blockage

• establishing networks and relationships

• enhancing creativity

• developing vocabulary and strategies for feedback and other conversation

• refreshing and develop your core performance skills

• creating the foundation of a community of collaborating artist/performers within which you can grow.

In the afternoons and evenings you will develop your own work. – sometimes mentored by local artists who are part of DUENDE’s extended community, sometimes working alongside other participants in the course (with whom you might sometimes share thoughts or work-in-progress), sometimes working alone. The studio will be available to you through the day and late into the evening. As the outline and requirements of your project emerge, we will discuss who the most appropriate mentor for you might be – one of DUENDE’s core team or one of the wider community of Athens’ artists.
Perhaps you will make a solo work. Perhaps you will come as part of a small group who wish to develop a new show. Perhaps you will ask others from the group to collaborate with you. The focus will be on you finding and growing your own voice and your own creative capacity.In the final week there will be a public sharing of your work-in-progress – and we will negotiate with you how that can best serve your needs. You will leave with a partly or fully developed new work that you can continue to develop, or tour or use in any way you want. You will also leave with:
• an enhanced understanding of your own creative needs and strengths

• a connection with DUENDE’s foundational training approaches

• a new network of contacts and colleagues – an indispensable part of any process of artistic and career growth

• A video documenting the final sharing of your work

Course Structure

Week One: Intensive shared training led by DUENDE. Individual time to discuss, experiment and/or start exploring your project proposal

Week Two: Daily training – less intensive. Some participant-led skill sharing. Your project moves into practical development. Discussions and decisions about finding the appropriate mentor for each project.

Week Three: Daily training and occasional Masterclass. Daily rehearsal times for your project.

Week Four : Presentation of final project – as work-in-progress or full performance.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants should be performers/independent artists with some practical training in physical, somatic or body-based performance. Formal training is not necessary, but applicants should be able to demonstrate they can enter this course with a clear level of professional and/or practical expertise. Previous experience of DUENDE training is an advantage, but not essential.

The course is also suitable for small companies that have already been training together.

The Tutors

The course will be run by DUENDE Artist Eva Tsourou. The training with be led by Eva Tsourou and Thekla Gaiti. Additional training and mentorship will be offered by DUENDE Artists and Associates or colleagues from the vibrant and highly-skilled pool of Athens-based Artists with whom DUENDE has strong relationships.

Fees and Dates

The Course will run in Athens, Greece from October 19th – November 13th 2020 The fees are €995 (Greek residents) / €1495 (International applicants)
Fees cover the cost of the course, all teaching, studio hire, mentorship and (except in the case of special requirements) the public presentation of your final project.

DUENDE’s favourite film-maker will attend some sessions and rehearsals to document the work, and will film the final presentation. You will receive a full video of your part in that presentation. If you wish to negotiate separately with our video maker for a particular video and/or photographic record of your work, that will also be possible – though will involve you agreeing a price for that separately with him.

The Fees do not cover travel to, and accommodation in, Athens.

Applications: To apply we need you to send us both a CV and an outline of the work you are interested in developing (this can be very rough and might later change, but it will give us an idea of the sort of thing you are interested in).
As this course requires a community of artists to collaborate, it cannot run unless a minimum number apply and are accepted. So we request that initial approaches and applications be made BEFORE 1st September 2020.
For more information about DUENDE; www.duende-ensemble.comQueries and applications to Eva Tsourou:

Teacher Training 2020

For the first time, DUENDE is offering to train a small group the fundamentals of teaching Self-With-Others (SWO).

SWO is a principle-based, psychophysical training created by John Britton, initially to train performers, but now also used with non-performers in corporate, health, educational, therapeutic and community settings.

SWO is a powerful approach to structuring and delivering high quality teaching and learning experiences. It offers a pedagogically rigorous framework for delivering experiential learning.

Principle-based: SWO is based in an interlocking network of key principles; precise ways of thinking which offer learners healthy, creative, fearless and confidence-enhancing strategies for harnessing and directing their thoughts.

Psychophysical: the training offers approaches that encourage the learner to work towards integration of mind and body, thought and action. It is a holistic approach to understanding the human mechanism.

Key Areas:

Principles The six key principles of SWO.
The relationship of principles and creativity
Mentally healthy approaches to pursuing excellence and developing self-discipline

Experiential Learning The five stages of experiential learning
Three intersecting pedagogies at work in successful designed exercises
Positive Feedback – its power and structure
The psychology of flow/optimal experience

Psycho-physicality Understanding the neuroscience of experiential learning
Embodying learning through emphasising pleasure
Self-observation and self-reflection

During the workshop you will encounter key areas of understanding which will help you both to use SWO in your work and to adapt it to suit your own needs, approaches, and groups.

Areas covered will include: Applying and deepening principles
Understanding experiential learning
Creating effective teaching exercises and structures
Enhancing Psychophysical integration
Giving and receiving positive feedback
Developing self-observation and interpersonal communication
Embodied cognition

Each day will consist of participating in training in Self With Others, discussion of key theoretical and conceptual structures, times for personal and shared reflection on, and discussion of, the pedagogy underpinning SWO. Participants must be willing to engage fully in the physical training sessions.

Suitable for (but not limited to): Performers, Directors/Choreographers, Trainers, Teachers, Academics, Community/NGO workers, Corporate Trainers, Therapists.

Participants will leave with experience of participation in SWO training, understanding of the theoretical and pedagogical structures of SWO, perspectives on the application of SWO to their own processes of teaching/learning, key perspectives to help them challenge and enhance their functioning as teacher/facilitator of creative processes.

As SWO offers a foundational approach to training across disciplines, participants will leave with a deeply embodied sense of what it is to teach and to learn.


The course will run in Athens, Greece from November 16th – 21st 2020 (6 days), from 10am until 5.30pm Fees will be €950 (non-Greek participants); €550 (Greek participants)
All teaching will be in English.