in collaboration with
Bildungshaus Schloss Retzhof 
barrier-free international education center in Styria, Austria!

International Workshop 
For Choreographers, Movement Directors & Directors of Physical Theatre and 
IUGTE Annual Conference

December 12 - 20, 2016
The role of the choreographer is becoming more and more popular in contemporary performance making. It requires both particular experience and the natural flair in order to embody artistic images through dance and movement and to fill the choreography with action, energy and life. Choreography conveys the performance dynamics, its tempo-rhythm, unfolds the meaning content of the performance climax. It allows the audience to perceive the whole span of the performance idea, to comprehend and trace all the complex inner tangles and parallels built up by the director, by integrating dance, word and action into one whole. Choreography helps to convey the fascinating harmonious unity in communication with spectators intimate world of associations and images... 

The workshop is organized in the framework of the Stage Directors Lab, IUGTE International Department which offers unique “launchpad” opportunities for directors and choreographers from all over the world working in various creative genres, techniques and styles. IUGTE intensives open the door towards unique professional development opportunities for choreographers - participation in collaboration projects and performance productions at professional repertory theatres. 

Share and exchange your ideas with colleagues from different parts of the world, gain new helpful tools and professional tips under the competent guidance of IUGTE experts. Each of our workshops opens new international opportunities! 

The program includes the intensive practical training, lectures and discussions with the choreographer, director and teacher Sergei Ostrenko and the programme of IUGTE annual International Conference with performing arts teachers from different countries. 

This intensive Lab is open to practicing choreographers and directors of physical theatre working in various genres, techniques and styles interested to acquire reliable toolkit to create contemporary professional productions. Ostrenko Method will introduce some of the effective techniques and approaches towards contemporary performance practice in the context of the short rehearsal time and the multicultural creative team. 

During the workshop participants will become acquainted with Ostrenko's method of psycho-physical training and rehearsal, formed and inspired by the Russian Theatre Tradition. Methods of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold and M.Chekhov, Meyerhold's Biomechanics, Tai-chi for performers, training by method of improvisation, scene composition from exercises to performance: these are some of the elements uniquely transformed and combined in Ostrenko's teaching system. 

The training is designed as a multidisciplinary intensive lab with participation and practice together with performers from different techniques.

Participants will research the connection between physical action and voice, gesture, movement, dance and word, explore performer's physicality as the key to form, style, atmosphere and emotional palette, learn to build up the composition of the form and the artistic space of the performance, gain helpful practical tools and valuable tips for mounting contemporary performances. The understanding of the basic principles of a methodological directing approach concerns any genre, whether it is a dance performance, physical theatre performance, drama performance or musical theatre.


The morning practical sessions develop in the form of various exercises based on improvisation, space exploration and interacting with partners. Individual, pair and group exercises develop in particular sequence from simple to more compound. According to Ostrenko Method, each set of exercises follows out of the previous and is connected with the subsequent one. Through the intensive physical training participants will explore how the systematized psycho-physical approach fosters connection and cohesion among the performers, creates creative atmosphere and dynamics in the group. After the lunch break the group proceeds to ensemble structural improvisations which gradually evolve to little etudes and improvised performances. Choreographers will learn how to provide the guidance to the performers in creative process: how to propose a physical language to actors, how to help them to build up images and characters, how to connect various modules and elements into the whole performance fragments, how to unfold the actor’s creative nature, encourage his relationship with artistic space, freedom in improvisation and spontaneity on the way to the light and joyful performance.  

In the evenings participants will become acquainted with Ostrenko Method of choreographer's preparation, formed and inspired by the Russian Theatre Tradition. The group will develop enlightening and informative discussions, analyze their discoveries and explore relevant topics on contemporary performance making. 

The workshop is highly recommended to choreographers interested in learning about ensemble building, structuring the rehearsal process, to clarify and hone what they already know and to get exposed to new techniques and methodologies, and ultimately, to network with practitioners from different countries and establish future creative partnerships with like-minded people. 

Practical workshops, presentations, works-in-progress, lectures and discussions with performing arts teachers from different countries. The schedule is designed so that participants will be able to take part in all events of the program - the Lab and the Conference. Please follow the news of the programme

IUGTE Lab and Conference offer a great opportunity to approach a unique methodological and practical material that will enrich your professional skills and will offer you the possibility to share an intense creative experience at a global level!

The working language is English
Participants who successfully finish the program can receive IUGTE Certificate.

To apply for participation, please send these documents to
  • detailed CV/resume with photo;
  • brief cover letter describing interest to join the program.
Participation fee is 450 EUR (early bird reduced fee) / 550 EUR. 
The fee covers participation in all events of the programme - practical training, lectures and discussions with Sergei Ostrenko and the full conference program.
The organizers reserve the right to make changes and add-ins in the schedule.
The official arrival day for the Lab group is Monday, December 12th.  

December 12th: 

From 13:00 - Group arrival and check-in.
16:50-17:00 - Programme Coordinator meets the group. Short tour around the Castle.
17:00-18:00 - First group meeting and introduction.
18:00-19:00 - Dinner.

December 13th, 14th and 15th:

7:00-8:00 - Warm-Up.
8:00-9:00 - Breakfast.
9:30-12:00 - Practical training with S.Ostrenko.
12:00-13:00 - Lunch.
13:00-14:00 - Break.
14:00-18:00 - Practical training with S.Ostrenko.
18:00-19:00 - Dinner.
19:00-19:30 - Break
19:30-21:00 - Creative diary: evening lectures, discussions and creation.

December 16th:

7:00-8:00 - Warm-Up.
8:00-9:00 - Breakfast.
9:30-12:00 - Practical training with S.Ostrenko.
12:00-13:00 - Lunch.
14:00-16:30 - Practical training with S.Ostrenko.
16:30-18:00 - Break.
18:00-19:00 - Dinner.
19:00 - IUGTE Conference opening and first meeting. 

December 17th, 18th, 19th:
Conference programme: practical workshops, presentations, works-in-progress, lectures and discussions. 
The conference programme will run full day with breaks for meals. The registered participants will receive the detailed daily schedule.

December 20th: 
7:30-9:00 - Breakfast
9:00 - Check-out and departure.

Accommodation for participants is organized at the guest house of the beautiful XV century refurbished castle in one of the most beautiful regions of Austria, surrounded by nature, fields and woodsThe group will stay and practice all together in the same venue. Meals are organized at the castle restaurant. 

IUGTE Staff will be glad to help you in planning your travel itinerary and practical details!

View IUGTE PHOTO GALLERY of the past programmes!

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with ArtUniverse

"I learnt how to give clear and brief instructions to actors through the process I was given instructions. Compared with knowledge learnt through words, what I could learn through body was wisdom, which might last longer with a greater effect. As a director, I realized that getting actors involved and experienced somatically was much more effective than intellectual discussions".
Siu Hei Chung, Hong Kong

"I would definitely use this work with actors, in both developing an ensemble energy, trust and dynamic and also ongoing throughout rehearsals to develop sense awareness and physical presence".
Michelle Miall, Austrialia

"You changed my entire approach to acting and directing that my students and I will treasure forever. It's wonderful to see that you continue to spread your technique to theatre artists from around the world."
Lorna Strand (USA)

"The opportunity to share and debate topics ranging from various aspects on performance, directing and theatre work was a stimulating end to the day’s activities and an informative forum on performance theory and practice in Greece, Portugal, China, Ireland, Singapore, etc."
Steve Shade, USA

"I would definitely take part in another International Directing Laboratory or recommend it further to other performing artists. I was a great opportunity to learn new skills, refuel sources of inspiration and energy and make great contacts with theatre professionals from all over the world. I hope these contacts will last and be a platform for future collaborations". 
Kathrin Bigler, UK

"I greatly miss everyone I met and worked with in the workshop and I truly hope that I can work with all of them again one day. I ended the workshop on a positive note, knowing that I have grown and developed in my acting skills - with knowledge that I can also impart to my very own young speech and drama students in Singapore".
Jamie Shawn Tan, Singapore

"I loved the international aspect of the group, connecting with people from different cultures and the cross-disciplines of actors, directors and choreographers. I enjoyed the social outings to dinner and the laughs, fun and conversations we shared. It was stimulating to discover how other people made theatre work in their country and what challenges they faced, both personally and professionally."
Audrey Jenkinson, UK

"Throughout my long career in theatre I have had the chance to study with a great number of instructors, unfortunately an excessively great number of them were a waist of my time, where I had to force myself to find what was it exactly the thing I was learning. I am so grateful that you made this few days of training so creatively rich. There was so much substance to work with and develop, that the time seemed to be always too little".
Daniel Dewald, Finland

"The methods and techniques that I experienced were varied and I could relate to them from my own practice but these were of a deeper level and intensity in terms of action and energy. The style of taking a participant, be it a director or an actor was of equality and an openness to ‘play’ it was this sense of safety and clarity that enabled the theatre moments to spark off one another. I am committed to the development of my directing craft within an international context and becoming pat of the IUGTE theatre family has made my vision clearer of creating new work by giving way to more questions about identity, action and story. I hope to continue my journey with IUGTE and to continue to deepen the excellence of my directing".
Nazli Tabatabai, UK

"This was an eye-opening experience, and I feel that I’ve learnt so much in a week."
Youngsuck Kim, USA

"As I look back on the workshop 
I realise I’ve taken the first steps in my journey to develop a coherent way of working, and of thinking like a director. I’ve been shown the key to form, style, atmosphere and the emotional palette in contemporary performance. I know now the job of a director is to hold the attention of the spectator ‘always’, and to think about what makes the spectator respond ‘constantly’" 
Donna Maria Banicevich Gera, New Zealand

"...What struck me at the workshop was not so much the difference between the participants’ styles and personas but the common language of theater that we were able to so
quickly develop, without loosing any of our individuality or connection to our backgrounds. Thanks to all at IUGTE!"
Teddy Crecelius, USA-Thailand