ÉCOLE LASSAAD – International School of Theatre (founded in 1983)
The Ecole LASSAAD is a theatre school of international renown. It was created almost 40 years ago in Brussels, Belgium, by Lassaâd Saïdi, after he had taught for over ten years in France at the Lecoq school. There he worked in close collaboration with its founder and creator, Jacques Lecoq, in Paris.
In Europe the Ecole LASSAAD became a reference in theatre teaching. It became recognised as one of the most important schools of Movement that, through its pedagogical origins, defends the teaching of the Theatre of Gesture in its purest tradition. Lassaâd Saïdi and some of the teachers were the firsthand mainstays at the creation of this teaching.
It chooses to maintain its status as a free and independent school, thus guaranteeing a very high quality of teaching to which the whole team is committed. All the teachers come from the same pedagogy, each bringing the wealth of their own professional experience. In this way they contribute to the ongoing evolution of the school.
Lassaâd Saïdi is the co-director alongside Sylvie Saïdi/Richir, and is the principal teacher.
The LASSAAD teaching method is thus based on Movement, the art of full awareness of the body and of acting. In order to reach this high level of physical acting, of play through movement, the school offers an especially intense and practical journey concentrated into two years of rigorous training.
The École LASSAAD is a school which trains creators whose aim is to make the theatre their profession. It is theatre teaching aimed mainly at actors, directors, playwrights, teachers, stage designers…
Our former students are also to be found in the cinema, singing, circus, dance…
(Watch the video: after school)
The training emphasises the creative side of each personality, enabling the students to be aware of their creative qualities. It helps them to bring to light and thus choose their own way, giving them the means and instruments they will need for their craft in defence of theatre.
« Apart from conviction, talent and desire, acting is a profession that can be learned. It has its laws, rules and demands. »
The school stands out from traditional theatre schools for two main reasons: the central axis of its teaching method is movement; it gives as much importance to interpretation as to creation.
The first year is a sort of great research laboratory:
– study of movement
– analysis of actions, feelings, rhythms, staging, structure, writing of moments on stage…
The quest is for this « poetic body » that interprets, speaks, touches, sees.
One important part of this study is with masks – Larval Masks, Expressive Masks. The essential is in the beginning with the discovery and understanding of the Neutral Mask.
At the Ecole internationale de théâtre LASSAAD the neutral mask is taught in the first year, with depth and precision. It is important to remember that it was Jacques Lecoq who began the teaching of the Neutral Mask, when Lassaad Saidi was teaching alongside him in Paris. It was taught nowhere else and is the basis of the Lecoq pedagogy which is taught, defended and extended at the Ecole LASSAAD by those who were its initiators.
After the travel through the first year, the second year opens onto a journey which is theatre itself, studying all its styles. White Pantomime, comic book theatre, Silent films, Melodrama, Melomime, Mime, Storytelling, interpretation of classical and contemporary texts, Tragedy, Bouffons, Commedia dell’Arte, half masks, cabaret and theatre clowns.
In both the first and second year, at the end of every week the students present the result of group creation on the work in hand. This is called « auto-cours » and is performed every Friday in front of the other students and some of the teachers. This constant stimulus to create is fundamental to a school that trains and has trained many theatre creators, founders of companies and theatre directors.
The school accepts people who already have a certain artistic experience. The age range is generally between 21 and 35. The school is equally a place of exchange and sharing; there are students of many different nationalities. The school has seen very many countries represented since its creation. This blending of cultures gives depth and enhancement to the training.
Our teaching method means that each individual is regularly monitored. Please note that the school is private and lasts two years and that the establishment and its diploma have not been recognised by the Communauté Française of Belgium. The diploma is awarded, however, after the completion of the two years and is internationally recognised in the theatre world. A specific year is available to students who, having completed the two years, show a talent for teaching and wish to teach the school’s methods.