Master clown mixes creativity, expression

Clowning around is a serious business for Dr Ida Seidenstein, who is auditioning students for the Young Dancers Association. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
Clowning around is a serious business for Dr Ida Seidenstein, who is auditioning students for the Young Dancers Association. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards

CLOWNING around is a serious business for Dr Ira Seidenstein.

The Cirque De Soleil mentor, co-founder of Bell Shakespeare, dance instructor and acclaimed performing artist held clown auditions in Telina on Wednesday.

But there were no red noses, pranks or slapstick humour; rather a workshop in discipline, expression and movement.

Successful applicants will be inducted into the Young Dancers Association, to perform in Gladstone's largest theatre production of the year, dubbed the ExtravaDanza.

It has been hailed "bigger than Ben Hur" by local dance teacher Wendy Barker.

Mrs Barker and Dr Seidenstein share a common mentor in Harry Haythorne, the link that has ultimately benefited Gladstone youth.

"This is the first year I've had time to be able to visit Gladstone," he said.

"I think I've found a new way of addressing performing arts while still keeping some of the old traditions."

Dr Seidenstein said he combines imagination, creativity and expressions into an anatomically correct co-ordination of the body.

The veteran performer of 40 years is in high demand internationally, considered a master of clown.

Students travel from near and far to be counted upon his attendance list for the annual intensive Quantum Clown Residency.

Yesterday, young Gladstone theatre hopefuls soaked up Dr Seidenstein's expertise. He is scheduled to return to develop the ExtravaDanza project.

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