Since 2013, ATH - Drama and Arts Space has been offering the opportunity for every French, English, and/or Vietnamese speaking individual from age 4 to discover or rediscover their creative qualities, by inviting them to a regular practice of performing arts; improvisation, theatre, music, and dance.
These group or individual courses are led by an international teaching team in Tay Ho and Long Bien, as well as, online. Throughout the school year, depending on their possibilities, students will participate in public performances as part of Winter Fest, P.A.S Festival, or the Theatre 21 program.
All ATH's pedagogy is based on the social and human values of the group, of living together. Each individual, with his or her qualities and faults, contributes to the collective work through his or her difference.
The teacher is a member of the group in the same way as the students. They must be present, able to listen and concentrate. The teacher is both rigorous and flexible in the way they teach, to adapt to the energy and well-being of the participants.
Improvisation theatre, create and produce instantly on stage
Improvisation, often called "improv" is a theatrical creation without a pre-written text, without rehearsals by the actors. In Improv, the actor is at the same time playwright, director, set designer, and actor. Improvising is to bring together, at the same time, the act of creation and its production.
In our classes, teenagers from 12 years old and adults will discover different forms of improvisation: improv cabaret, duel, catch improv, long form, micetro, and improv match. Throughout the year, they will present one or more shows depending on the abilities and availability of the group.
What will you learn?
The 10 principles of improv
Even though there are many different forms of improv, all types of improvs are based on the 10 principles: accept, listen, impact, animate, build, play the game, prepare for the game, innovate, have fun, and dare. The regular practice of improvisation develops our creativity, our spontaneity, our ability to work in a team, our emotional control and our body's flexibility.
The Improv Cabaret
This is a show in which improvisers play several improvisation sketches in front of an audience with constraints imposed by a master of ceremonies.
- Short forms: these improvisations can last from a few seconds to several minutes with constraints coming from the public or the master of ceremony.
- Long forms: An improvisation creates the whole show by itself!
The Improv Match
Invented by Robert Gravel and Yvon Leduc in 1977 in Quebec in order to democratize theater, the improvisation match combines sports (ice hockey), games, and entertainment.
The game consists in the confrontation of two teams generally composed of six players and a coach. A referee, accompanied by one or two assistants, ensures that the game is played according to the rules. The game is often introduced by a master of ceremonies and accompanied by musicians to set the mood.
At the end of each match, the audience votes, but not only this, they also enter into a communicative relationship with all the actors of the show through shouts, laughter, applause at any time, spontaneous vociferations, booing for the referee, etc.
The Improv Duel
The duel takes place exactly like a match, except that there is no team, it is one on one. Two players and a referee on stage confront each other for one hour. The duel is offered to the most experienced students in improv and takes place every month throughout the year. At the end of the year, a grand finale of the duels is organized with all the winners during the P.A.S. festival.
The Catch Impro
The Catch Impro is a confrontation of two teams of two improvisers. Unlike a match where the referee can whistle fouls and penalties, here all moves are allowed. The Catch Impro is proposed to the most experienced students in improvisation.
From a subject given by the public, the improvisers will create a story that lasts from 20 minutes to one hour. The "long form" performances at ATH are inspired by many story structures around the world. This improv format is often offered to our adult classes, including the online class.
We use micetro as the format for the grand finale of the dueling tournament. The show is performed with 8-10 players who will perform short improvisations. There is no referee, the points are given by the audience as they go along. The players will be progressively eliminated until the last winner is found.
What skills will you develop?
Improv relies first of all on the acting and collaboration skills of the actors. Through various exercises, we develop these skills and create group cohesion.
- Short-term memory
- Regular physical training
- Public speaking
- Expression of the body and emotions
- Listening to oneself and others
- Sense of spontaneity
- Awareness of the present moment
- Liveliness of mind
- Ability to step out of one's comfort zone
- Self-affirmation and self-esteem
- Exchange and sharing
- Listening and mutual acceptance
- Collective fun
- Group cohesion
- Mutual aid and empathy
- Team coordination
Why is it important to learn improv?
Acceptance, listening, group, group building, play, humor and joy... The principles of improv apply not only on stage but also perfectly in our personal and professional lives.
Improv brings to life many behavioral skills such as creativity, proposal strength, self-confidence, communication and intelligence.
By working on spontaneity, we develop our sense of adaptation and our agility in the face of life's many situations. Improv is also about living in the moment, which allows us to let go.
This is why many organizations and schools choose improv as a regular practice in order to bring positive effects on their members' mental state.
Improv is also an unlimited source for learning a foreign language. This practice fits perfectly into the programs of bilingual organizations, offering those who wish to discover and/or practice theater in French, to open their fields of perception and to approach the language in a playful way, by experiencing it through action and the body.
"Improvisation is not an exchange of information between players; it is communion" - Viola Spolin
Theatre as an exploration of the self and the world
Practicing theatre is to face many personal challenges: to learn how to launch oneself on stage, to be watched by an audience, to manage stage fright, to follow one's instincts, to be less judgmental, etc., and since theatre also exists only thanks to the energy of a group, it is also a very good way to learn to be together, to know each other in a different light, to collaborate, etc. while waiting to share the pleasure of the game with the spectators
Our drama classes are open to everyone, from 4 years old to adults. These classes are led by professional artists committed to their practice and who share the same methods and vision of an education in the performing arts. The primary focus is on the progress of each student: the goal is to accompany each student in the discovery and affirmation of their artistic personality while respecting their individuality.
What will you learn?
A Drama class at ATH is about sports, imagination, exchanges, and lots of positive energy.
Like other professional training schools, ATH offers its students a theoretical approach and an in-depth practice of theatrical art. Based on the different aesthetic currents and on the methods of masters in the performing arts around the world, our pedagogy combines the seriousness and rigor necessary for artistic practice while adapting to the rhythm and abilities of the students.
In-depth theatre practices that promote bodywork
ATH offers first and foremost to approach theatrical practice through the body, the actor's indispensable tool. During the classes, a variety of exercises are used to develop your attention, your understanding, and a better management of your body mechanisms.
Making your body more flexible, giving it freedom of movement, enriching it with unexpected gestures, making it creative - in short: "putting it into play" - is an essential gateway to immerse yourself in the art of acting.
Sessions designed for progress and to cultivate the pleasure of acting.
Our sessions propose a playful exploration of the different skills of the theater. We seek, above all, spontaneity and the pleasure of playing with others: these are the bases for creating.
A program adapted to all ages:
ATH offers a teaching program adapted to the physical capacities and psychological evolution that characterize the different ages. This program includes, for all groups, a period of general training in the dramatic arts, followed by a period devoted to the production of a theatrical show:
- Students aged 4-5: are taken to a different imaginary world during each session. At the end of the year, they will all act in a film produced by ATH.
- Students aged 6-7: start to learn basic theatre skills, i.e., acting, space, etc. At the end of the year, they will perform on stage accompanied by their teachers.
- Students aged 8 -11: discover texts adapted to their age while enriching their theatrical vocabulary and acting. At the end of the year, they will perform alone on stage without an accompanist.
- Students aged 12 - 18: practice improvisation and theatre - two complementary disciplines in order to strengthen their acting skills. During the year, they will perform two improvisation shows and a play.
- Adults: practice a different methodological approach each year. At the end of the year, they will prepare a play together, directed by their teacher.
What skills will you develop?
- Body skills: finding freedom in movement
Theatrical practice involves a complete work on the body: it develops both our sense of space and rhythm. It favors the acquisition of a better precision in our movements, of a greater spontaneity in our gestures. It allows the exploration of our own bodily creativity and a better knowledge of our body in its relationship to the other.
- Creative skills: acting, inventing
In the theatre we transform ourselves, we imagine: we are not so far from the spontaneous games of children who live the adventures they tell themselves and do; The "as if". This great freedom of invention, this creativity that each of us carries deep within us, is permanently solicited and trained like a muscle.
- Language skills: juggling words, immersing oneself in texts
The exercises of memorization, articulation, and pronunciation specific to theatrical training promote the development of language. By learning a text to be performed, we enter physically into a text that enriches our vocabulary and our range of expression. Better formulating one's ideas and better enunciating them are benefits of theatre often used in foreign language learning.
- Expression and analysis skills: speaking out and making oneself heard
Participants are constantly encouraged to question and reflect on the proposed plays, characters, dramatic situations, etc., during the theater sessions. On stage, they leave their usual social and cultural framework when experiencing the state of "being a character"; Protected by the theatre stage, they experience the freedom to express their ideals, even the most unexpected ones.
- Social skills: creating together, expanding horizons
Since theatrical creation is a common work in which all the participants combine their energy and strengths, they will develop a great sense of listening, a sense of teamwork, and a benevolent collective spirit. Another great pleasure of theatre is that when creating together, one is protected by the group. No matter what dramatic situation one is confronted with, each individual is protected physically and morally by all the participants. This helps each person to free themselves from the judgment and prejudices they may have about themselves or others.
"We want life in the theatre, and theatre in life.” - Jules Renard.
Why is it important to learn theatre?
A quest for one’s self
By working on our body, our emotions, our expression, our intuition, our spontaneity, and our imagination, theatre sheds light on unknown parts of ourselves and creates new emotional, physical and behavioral knowledge. It helps individuals to gain self-confidence, assert themselves, and better situate themselves among others.
A mirror of the world
Theatrical art creates a space on the stage and in the classroom where we talk about the world, where we represent it, and where we play with it. In this way, it is a formidable tool for investigating what surrounds us; Playing with our representations and our prejudices, telling stories and adventures that make us live in other minds and bodies, and allowing us to feel life in other dimensions. This allows everyone to develop their critical thinking and improve their analysis of their social and cultural environment.
Therefore, Theatre is an adventurous exploration of oneself and the world; A practice from which one derives a great deal of comfort, pleasure, and freedom. It provides an open stage for research into our nature, the contradictions, and the beauties of our lives together.
"Theatre is a point of view. Everything that exists in the world, in history, in life, in man,
everything must and can be reflected there, but under the magic wand of art” - Victor Hugo
Playing music? Not only; We also perform music!
Designed for students aged four to adults in private or in a group. Our music classes are led by professional musicians towards a complete music development for each student in sense of rhythm, inner-ear, improvisation, and performance skills in a fun, high-energy, and creative way.
From the classroom to the stage, students will actively discover, experience, practice, create with us, and above all play music in a community while enriching their universe. That would make them, not only a guitarist, a pianist, or a singer, but also confident musicians and performers.
What will you learn?
A fun, active musical practice and theory learning.
Our music classes aim to inspire and develop student’s joy and passion for music through instrument practice and active theory discovery in a fun, high-energy and creative way.
Instrumental and Vocal practice:
When exploring the music world nothing is more exciting and passionate than truly practicing an instrument, voice included. And being on that journey, be it with professional musicians who have been learning, creating, and performing for years or with other music players, is hands down an excellent experience! Aware of that, ATH provides instrumental and vocal classes for beginners and music players, in group and private format; This helps students train their technique and explore their music universe while playing music with others.
The private format allows teachers to focus on the student and provide tailored lessons to their specific needs. Group classes allow students to experience the ultimate joy of playing music together.
This music branch is designed for:
- Students from 4 to 5 years old: group lesson in piano awakening through games and activities.
- Students from 6 years old to adults:
- Private lessons in piano, violin, ukulele, accordion, guitar, and singing
- Group lessons: band, vocal ensemble, batucada
“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom.
If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” – Charlie Parker
Music is used in many circumstances of human life; we hear it on the streets, in movies, at ceremonies, and we listen to it passively and are affected by it without knowing why. This Music Lab is where we get the answer to that question and collect music theoretical knowledge in a fun and active way.
In Music Lab, each lesson is an adventure. Together, students and teachers listen, analyze the music piece (modern or classical), get to understand the secret “formula” behind it (rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, etc.), then recreate and apply it in a small collective improvisation.
Music Lab concept is designed for:
- Students aged 4 to 5
- Students aged 6 to 11
- Students aged 12 to 18
Which skills will you develop?
A complete music development for each student;
What we aim for is to make our students musical instead of simply teaching them to play an instrument by:
Waking up and developing their Body and Sense of Rhythm:
Students are involved with their whole body while playing/listening to music rather than using only voice or fingers/ears. They will experience the theoretical notions of music through active, physical ways and memorize these notions through sensations their body experiences. We constantly encourage students to pay attention to their body and understand what it tries to express (emotions, intensity, dynamics, etc).
Increasing their Hearing abilities:
Students will understand what they hear and hear what they understand by listening, responding to, singing and playing, remembering, and identifying any combination of sounds. Then they can recognize sounds and their relations, dynamics, and nuances of music.
Encouraging their Expression and creativity through Improvisation:
Students are encouraged to find their own musical identity, motivated to trust their imagination, creative ability, and express their ideas, feelings, and thoughts spontaneously through the instrument that they are learning; Including their voice. Therefore, Students are accompanied by the teacher in their creation, building trust, increasing self-confidence, and stimulate their sense of communication.
Inviting them to Play music together:
Knowing that playing music among others multiplies the joy is why, in ATH, we always encourage our students to create music together. It not only takes the pressure off of them, but they also begin to understand the responsibility each person has in the group by sharing and learning from each other.
Preparing them for public performance skills:
We constantly share useful tips and tricks professional music performers do while performing on stage or producing their music with our students. Besides this, through games and exercises of drama, improvisation theatre, and dance, students will learn how to prepare themselves before a show and own the stage when the time comes.
Why is it important to learn music?
Studies have confirmed that beyond simply making us feel good, exposure to music, even in a passive way, can stimulate our brain, energize our body and relax our mind. Then, of course, actively listening to music, playing, and developing skills on a musical instrument will have surprisingly positive effects on us.
- Music learning strengthens memory, enhances spatial reasoning and language skills, helps our concentration, and keeps the brain healthy in old age.
- Playing music with an instrument stimulates gross and fine motor skills, and singing gets our body used to good posture and breathing techniques.
- While engaging and dedicating time to learn an instrument, we develop commitment and patience, and making music out of it is one of the greatest ways to express ourselves.
- At any age, joining a musical band or choir builds skills in teamwork, helps with non-verbal listening, boosts self-confidence, develops a sense of empathy with others. At the same time, it opens a window on different cultures and certainly brings a smile to our faces.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato
Express yourself through the body on stage
Dance classes are an active, energizing form of exercise and expression for both children and adults alike. Learning, developing, and establishing technique and performance skills are the fundamental points in supporting students to become confident, energized individuals and confident performers.
From four-years-olds to adults, in private or in a group, ATH offers courses in Hip Hop, Ballet, Broadway Jazz, and Breakdance. These are the many ways to explore your body, sharing your energy within a group.
What will you learn?
- Develop an understanding of dance terminology
- Build a basic foundation of technique, encouraging control and accuracy
- Promote awareness of rhythm and counting
- Learn correct posture, develop knowledge of dance as a form of physical exercise
- Develop spatial awareness and use of space
- Gain awareness of audience and sense of performance
The dance classes are designed for:
- Students from 4 to 5 years old: group lesson in movements through games and activities.
- Students from 6 years old to adults:
- Private lessons: For those who want to upgrade their dance skills for performance and battleground (open for all dance styles)
- Group lessons: All dance styles
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” - Mikhail Baryshnikov
Which skills will you develop?
- A complete dance terminology to develop dance skills for each student;
- The main goal of teaching students is not only to dance, but to feel themselves and develop their dance style. Instead of simply teaching, we focus on:
- Waking up and developing their Body and Sense of Rhythm:
- Students are involved with their whole body to improvise with the music. We constantly encourage students to pay attention to their body and understand what it tries to express (emotions, intensity, dynamics, etc).
- Improving Physical and Mental health:
- Increasing their physical health by: workouts, stretching, etc
- Students will improve their ability of coordination, space awareness, memory through dance step variations, and dance combinations
- Encouraging their expression and creativity through Improvisation:
- Students are encouraged to find their musical sensibility, motivated to trust their imagination, creative ability, and express their ideas, feelings, and thoughts spontaneously through the body. Therefore, students are accompanied by the teacher in their creation, building trust, increasing self-confidence, and stimulating their sense of communication.
- Performing and Battling:
- Students are encouraged to do their own freestyle dancing with their friends, especially, create a dance battle in class; to improve their confidence and to believe in themselves.
- Preparing their performance skills:
- We constantly share useful tips and tricks professional dancers do while performing on stage or battling with our students. Besides this, through games and exercises of drama, improvisation theatre, and music, students will learn how to prepare themselves before a show and on the stage when the time comes.
Why is it important to learn dance?
- At any age, engaging in physical activities that involve dance can be an important physical, mental, and emotional boost in your life.
- All styles of dance make for great cardio workouts since your heart rate gets challenged from executing the different moves. As dance works your body from all planes, including lateral and rotational, which turns on and conditions all muscles, dance is considered one of the greatest forms of physical fitness.
- Through rhythm, counting, pattern, and moves, your brain is challenged when you dance, especially the areas of the brain that control memory and skills, such as planning and organizing; Therefore, these will all improve.
- Research also found that dance may help your body crank out feel-good endorphins (more than other forms of exercise) and reduces levels of stress hormone cortisol.
"I'm not interested in how people move, but what makes them move." - Pina Bausch