Teachers

Maria Eugenia Blanco

THEATER

María’s journey to theatre led her through fields of multimedia design, photography, social work and medical school; and it began to manifest at the age of 22 when she worked as hospital clown in Buenos Aires. This early spark led her deeper into clown technique and thus deeper into theatre itself.

She continued her path learning clown, through different teachers such as Julia Muzio, Jorge Costa and Gabriel Paez. Later on, she studied physical clown some years with Lucia Snitcofsky, who inspired and encourage her to teach.

Subsequently, she entered the EMAD: Metropolitan School of Dramatic Arts (Buenos Aires) specialising herself in “Acting for Open Spaces”. Here she was training outdoors for two years in the beautiful Parque Avellaneda (Buenos Aires), came rain, came shine.

In that time, she met the very well-known mask maker, Alfredo Iriarte. Inspired by him she began her research into the different masks in general but also into techniques of mask making and the pedagogies by Marcelo Savignone and Lecoq.

Realizing that the so called Balinese masks were named after the Island Bali, where people actually created these masks, María caught fire and knew she had to go. For nearly two years she lived in Bali, carving masks in wood and eventually forming part of a collaboration with her teacher, mentor and friend, I Made Sudirga. This project is called „My Bali Mask“. Entering into the Balinese beliefs and conceptions of the world, it was in this time that María underwent a process of healing and reshaping herself as person and artist.

When she returned to Argentina, she created workshops, which brought together Balinese masks and conceptions with occidental theatre: Allowing the creation of her own and personal research of theatre with masks.

Her journey continued and led her to the school formerly known as LISPA (London International School of Performing Arts, now arthaus.berlin) in Berlin. In summer 2019 she completed their two year training in performing arts, devising theatre, and embodied dramaturgy.

Inspired by her teacher’s pedagogy, María is now going through a pedagogical journey at arthaus.berlin with Thomas Prattki and continues living in Berlin.

Learn more: www.mariaeugeniablanco.com

I Made Sudirga

MASK CARVER

Traditional mask maker I Made Sudirga, better known as simply Dirga, comes from a long line of artists. His father, Wayan Regeg was a well-known wood carver and dancer.  Dirga, along with his 10 siblings, is the last generation of Artists in his family.
Since he was a little boy, he started learning Balinese traditional dance until he became a Dancer. In addition, he was carving wood and making unique wood handcraft.
The dance practice, in which he was performing with Masks, took him to make a decision that would change his entire life: He decided he wanted to learn how to carve Balinese Masks.
Some years after, he specialised as Mask carver learning from the Master Wayan Regug (very well known, actually he is 93 years old).
Until the present moment, Dirga keeps carving to go deeper into the technique and to find the right Balinese characters.
In his entire trajectory, Dirga has taught hundreds of international students. Highly recommended, Dirga´s house is always full of visiting souls and learners.
Dirga´s path is not only Mask making, he is devoted to his community, offering always help, reading Sanskrit in ceremonies for whoever is requesting it. But above all, he follows a devoted path of spiritually.

I Made Suteja

DANCER

I Made Sujeta, better know as Made Cat, is a traditional Balinese Dancer.
Suteja’s father who maintains the family lineage of dance expertise taught and coached Suteja from childhood in specialty of Batuan-style technique with particular focus on Gambuh (an ancient form of Balinese dance-drama) and Topeng (Indonesian for “mask”).
Not simply conforming with what was given, Made Cat also looked outside for more knowledge regarding Dance performance. He learned from I Made Cedur, who taught Suteja how to perfect the feeling and performance of an important King character called Prabhu.
He also studied with I Made Regug, who is a traditional mask maker who knows many historical stories to be told within Topeng (masks) performances. Suteja studied these special stories and songs in 2013 while preparing for the Bali wide solo Topeng competition where he placed first.
As a result of his hard work, Made Cat has also performed internationally in different places of USA, Singapore, Algeria, Denmark, Poland,Italy. He also toured with the Odin Teatret from 2004 until 2009.
Alongside all of this, Made Cat has been teaching since 1998 for both local and international students. Along with his family, he built his own Studio called “Kaki Bebek Hause” where he is able to receive students and treat them like family. In addition, he also teaches regularly in different places in Bali.

© Maria Eugenia Blanco - Behind the mask - 2020