Publication Date: June 24, 2019
Binding: Kobo eBook
The origins of theatre date back to 500 b. C. with religious rituals of ancient Greece. Mime drama dates back to Theocritus, to performances of folk life, to gatherings in honour of the God Dionysus, during which the use of a mask was introduced. The Romans used to mime political situations inventing satirical pantomimes. A silent genre developed in the town of Atella, the Atellan Farce, with fixed characters, ancestors of the stereotypes of the Commedia dell’Arte or theatre of the Zanni. The father of the family of the Zanni was the servant Arlequin. In the Commedia dell’Arte of the Sixteenth Century, the face was covered by a mask that would define the nature of the character. Created by Deburau in 1665, the melancholic Pierrot will step on stage and as his ancestors, he will be forever in love and rejected. With Molière, the use of the mask will start to change until it will disappear leaving space to the expressiveness of the face and nature of the character. With Carlo Goldoni the “Commedia di carattere” will flourish. In the Twentieth Century it’s Charlie Chaplin’s turn to write an important chapter of the art of mime with the romantic hero Charlot who wanders up and down the streets in the city of London in the Twenties, desperate and alone. In his gestural grammar, Etienne Decroux covers the face of the actors with a veil to leave only the body mass to speak. On the contrary, according to his pupil, Marcel Marceau, the face and the hands represent the backbone to gestural eloquence as in Oriental techniques with the aristocratic Noh and the commoner Kabuki. Starting from Graeco-Roman Statuary, retracing the phases of gestural art, remembering the myths of gesture and, working side by side with Decroux, Marceau will decide to generate the last heir of this imaginary dynasty, the merchant of illusions, Bip, leaving him free to live and dream in the temporal space of a performance. Transforming the invisible into visible, bringing into the theatres all ...