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David Porter » Entries tagged with "pantomime"

Physical Theatre: Commedia dell’Arte

Four Centuries-Old Mother of Many Art and Theatre Forms A visual performance art form from late 16th century Italy still resonates today, as it gave birth to separate but linked genres that speak universally to audiences. Since Greek/Roman times two traditions of theatre in Europe developed – the written and memorised, and the spontaneously improvised. Sometimes one would dominate, then the other. Occasionally they would converge. Plays are still written and performed by actors who have learned their lines. Spontaneous improvisation of the travelling troubadour lives on in circus clowning, English pantomime and Punch & Judy. Stock Characters On Stage The Commedia dell’Arte (which means art, skill or craft of comedy or the masked comedy) used stock (stereotypical) characters to tell well-honed tales. It relied on physical theatre, mime with some words, presented often … Read entire article »

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