Etienne Decroux (Routledge Performance Practitioners) by Thomas Leabhart

By Thomas Leabhart

Routledge functionality Practitioners is a chain of introductory courses to the main theatre-makers of the final century. every one quantity explains the historical past to and the paintings of 1 of the key impacts on 20th- and twenty-first-century functionality. those compact, well-illustrated and obviously written books will get to the bottom of the contribution of recent theatre's such a lot charismatic innovators. Etienne Decroux is the 1st ebook to mix: an outline of Decroux's existence and paintings an research of Decroux's "Words on Mime", the 1st ebook to be written approximately this paintings a chain of functional routines delivering an creation to corporeal mime process. As a primary step in the direction of severe figuring out, and as an preliminary exploration ahead of occurring to extra, fundamental learn, Routledge functionality Practitioners are unbeatable price for modern-day pupil.

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Sample text

During his career, Decroux acted in twenty films, perhaps the best known being Children of Paradise (1943), directed by Marcel Carné. CHILDREN OF PARADISE In 1943, Jacques Prévert, at Barrault’s suggestion, wrote the scenario for a three-hour film based on the life of the nineteenth-century pantomime performer, Jean-Gaspard Deburau. Deburau performed silently because of government regulations limiting the number and genre of Paris theatres in the 1840s; German occupation forces similarly censored French theatre, making Deburau’s story appropriate in 1943–44.

Dance is not a portrait of struggle. Old-fashioned pantomime is not an art of the body. Corporeal mime is more than a diversion. If it survives, the world will survive. They moved, and the musicians played and sang, not to impress spectators but to save themselves and others from death. Their expert dancing and playing, Grotowski insisted, evoked a cure. The music’s strongly vibratory qualities (tambourine and violin) supported the women’s shaking and trembling. Speaking of the tarantella, seemingly unrelated to Decroux’s corporeal mime, Grotowski conjectured that Decroux could go beyond himself, could move for God, because of his competence and aspiration toward something surpassing spectacle.

Barba goes on to compare Decroux’s teachings to those of Asian techniques. [I]n the same way that a Kabuki actor can ignore the best “secrets” of Noh, it is symptomatic that Etienne Decroux, perhaps the only European master to have elaborated a system of rules comparable to that of an Oriental tradition, seeks to transmit to his students the same rigorous closedness to theatre forms different from his own. (Barba and Savarese 1991: 8) Correspondingly,American director and teacher Anne Bogart writes: To allow for emotional freedom, you pay attention to form.

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