Carnival and the popular feast (Part 3 – The structure of the celebration)

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The carnival started by electing a king of the carnival, who would rule the town or village through the festivities. It was often the village idiot or someone with low status in the town, usually with a grotesque or diabolic appearance. His task as king was to lead the disorder, mock the authority, order the games and playing and make sure everyone had food and drink after what they have deserved. Often the carnival started by the king – after a day of processions – parading through the streets with his entourage, legislate burlesque rules, changing public servants and office holders to his own followers and generally feasting and riots were called for.

Of all the activities that belonged to the carnival, the begging and stealing of food may have been what is mostly have followed it in to Commedia dell’Arte and other forms of Vulgar Comedy. The entourage of the carnival king went around town begging and stealing food and drinks, followed by ritual fights between thieves and their victims. The turmoil that followed increased the wild energy that was part of the carnival.
In Lombardy for instance the King of Carnival came riding in to town, right after being elected, to drive out the local potentates and gave orders about feast, dance, food and drinks.

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Other names for the King of Carnival was for example “Re dei Matti” in Lombardy, “Nunnu” in Sicily, “Charnage” or Pére Chalende” in France and “Lord of Misrule” or “Jack o’ Lent” in England.
In some places there was also a queen or a female antagonist, which usually were just called “Lent”.

Except from that the King of Carnival himself usually was a monstrous or diabolic figure, his suite was, especially in early times, devils, ghosts or other creatures from the underworld. (See the DIAVOLAS) Their function was, since they did not usually take part in more dramatized ceremonies, to create chaos and turmoil by mixing up thins, making noises and rumble around. The suite were never part of the main action. They prepared and assisted it. They also always appeared in groups.
Among the characters in the entourage of the Carnival king we find masks, or the “prototype” to them, like: Arlecchino, Brighella or Pulcinella, il Magnifico and so on. Paolo Toschi have traced all the masks of Commedia dell’Arte from the masks of the carnival. Many of the carnival masks can also be traced to the ancient world.
They always wore masks, and by the oldest masks that have been found we can definitely find demonic traits. Already here we find how the characters are being called “masks” (Italian: maschere) a word that comes from the Medieval Latin word masca, meaning evil spirit. Dante also used the word larvae, meaning the dead.
The mask also had another more metaphysical function. (See MASK) It made the person who wore it into another role, and therefore he could not be held responsible for his actions. For instance in Venice there was a law that forbid persons to carry weapons when wearing a mask, except for the bauta mask that was only worn in order to hide the bearer’s identity.

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By the time the carnival started to reach its end, and lent was coming closer, the carnival ended with a symbolic trial against the King of Carnival. He was accused his sinful living, excesses and to have weakened and distorted society. Alternatively it ended with a fray between the King of Carnival and Lent. In Italy these frays were called “contrasti” and in France “débats”. In some places they had a strong literary emphasis and by time they become recognized literary genres. I both these cases the Carnival King lost and were sentenced to death.
But before he was killed he read out his will. It was first of all a list of accuses and lists of sinners and sins committed within the local community, described in a humorous and satirical way and explaining what is weak and sick in society.
The last part – the death of Carnival – was divided into two parts: the execution of the King of Carnival and his funeral.
In Valfurva in Lombardy for example, the citizens hung up a doll representing the Carnival King, to later burn it while shouting “Out with the madman! Death to the Carnival!” Other societies slaughtered an animal instead as scapegoat. In Italy it was mostly a goat, in France a bear, in Asti a turkey and so on. Also the ways to kill Carnival was plenty. He could be burnt, shot, stoned. Sometimes a doll full of candy were made, much like the Mexican piñata. Finally the carnival was buried after a long procession.
When “Lent” was part of the celebration, as antagonist to the King of Carnival, the carnival had even one more event, it was her preparation before the fasting.

Go to:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 4
Part 5

See also:
The roots of Commedia dell’Arte
Micke’s Commedia dell’Arte course
Laughter, humor and comedy

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 2)

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The carnival can be derived from ancient Rome and the Saturnalia. It was celebrated in Rome between 17 and 23 of December, up until the 5th century, to the glory of Saturn, the God. The coming golden age ruled by Saturn where no class differences existed were celebrated.
It was celebrated by giving gifts, total freedom of expression speech and slaves and their masters changed roles. But what is even more related to the carnival is the structure. It is very similar the STRUCTURE OF THE CARNIVAL: there was an elected king of the festivities, a Rex Saturnalis or Saturnalicius princeps, who ruled for as long as the feast lasted and by the end of the festivities he was executed, literally or symbolic.

Similar festivities where everything is turned up-side-down are still celebrated all over the world (and here I also count the European carnival) with different religious or traditional content.
Naturally the carnival was celebrated differently all over Europe. We are talking about a phenomenon that stretched its heyday during the whole medieval times and the renaissance and also was locally formed. But there was a lot of common features. It wanted to destroy everything that was associated with completed and static, that who represented the power, so that it could die and make way for new opportunities. Laughter and the merry feast was the weapons against whatever was restraining life. It was more or less the same structure when celebrating the carnival. Still when we look at the structure of the carnival celebrating we must see it as a generalization.

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The word carnival comes – probably – from the Latin fraise carnem levare, “take away meat” or “remove the meat”. The carnival was celebrated from the feast of Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday when lent started. It was the feast that should let people eat and party before lent started and severity sat in.

Go to:
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

See also:
Micke’s Commedia dell’Arte lecture
Theories of laughter and comedy
Frenzy in Commedia dell’Arte

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 1)

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As we have seen in Charlatano and the square in Commedia dell’Arte the market square and the life in the streets were a form of refuge from the hard everyday life and the oppression of the state and the church. It had a familiar and popular air and a lingo were swearwords, cursing and castigating everything (even the church) were allowed as long as it was executed in a happy and festive atmosphere. The carnival was celebrating life itself through the re-creating and the resurrection of spring. Everything old and dead, all order and power (that represents the static and permanent – therefore the dead) and all seriousness (the always talk the language of the power) were heckled and thrown away. Consequently the carnival was the merriest and the wildest of festivals.TS58

The carnival was also always playing on the limits of the law, even though the people had special rights during the carnival from an otherwise hard and totalitarian society. That was about freedom of speech, the right to eat meat, freedom from work, the right to wear a mask and so on.
An eyewitness from the theological faculty in Paris, as early as 12 mars 1444, complains to the bishops and the capital chapter in France about how the burgess and the lower clergy are amusing themselves in the church during the feast of fools. (Translated into English by E.K. Chambers.):

Priest and clerks may be seen wearing masks and monstrous visages at the hours of the office. They dance at the choir dressed as women, pandars and minstrels. They sing wanton songs. They eat black puddings at the horn of the altar while the celebrant is saying Mass. They play dice there. They run and leap through the church, without a blush at their own shame. Finally they drive about town and its theatres in shabby traps and carts; and rouse the laughter of their fellows and the bystanders in infamous performance, with indecent gestures and verses scurrilous and unchaste.”

Another part of the popular feast was what Bachtin calls the language of the marketplace. Curses were an important part. They were mostly aimed at specific living persons. It could be the official persons of the town, old men with young wives or those married without children. The carnival celebrated first of all life in itself and those who are all in some way representing that that wants to suppress or deny life. But the curses where also ambivalent and familiar in the same way as we can call a friend “you old bastard” in a friendly way, or even to in order to confirm friendship.
Janus – the double faced god – was also the god of the carnival as a symbol for the ambiguous, the multifaceted, the undefined…MArket 02

When I write about the Carnival and the popular feast, as a part of Vulgar Comedy and its influence over Commedia dell’Arte, I also include church festivities such as: Christmas, Easter,  the Feast of the Ass, the Feast of Fools and so on. Also pagan rituals like the May feasts and other fertility rituals, the Midsummer Feast, the Harvest, New Year’s celebrations etc. and personal feast days like birthdays, weddings, even state celebrations like: victory processions, crownings, official weddings and so on may be included.
All of these festivities and celebrations are somewhat related, as will can see HERE. They are celebrated much in the same way, with primitive performance, dramatized ceremonies and/or rituals. They are all parts of the roots to Commedia dell’Arte with their characters, structures, and special freedoms.

Go to:
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

See also:
The market
Origins and definitions of Vulgar Comedy
Micke’s videos

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The life among Commedia dell’Arte companies

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Commedia dell’Arte was a very pragmatic art form. The purpose for the actors to act was simply to amuse their audiences, make money, and reach a better social status. But that didn’t make it dull or futile.  It was just that the romantic ideas of art as something more elevated, where the actor should be driven by “higher” visions and ideals was not yet invented. It came first by the end of the nineteenth century.

If we look at the first contract among professional actors that we have (from 1545 by the company “Maphios” in Padua, Italy) we can see an almost socialistic collective under the direction of a capocomico, whose responsibility it was to lead and prepare the rehearsals. They shared all the money they earned equal and they even had put aside some money as insurance if anyone of them got ill. If they were to spend any of the money it had to be a consensus agreement.
In the contract there is also an item preventing actors to leave the troupe while the contract was valid.
This contract also indicates that this was not the first contract for a group of actors. It shows that it was already a functioning tradition to live under the mentorship of a wealthy protector and preventing actors to leave for other companies shows us that there were already other companies established.

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Some actors where freelance as early as the mid-fifteen hundreds, while others jumped from company to company. They could also work alone, join smaller constellations or create temporary companies.

The competition among companies was tough and it was not always fair.
The name “dell’Arte” also means “by guild” (See HERE). And as in many cases nowadays (at least in Sweden) the guild’s or actors union’s aim is as well as to help the actors within their trade to minimize competition from companies outside their own guild. They worked to get a monopoly on the best squares or towns where they were, and they did not hesitate to throw out competing companies.
The rich and more famous companies were not so considered about the rules. They had connections higher up in society and were able to use them. Here is a quote from a letter to Don Pedro Enriques, duke of Milano from the actress Isabella Andreini:
…”if they now have planned to raise a stage in the public square to play a comedy, or rather disfigure it, I ask you therefore to write to Signore Podestà and ask him not to approve to it.”

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Even if the actors of Commedia dell’Arte were professional most of them could not live solidly on their acting. They had to – much like actors to day – be a Jack of many trades, like organizing public feasts, Musicians, private teachers or help the duke with public relations. Even a famous actor like Flaminio Scala worked for a while as perfume dealer.

Other related posts about Commedia dell’Arte is:
The content in Commedia dell’Arte
The roots to all popular western comedy
Acting styles in Commedia dell’Arte

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Dottore’s prolog

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Here comes another prolog. It is a later text from Lo spirit delle maschere (The spirits of the masks) by Giueseppe Petrai written 1901. But it is a good example of a Dottore’s prolog.

Do you laugh because I happened to stumble?
When I stumbled I could have hit my head. If I hit my head you would have called for a physician and he would have given me medicine and medicine is made out of drugs. Drugs are from the orient and from the orient are the philosophy of Aristoteles, who was the teacher to Alexander the Great and he was the sovereign of the world. The world that is supported by Atlas, Atlas who has tremendous strength and strength is what is used to erect the pillars that carry palaces. Palaces are being built by masons and they are following architect’s orders. Architects can draw; drawing is one of the liberal arts. The liberal arts are seven, seven are the Sages of Greece that are guarded by Minerva and she is a virgin. Justice is a virgin who is armed with a sword. The soldiers wear swords. Soldiers go out in wars. In wars one kills with bullets. There are bullets in the arms of Florence. Florence is the capitol of Tuscany where they talk beautifully. Cicero was the greatest of talkers; Cicero was a senator in Rome. Rome had twelve senators, twelve are the months of the year, and the year is divided in four seasons. Four are the elements; air, water, fire and earth. The earth is plowed by oxen, oxen have hides, hides are being tanned, and when it is tanned it becomes leather.  From leather one makes shoes. Shoes are worn on feet. Feet are for walking. When I walked in stumbled and stumbling I came in here. And here I am and I say: Good day!

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See also:
Parody in Commedia dell’Arte
Prolog or opening
Micke Commedia dell’Arte workshop

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Charlatano and the square in Commedia dell’Arte (Part 2)

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Off course there has been jesters and actors around all the time despite prohibitions and censorship. It is just that we have no written witness descriptions since it mostly played in the country side for ordinary people who could not write. But there is laws against them that proves that they have been around.

But we shall not mix up jesters and Commedia dell’Arte actors, even if they are closely related. The jesters had their own professional qualifications. They did not act out plays or performances, their skills were more of circus skills. They were acrobats, jugglers, animal trainers, fire eaters and such. There was a few known professional actors though, like Zan Ganassa who spent a more then 10 years in Spain where he re-created and inspired the Spanish comedy and Zan Polo half a century before him in Italy and France. They were probably some form of mix between jesters and actors, especially Zan Polo.

CdAScen01When the vendors and street peddlers started entertain the public and turned in to become Charlatani they naturally got more costumers. They often used jesters and acrobats as helpmates or as a form of advertising.
There were also girls helping out by the booths. Often they were prostitutes – attrice. Their function was, besides from just being a beautiful ornaments (just like modern day car expos), as singers and musicians, sometimes dancers. The girls could also benefit from the fact that the potentates did not differ very much between jester, actors or Charlatani, which may very well be one of the reasons women get the chance to act in Commedia dell’Arte plays as they later got into the mask of the Servetta. The Servetta also had the function in early Commedia dell’Arte performances to act the role of call-boy or rather girl. (Hey, it was the only translation I could find.)

With time the jester’s tricks and the Charlatani’s tirades words and larks developed to more of sketches. From there it grows into plots and into more of ready plots that are being written down to scenarios. Some characters developed from life around them, from carnival masks, fairytales and stories, and so on. They were reshaped to work on stage, just as in all Vulgar Comedy, masks have always grown out of age-old traditions and developed to fulfill new demands .

A good description of what life on the streets and market squares looked like in 1585, by Tommaso Garzonis:

…Towards the evening the crowd of quacks and blind musicians and acrobats thicken. Here is Zan della Vigna with his performing monkey; Catullo and his guitar; in another corner the Mantuan marry-andrew, dressed up like a zany, Zottino singing an ode to the pox, and the pretty Sicilian rope dancer. Tamburino spins egg on a stick; the Neapolitan capers about with brimming bowls of water on his pate; and Mastero Paolo de Arezzo makes his solemn entry with a waving banner, on which you see St Paul, holding a huge falchion in one hand, while the rest of the field is painted over with twining hissing serpents. The mountebank clears his throat and relates his fabulous pedigree. St Paul was his great ancestor.”

During the medieval times and the renaissance the markets where much more than what mean when we talk about markets. It was not just a place where one could buy and sell things. The markets were folk festivals, among the many other feast days. For example there was a book market in Lyon that lasted four time a year, this means 8 weeks a year of feast.
The markets also had a social function, were people got to meet. We can very well talk about a carnival atmosphere during the markets when people from towns and villages all around came to meet. This is what Bachtin calls “popular-festive forms” (my translation) in his book “Rabelais and his world”:

…all of these popular-festive forms from the squares lived around the church festivals. A more or less carnivalesque atmosphere were also maintained at the markets (that used to be held at the installations of a church or at a first mass). Finally also private celebrations (such as weddings, baptizings, or funerals) kept some of their carnivalesque inclinations so did the festivities of the countryside such as the wine harvest, the slaughter fest etc. What is common for the carnivalesque in the festiveties is the connections with the cheerful time. Wherever the free and popular aspect of the feast is maintained, the connection with time and the carnivalesque elements are also maintained.Kivik

All this stages of development existed simultaneous on the streets and squares even when Commedia dell’Arte was playing. There are lots of pictures saved from the markets were we can see jugglers, Charlatani, peddlers and Commedia dell’Arte groups working side by side on the places.

Go back to PART 1

See also:
The marketplace
The language of the marketplace
Commedia dell’Arte

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Charlatano and the square in Commedia dell’Arte (Part 1)

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In the marketplace, that had its own popular, unofficial laws impregnated by an atmosphere of freedom from severity; where yelling peddlers, the Cris de Paris and merry citizens “entertained the public in loud swearing duels, rhythmic chants, organized festive performances and so on; an embry to Commedia dell’Arte started to grow. Under the influence of jesters and jugglers, the miracle plays (specially the diavolas) and the street life itself these appearances started to take form as small performances. Maybe the competition was too hard among some of the the street vendors and entertainment was an alternative, maybe the public demanded more and more entertainment or maybe some of the peddlers thought it simply was more fun to act then to sell.

A new workmanship started to grow among the peddlers. They become entertainers and comedians – or Charlatani as they were called at the time. (From the Italian verb ciarlatano meaning chatterbox, possibly from the word cerratano meaning from the citizens of Cerrano.) The word charlatan today, meaning mountebank, comes from the Charlatano as a character. It is from him Il Dottore has derived.
The Charlatano might slowly have taken the part as mountebank as they moved towards more real performances. The mountebank has also become, or rather has always been, a standard character in many traditions such as the “the Medicine show”, the coyote stories, picaresque rascals, Casanova, Groucho Marx, Bill Starbuck from “The rainmaker” and so on.
Reading old Italian letters and dairies we find that there were not a great difference between jugglers and street peddlers. They both went under the name of Charlatano.  Even the Commedia dell’Arte troupes that played in the streets and markets went under the name of Charlatano when referred to by the church.TS36

They played at the market squares for free. Their income came from the gods they sold. They would often start a scene or a song to attract people to their stage. When enough people were gathered they started to sell what they had. And not until they have sold out their gods started the show. I have also seen this kind of setup for street performances today in Pakistan and Tanzania.
But to quote a description from 1652:

Each day at a convenient hour a Zanni or some similar entertainer steps onto the stage and begins to perform or sing in order to attract a crowd around him. A little later another player appears, and then another, and often a woman among them. Then all in the group, and with various kinds of trickery, they present a mixed bag of popular entertainment. Suddenly the key figure appears – he who is the arch charlatan, the guardian of the elixir – and in subtle ways he sets about extolling his wonderful cure-all in the most extravagant terms. After selling a great deal of it, and having gathered up all the money, he brings his principle business to an end. He is followed by another charlatan who, if the first not managed to dispose all of his wares, peddles them once again. Then after him comes a woman who similarly tries to sell her lozenges or merchandise. When they are done they inform the public thus.
A play is about to begin – a play! Closing their boxes, removing their trunks, transforming the platform to a stage, each charlatan becomes a player and just like actors, they act out a dramatic tale, entertaining the spectators with laughter, lazzi and diversion for nearly two hours.

One usual item they sold were snake poison as a cure against anything from impotency to loss of hair. Something that is still sold in India for instance.

Continue to Part 2

See also:
The marketplace
The language of the marketplace
Vulgar Comedy

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The language of the marketplace

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A street vendor starts to call out his products in the square. The peddler in the booth beside him starts to yell out his products even louder in order to be heard and get anything sold. It works well. A third peddler joins the choir of shouting sellers.
This was, in the renaissance and the medieval ages, what Bachtin calls the language of the marketplace. It was a highly refined language where every guild had its own melody and rhythm to promote their products.
In Paris this noisy, swashbuckling language had its own name: “Cris de Paris”, the screams from Paris. It also gave birth to a play: “Farce de cris de Paris” and a seventeen century painting called Cris de Paris” by Abraham Boss showing street vendors.

In this loud, even if primitive, media noise, which literally bombards every thinkable costumer with oral advertising in different rhythms and melodies, one peddler understands that he has to do something extra to attract customers to his booth. This is when he starts to entertain his costumers, who now slowly becomes his audience. Others follows. Someone starts telling funny stories, someone else starts to sing songs, and another one hires jesters, while someone starts juggling their sausages.

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The squares and markets at the time there had an unofficial character and a freedom that gave the common man the right to express themselves more free that in the official world (in church, with superiors, at the power). The square had its own lingo, filled with profanity and curses, comical insults and praises. The language of the square was also always doubtful, “they praise when they curse and they curse when they praise”, and one of them are always ready to transcend into the other.
As an example of the language of the marketplace we can see Panurge by Rabelais when he curses all the humdrums that criticizes the wine of the joyous truth and urinates in the barrel:

”Therefore back with you, you hypocrites! Out and watch the sheep, you herding dogs! Get out from here with all devils! Hey! Are you still here? I abstain my part of Papimania if I catch you. Zowie! Forward, chaps, forward! Are they leaving? May they never be able to shit without the help of a real whipping, always pee just after a profound beating, never feel an erotic reaction then after a bastinado.”Callot07

The everyday and the artistic genres of the marketplace was often so tight knitted together that it was hard to see what was spontaneous scenes and what was organized performances.

See also:
Acting style in Commedia dell’Arte
Vulgar Comedy
Commedia dell’Arte-lecture

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Grammelot

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The onomatopoetic, language mimicking, voice illustrating, sound that Dario Fo calls Grammelot was born in France when the Commedia dell’Arte actors where antagonized by the church in Italy during the counterreformation. They turned to Europe instead, but not only to overcome the censorship. They also were also seeking new markets.

Many of the Commedia dell’Arte actors knew other languages, but everyone who has tried to improvise in another language – even if they are quite good at it – knows that it takes quite a long time to reach the level and speed and to get the associative ability to be totally free in the new language.
Here is a text from Ottonelli from 1655 about when Zan Ganassa came to Spain about 100 years earlier:

…in the year 1644 I Florence I heard from a Florentine, a highly intelligent man and very knowledgeable on Spain, that about the year 1610, finding himself in Seville, he heard from certain of his friends, elderly men and eye-witnesses, that the Italian actor Ganazza, who was very diverting in his witticisms, went went there with a company of Italian players andn began to act I our [improvised]style. Although he and all his other colleagues were not fully and perfectly understood, nonetheless by virtue of the little that was understood he succeeded in making audiences laugha great deal and earning much money in those cities, while the Spaniards learned from his example to make comedis in their own way, which they had not done previously. All this I take to be true, and belive that just as Ganazza sought toprovide utility and pleasure with his delightful witticism and by performance free of all obscenity, so the Spaniards learned from him to make refined rather than obscene plays.

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It was Jauques Copeau and his Vieux Colombier who first picked up the term Grammelot in the beginning of the twentieth century. But it is Dario Fo who made it his trademark today.

Grammelot is an onomatopoetic, make-up-language that we create with the aid of gestures, rhythm, timbre, melody and sounds as if it was a real language with real words. There is no overall way how to use Grammelot. Each actor has to use his intuition. It differs from gibberish in that it often mimics another language in sounds, melody, and rhythm and so on and that it also allows a word here and there from another language. Dario Fo says that he uses about 10 % real words.
But we can also create our own words. Then we have to make them, either onomatopoetically or logical, understandable or/and present them at an early stage in a play. The advantage of using self-made words is that they are understood internationally.

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Grammelot and gibberish has also been to great help when it comes to improvisations. It helps the body to start moving and the voice to start communicating instead of using the words. (See Size and visual narrating.)The words have a nasty way to set off the brain and demand an intellectual process, which decelerates the bodily and vocal reactions of the actor. In that way it blocks the free expression of the actor when he is trying to be smart instead of being expressive.

Back to Acting style in Commedia dell’Arte

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A Servetta’s prolog

Here is a prolog by a Servetta from Domenico Brunis, from 1621, in my translation from Swedish. This might be one of the most used prologs today. It is one of the few saved prologs that are dramatic and can be used as a theatrical exercise.

Oh yes! I will get angry. It is true that I am a servant,but that doesn’t make me a slave. Isn’t it enough that I serve your meals, cut your wood, get your water from the well, go to market, iron your shirts, starch your collars, sew you clothes…. What more do you want me to do? Read the prolog? Ha, not over my seventh husbands dead body!
Oh, my ladies and gentlemen, my misfortune made me servants to these comedians, who made me believe their lives were garnished with pleasures, spiced with flavors, glanced with indulgence. They said that I’ll soon be rich. But all their glorious promises turned out to be baloney.
But let us speak – let us speak about the happy comedian’s joyous life. Rain, ice, snow stubborn horses, broken wagons, impudent porters, presumptuous coachmen and other similar delights that incessantly are following the happy comedian.
Enough dear gentlemen! It makes me puke! Oh, God! Just listen: in the morning Signora shouts at me ‘Hey Ricciolina, give me what I need to study Fiametta, the role of the lover’. Pantalone insists that I fetch Calmo’s letters. Capitano wants the Bravure by Capitano Spavento. Zanni ask for the witty verses of Bertaldo, Fugalozio and the hour of rest. Gratiano needs Sentense dell’ Erborente and Novissima Poliantea, while Francescina wants La Celestina to be vulgar. Innamorato asks after the works of Plato, at the same time they ask for this and they ask for that and they be damned all of them! And now they want me to do the prolog!
Great! I don’t wanna to do it and I not gonna do it! Dear ladies and gentlemen I am going back in. If they scream, if they beat me, I beg you to take them away from me.
And if he who helps me ever would need a maid I would always serve him faithfully. Farewell dear gentlemen.”

See also:
Performance structure in Commedia dell’Arte
Micke’s videos
Laughter, Humor and Comedy

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