Tag Archives: clown

What is a mask?

A mask can be anything from a small clown nose to giant heads to be worn on big gantries. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between masks and puppets, make-up, costume, even props. I would define a … Read the rest of this entry

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Vulgar Comedy and the Church (Part 3 – the Corpus Christi and the forming of comedy companies)

One example of how the theatre was used by the church was in the nativity scene. The first one was shown in 1223 by Francisco of Assisi. From the first puppets where used but soon the roles were played by … Read the rest of this entry

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Vulgar Comedy and the Church (Part 2 – the Feast of the Ass and the Feast of Fools)

The church was not just a religious building during the middle ages and the renaissance. It was also a cultural center where one could very well be engaged in worldly matters, despite protests from the priests. For example the cathedral … Read the rest of this entry

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The origins of mask (Part 2 – From rites to early plays)

As we humans settled down, started to cultivate the earth and become domiciled other rites and festivities started to develop. It was harvest, fertility, initiation or transition rites among other. Those rites demanded more human masks, representing human types such … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 5 – From the May feast to comedy)

From the material that are available there are lots of examples from primitive sketches to more sophisticated plays that can stand by their own, but have been a specific part of a wedding or another official feast. Let’s see a … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 4 – From the May feast to comedy)

The carnival was the only one of the festivals that followed such a strict standard scenario all over Europe. There were also other main characters in the festivities, such as King of Fools, Re de Maggio, Verde Giorio even Robin … Read the rest of this entry

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

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 … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 2)

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 … Read the rest of this entry

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The roots to all western popular comedy

I see Commedia dell’Arte as the roots to all western popular comedy. There are naturally roots to Commedia dell’Arte as well, but if we see it as the first professional form of theatre in Europe and if we consider that … Read the rest of this entry

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Acrobatics as a discipline in Commedia dell’Arte

Acrobatics and slapstick (together with the music) may be the most used discipline in Commedia dell’Arte. They work with symmetries, physical turns or physically exaggerated reactions or positions. Acrobatics is a way to stylize and it is used, just as … Read the rest of this entry

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