Tag Archives: Zanni

What is a mask?

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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Carnival and the popular feast (Part 1)

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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The life among Commedia dell’Arte companies

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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Dottore’s prolog

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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The language of the marketplace

Tweet 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. … Read the rest of this entry

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Grammelot

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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A Servetta’s prolog

Tweet 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 … Read the rest of this entry

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