An Illustrated Guide to the Movement of the Commedia dell’Arte
by Cheryl Parmenter
Commedia dell’Arte is highly technical form that provides an excellent foundation for any performance work. Commedia trains the actor to achieve total control of their body and voice; it pushes performers to be expressive and exaggerated; it demands energy, focus and spontaneity. Each character has precise, articulated movement that creates a complete head-to-toe mask for the performer and provides a repertoire that a performer can draw on when improvising.
Through teaching Commedia dell’Arte over the past 10 years, I have found that participants struggle the most with recalling the moves and mannerisms for each character and so I set about developing a movement guide to help overcome this problem. The moves need to be learnt so that they become second nature so that the mind can be freed to improvise and develop the narrative.
‘An Illustrated Guide to the Movement of the Commedia dell’Arte’ is a resource for teachers, directors and performers that provides a form of sketched notation for the movement repertoires and character interplay. Commedia dell’Arte is a highly physical performance style and through adopting the body shape and movement patterns of the characters, much information about the personality can be discerned. It is not enough to wear a mask on your face: a complete physical transformation needs to take place before the character comes to life for an audience and this guide will show you how this can be achieved.
An educational licence can be purchased that will allow you to duplicate any or all parts of the book for teaching purposes.
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