Etienne Decroux / Edition 1

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Routledge Performance Practitioners is a series of introductory guides to the key theatre-makers of the last century. Each volume explains the background to and the work of one of the major influences on twentieth- and twenty-first-century performance.

These compact, well-illustrated and clearly written books will unravel the contribution of modern theatre's most charismatic innovators. Etienne Decroux is the first book to combine:

  • an overview of Decroux's life and work
  • an analysis of Decroux's "Words on Mime", the first book to be written about this art
  • a series of practical exercises offering an introduction to corporeal mime technique.

As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today's student.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415354370
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: Routledge Performance Practitioners Series
  • Edition description: New
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Leabhart, Professor of Theatre and Resident Artist at Pomona College in California, edits Mime Journal, performs and teaches internationally, and is a member of the Artistic Staff of Eugenio Barba’s ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology). Macmillan and St. Martin’s published his Modern and Post-Modern Mime in 1989.

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Table of Contents

List of plates     xi
List of figures     xiii
Acknowledgments     xv
A Promethean Life     1
Introduction     1
The life of Etienne Decroux     2
Chez Copeau: The Chapel, the laboratory, the school     6
Jean-Louis Barrault     10
1789 and The Extravagant Captain Smith     11
Children of Paradise     12
Marcel Marceau     13
Performance at La Maison de la Chimie     14
New York years     18
Last years in Boulogne-Billancourt     18
Decroux's "underground" school     19
What Decroux accomplished     22
Decroux and Asian theatre     26
Decroux and Grotowski     27
The vibrato and dynamic immobility in Decroux's work     31
Transmission: patience is a long passion     34
Transmission of what?     35
"If Corporeal Mime survives, the world will survive"     35
The great project     37
Notes     38
Summary and Analysis of Words on Mime     39
Sources     40
Theatre and mime     55
Dance and mime     60
Mime and mime     63
Note     72
Decroux as Director/Creator: How Did Decroux Make a Performance?     73
Banishing text     73
Making performances from improvisation     74
Decroux's actor     76
Funding for performances     77
The other "alien arts"     78
The movement itself: counterweights     79
The dynamic construction - "dynamo-rhythm"     81
Material actions suggest mental states     83
The Carpenter     84
The Washerwoman     96
Summary     106
Corporeal Mime Technique: Practical Exercises with Immediate Applications     113
Inclinations on a lateral plane     116
Contradictions on a lateral plane     120
Segmented movement, lateral scale, cumulatively curved     123
Pulling an extensor     124
Double, triple, and quadruple designs     132
Stages of consciousness     133
Movement research: how to create a "movement score"     134
Bibliography     139
Index     143
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