The Field Of Theatre Studies Film Studies Essay

This article reviews the major similarities and differences which can be observed between the commedia dell’arte and the 20th century radical Jerzy Grotowski in the field of the work of the histrion. It does so by measuring the deep and distinguishable inside informations of these two theater constructs, analyzing them individually and detecting the most similar or contrastive information so as to indulge in a comparative treatment.

As a consequence of such an appraisal, it was rather distinguishable that the differences between these two constructs outnumber the similarities, demoing the great diverseness between such two predominating spheres of theater.The field of theatre surveies has been known throughout the ages as one which can hold assorted facets related to it. Theatre can be based wholly on text, or it could be chiefly focused on infinite. However, another indispensable facet of theater is that of the animalism of the histrion which is the component that, in such occasions, drives the actions frontward. In the words of Eugenio Barba, as quoted in the book A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology: The Secret Art of the Performer: ‘If I have to specify to myself a “ physical action ” , I think of a soft breath of air current on an ear of maize. The maize is the attending of the witness. It is non shaken as by a blast in a storm, but that soft breath is merely plenty to upset its orthogonality ‘ ( Barba 1991: 112 ) .

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Therefore, when public presentation is triggered by these uninterrupted physical actions, a sort of relationship between the histrion and the audience is bound to organize. This article builds in fact on this type of work of the histrion which can be exhaustively observed in both the construct of commedia dell’arte every bit good as the theatrical revolution brought on by Jerzy Grotowski and discusses the relation of the work of the histrion with other cardinal facets of theater.Commedia dell’arte is the theater that chiefly characterized the 16th century.

Although unluckily few certification of the work of the histrion is left from this period, it is safe to state that this type of theater was based on improvisation. Unlike the improvisation methods that we practise today, the technique used in commedia dell’arte was non wholly improvised since it was approximately planned by the usage of the canovaccio which traced a basic narrative line. This type of improvisation permitted the histrions to be more free with usage of their organic structures, which was in fact their chief tool for word picture since ‘characterization must get down at place: in the organic structure. ‘ ( Carlo Mazzone-Clementi 1974: 61 ) .

The 20th century was a century where boundaries started being questioned and one of the most important theatrical pioneers of such a century was Jerzy Grotowski. His constructs of theater varied somewhat along the old ages nevertheless his chief thought was ne’er altered. He believed in the construct of a hapless theater which lacked the usage of makeup, scenography, overdone costumes, and visible radiation and sound effects. Grotowski is besides the adult male behind the construct of Laboratory Theatre since he focused chiefly on histrion preparation as a chief feature of the hapless theater. ‘His system needed histrions to derive absolute control over themselves physically, vocally, and psychically, so that during public presentations they might transform themselves as demanded by the production. ‘ ( Brockett and Hildy 2010: 495 ) . The construct of the sanctum histrion emerged simply from this system since he gave rise to histrions who use the preparation and the public presentation to work upon themselves as human existences where, through dedication and forfeit, the histrion can spiritually link with his human nature.While Grotowski was interested in this construct of hapless theaters, the focal point in the commedia dell’arte was rather contrary to Grotowski ‘s image of theater.

Commedia dell’arte is characterized by the exhausting usage of costumes, makeup and, of class, the celebrated masks. All these elements make the commedia dell’arte a rich type of theater. However for Grotowski ‘the “ Rich Theatre ” -rich in defects ‘ ( Grotowski et al. 1967: 62 ) . In this facet, in fact, the commedia dell’arte poses a great contrast when compared to Grotowski ‘s construct of hapless theaters.Grotowski began with the premiss that the theater has borrowed excessively to a great extent from other media, particularly movie and telecasting, and therefore has violated its ain kernel, which he sought to retrieve by extinguishing everything except its two indispensable elements: the histrion and the audience. He called his attack “ hapless theater ” since it avoided all machinery and minimized all spectacle non created by the histrion.

( Brockett and Hildy 2010: 495 )Therefore, the scene is set by the histrions themselves which through their physical work in the infinite, prosecute the audience into conceive ofing that the simple null infinite has transformed into something else. This applies besides to the music which accompanies a public presentation. Whereas in the commedia dell’arte there was the proficient usage of musical instruments, Grotowski continued giving major importance to the work of the histrion by advancing the ‘elimination of music ( unrecorded or recorded ) non produced by the histrions which enables the public presentation itself to go music through the orchestration of voices and colliding objects. ‘ ( Grotowski et al.

1967: 63 ) .Grotowski is known for holding worked against realistic theater since he focused largely on research lab theaters based on research and physical experimentation. The commedia dell’arte is besides characterized by an unnaturalistic nature due to the exagerated airss and athletic gestures. This means that the work of the histrion in both commedia dell’arte and Grotowski ‘s revolution, required physical engaging in an unrealistic mode. However, unlike Grotowski, the commedia dell’arte related to every twenty-four hours life. Therefore, one can state that the unrealistic gestures contradicted the realistic content of the public presentation.

Obviously this abstractionism of the commedia dell’arte was supported by the usage of the masks and half-masks. ‘The visual aspect of the half-mask of the professional commedia performing artist [ ..

. ] liberate the voice and returned the organic structure to prominence. Use of the half-mask allows greater physical freedom than a full mask. ‘ ( Carlo Mazzone-Clementi 1974: 63 ) .

The masks made it impossible for the work of the histrion to include facial looks and therefore the usage of the organic structure was intensified. Therefore, the half-mask helped the histrion to work more upon himself, cut downing the obstructors that limited his physical work, taking to a physical ego find, such as that seen through the instructions of Grotowski.In most theatre constructs, the infinite for public presentation has a great impact on the work of the histrion. In commedia dell’arte public presentation was staged chiefly in the streets, but it subsequently moved to tribunals and theaters. This led to the construct of a phase, which separated the histrions from the witnesss.

On the other manus, Grotowski ‘s system brought on the interrupting down of this boundary since the histrions performed straight among the audience, heightening Grotowski ‘s ideal of a stong actor-spectator relationship. Therefore, ‘the histrions functioned in close propinquity to the audience, building within the theatrical infinite ‘ ( Findlay and Filipowicz 1986: 203 ) a physical confrontation with the audience. This can be observed through certification of Grotowski ‘s public presentations such as Kordian and his chef-d’oeuvre Apocalypse semen figuris. Another spacial distinctive feature is that the histrions of the commedia dell’arte performed on impermanent, likely wooden, phase, where though the location of it would ever be different, the type of presenting remained changeless. Although Grotowski ‘s system made usage of the same spatial location, the presenting country was dismantled each clip, therefore enforcing the work of the histrion to be a wholly new experience, get downing from abrasion.Grotowski ‘s construct of keeping a hapless theater, produced an huge focal point on the importance of histrion preparation. However, Grotowski made it absolutely clear that ‘we do non desire to learn the histrion a preset set of accomplishments or give him a bag of fast ones. ‘ ( Grotowski et al.

1967: 61 ) . On the other manus, commedia dell’arte was, and still is, thought by coevalss. There is in fact a whole subdivision dedicated to Teaching Commedia Acting in Carlo Mazzone-Clementi ‘s article Commedia and the Actor. Therefore, although Grotowski ‘s system is based on the preparation of the work of the histrion, he emphasises a really of import differentiation:Exercises, he warned, function merely as the readying for echt creativeness. He cautions against a inclination to believe that physical preparation techniques have value in themselves, observing that it is alluring for histrions to utilize exercisings as a type of ‘absolution ‘ for non giving themselves to the full in the context of the function. Physical exercisings can turn out utile in assisting to fix the writer ‘s organic structure as instrument, and particularly in leting the histrion to turn to specific restrictions ( e.g.

a deficiency of staying power or strength or flexibleness ) , but are non in themselves sufficient to enable the histrion to carry through the undertaking of uncovering him/herself in public presentation. ( Hodge 2000: 194 )Apart from his construct of research lab theater, another divergence which characterized Grotowski ‘s theatrical calling was the paratheatrical stage which involved non merely histrions but people from assorted sectors. ‘Grotowski insisted that such undertakings were non to be considered as histrion preparation, as psychotherapeutics, as secular mysticism, or needfully as art per Se. He said the experiments merely presented a agency of leting originative persons the possibility of “ meeting ” and working together ( frequently non-verbally ) in an ambiance that had been carefully structured for such brushs.

‘ ( Findlay and Filipowicz 1986: 204 ) . This helped boom the work of the histrion who, detecting other persons, contributed the religious procedure of the histrion. On the other manus, the commedia dell’arte histrions were considered to be professionals who worked amongst themselves, therefore making a contrast with the persons which could non needfully be associated with theaters but that were nevertheless still involved to prosecute within the work of the histrion through the paratheatrical experiments.This article has profoundly evaluated the fluctuations of the work of the histrion in different contexts of clip, viz.

the commedia dell’arte and the 20th century construct of Jerzy Grotowski. Although it is true that in some facets, one can detect certain similarities, it is clear that these two different spheres give rise to two distinguishable positions of the work of the histrion. No 1 can foretell which one of these is the better since it is subjective and depends strictly on sentiments. However, would n’t integrate them be a feasible and highly interesting option?



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