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Christendom: the global community of those who adhere to the Christian faith, with religious practices and dogmas gleaned from the teachings of the Bible. Thanks when server brings something at restaurant, or someone hands you something you asked for. The stuffed tortillas are then covered in a chilli sauce making for a perfect Mexican breakfast. The name capocollo comes from capo "head" and collo "neck". Hispanosphere places where Spanish is a dominant language, countries where Spanish is widely spoken. Cassava, manioc, and yuca are all names for the same starchy tuber grown throughout South America, Africa, and Asia.

They are very large pasta tubes, usually ridged, that are intended to be stuffed and baked. Once ready to serve, lettuce, radish, onion, lime and chilli are sprinkled on top. The pronunciamiento is the formal explanation for deposing the regnant government, justifying the installation of the new government that was effected with the golpe de Estado. This documentary material has been supplemented to an appreciable degree by study under Georges Wague, professor of pantomime at the Conservatoire National, himself a professional mime and author of panto- mimes during the earlier part of his career.

Much additional helpful data has been secured through conversations with Mae Archambault-T horns, daughter of Francis Thome, who composed the score for the famous pantomime Bar be- Bleuette, as well as through conferences with Eugene Larcher. Pantomimic dances and processionals, usually religious in theme but also frequently embracing subjects of love, war, seed-time and harvest, constitute the primitive origin of the drama proper.

As Sheldon Cheney says of primitive man in this regard, "He spoke in dance to his gods, he prayed in dance and gave thanks in dance. In his designed movement was the germ of drama and of theater 1 Ancient Greece is commonly regarded as the birthplace of pantomime as a theatrical art so far as Europe is concerned. In actual fact, however, it cannot be maintained that pantomime existed here in any appreciable degree as an independent dramatic form such as we understand it today.

In its earliest manifestations it served rather as an accessory to the dances and processionals performed in celebration of festivals and mystical rites. C, and in all probability some centuries earlier. It was customary in Athens and Sparta for charlatans to travel about with a troupe of mounte- banks. Small improvised stages were set up on wheeled carts along the city streets and by means of acrobatic and pantomimic exhibitions crowds of curi- osity-seekers were attracted, to whom the charlatans proceeded to sell their various medicaments and ointments.

From this type of entertainment there de- veloped a form of spoken farce consisting predominantly of buffoonery, comic obscenity and caricature, of which the subject was often burlesqued forms of the mythological legends. Despite the preponderance of dialogue, the panto- mimic element remained of considerable importance. With the establishment of professional theaters, pantomimic dances and processionals served as prologues and interludes to the performance proper.

The mimes were known as "ethologues", or "painters of manners n , Polyhymnia, the muse who presided over singing and rhetoric, was also regarded as the special patroness of pantomime, the index finger of her right hand placed up- on her lips being interpreted as a token of silence, Many of the Greek odes were composed with the intention of being recited with the accompaniment of mimetic dances, Aristotle defined the art of dancing as "the representation of action, characters and passions by means of postures and rhythmic move- ments n , a definition which would serve equally well for the art of pantomime as we understand it today.

Although the element of pantomime was outstanding in both the elevated and in the popular manifestations of the drama and a certain number of indi- vidual actors have been cited by historians as excelling particularly in this art, it was as an accessory to dialogue or to the dance rather than as an in- dependent art form that pantomime existed in ancient Greece, 3 It was not until after pantomime had migrated from the Greeks to the Romans that it developed into a genuinely specialized theatrical genre. Home herself was not an originator of art forms. Among the many which she absorb- ed from Greece were drama and the dance, and with them pantomime.

In its transplantation this latter expression fell upon exceptionally fertile soil, for it proved to be peculiarly suited to the Latin temperament. As a race the Italians have always been notably apt in mimicry; gesture and facial ex- pression are with them often more spontaneous and more revealing than speech itself. In fact, even before there was any appreciable contact between Greece and Rome many of the principal mimes in Greece were importations from Sicily and southern Italy. When southern Italy was conquered by the Romans, the invaders adopted many of the religious rites of the Greeks which had already taken root there.

In these rites, as has already been observed, mimetic dancing was a prominent feature. The pantomimic element proved singularly appealing to the Romans, who soon converted it from a religious rite to a popular diversion. But if the form itself was borrowed, the Romans succeeded in investing it with a new spirit, which transformed it into an expression distinctively their own. A popular actor by the name of Livius Andronicus, himself a Greek slave freed by virtue of his acting ability, has gone down in history as the originator of pure pantomime in Rome in about B.

Being called upon to recite his verses again and again without respite one day, he finally lost his voice. But still the people clamored for him to continue. Unable to comply, he requested permission to have the verses recited by a slave while he himself interpreted the words in panto- mime. Sometimes the story was recited by one actor, accom- panied by the lute, while a second actor pantomimed the verses, following the form inaugurated by Andronicus.

At other times the story was chanted by a chorus, either as an interlude or as an accompaniment. Occasionally the pan- tomime was given wholly independently of any spoken or sung accompaniment. At its inception, a single mime interpreted all of the roles, using a variety of masks to portray the different impersonations. Although the use of masks persisted as a convention even after additional mimes were added, these were not the cumbersome, exaggeratedly large, grotesque masks of the speaking roles in comedy and tragedy.

Because of the mask, expression was necessar- ily limited to posture, attitude and gesture. With the expansion of the number of participants and the introduction of dancing, this type of perform- ance came to resemble the modern pantomime-ballet. It was a form of enter- tainment on a higher plane than the popular farce pantomimes. Its players were known as "pantomimi". The subject matter of its pieces, invariably of a amorous nature, was based upon stately, serious or tragic themes, represent- ing well-known mythological legends and myths which were easily recognized and understood by the audience.

An anonymous poet of this early Roman period paid illuminating trib- ute to the pantomimi in verses which have been translated as follows: This step denotes the careful Lover, thi3 The hardy warrior, or the drunken Swiss. His pliant limbs in various figures move And different gestures different passions prove. Strange art! Not only were the pantomimists themselves held in high esteem, but Lucian, in his treatise on dancing and pantomime, ranked the nomographers , or writers of pantomimes, with the authors of comedy and tragedy. In contrast to the dignified pantomimi were the obscene and vulgar mimi, buffoons who specialized in low burlesque and farcical pieces of a coarse, rude and indecent nature.

They consisted of a medley of dialogue, pantomime, singing, dancing and acrobatics. Masks were not used by the mimi. In their stead the players painted their faces black, white or in various colors. The mimus was a product of Rome itself, an outgrowth of a form of popular entertainment indigenous to the little town of A tell a, today San Arpino, in Campania.

At a very early date the natives of Atella developed the unwritten improvised farce, utilizing a set of stock characters and de- veloped upon an agreed subject or conventional scenario. Centuries later was to develop along this same line the Italian commedia dell 1 arte, which served as the chief vehicle for the introduction of the pantomimic genre into the French theater.

Prototypes of the stock harlequinade characters of the com- media dell 1 arte, the French farces of the 17th and 18th centuries, and the French pantomimes of the 19th century, may be traced back to these early Atellan farces. Among the oldest of them is Uaccus, from whom developed the French Polichinelle and the English Punch. In addition to their regular theatrical engagements , the mi mi were in great demand as private entertainers at banquets given by the nobility.

One peculiar office performed by them was that of appearing at funerals, imperson ating the deceased, imitating his appearance and manners. In the earliest days of their popularity in Rome, pantomimes were ofte used as interludes between the acts of the Latin comedies, representing in dumb-show the subject of the act just played. As they grew in favor, they were first transformed into independent after-pieces, following the comedy, and then became in themselves the principal attraction rather than an acces- sory.

It became customary during this epoch to give over the morning to the drama proper, the afternoon being devoted to the popular entertainments of the admi and pantoaimi. The pantomimists had their own special theaters and training schools comparable to the modem conservatory. It even became a fad for the aristocratic youth of the period to take up this train- ing. The Golden Age of Roman pantomime extended from the first century A. It developed into a craft practised by thousands 7 of professional mimes. Ancient custom in Rome prohibited women from taking part in the legitimate dramatic productions but in the comic pantomimes of the mini the female roles were played by women.


  1. Hardy, Kristin.
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  3. Full text of "Dictionary of French and English, English and French".

It has been estimated that during the reign of Augustus there were in the neighborhood of six thousand mimes in Home alone. Although the professional pantomimists were slaves or freedmen, they were held in great esteem and honor as a class and were often the recipi- ents of marked political favors. In spite of its popular origin, pantomime was taken up and followed with fanatical interest not only by the nobility but by the Emperors them- selves. The Emperors were not the first rulers, however, to take an enthusi- astic delight in this divertissement.

Before their time Julius Caesar had travelled with his own troupe of mimes, who no doubt accompanied him as far as England. Among the Smperors reported to have taken part in pantomimes them- selves are Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Nero, The Emperor Augustus in particular was favorably disposed toward pantomime and did much to foster and encourage the art, but without falling into the excesses of his successors.

The most famous of the Roman mimes were Pylades and Eathyllus, the former a pantomimus, a serious mime or tragedian, the latter a mimus, or slap- stick comedian. Both were freed slaves. They first came into prominence when they shared the same theater in Home, The inevitable quarrel ensued, however, and the two parted bitter enemies. Their own rivalry was taken up by the populace, which grouped itself into two opposing factions, their ad- herents being known either as Fyladians or Bathyllans, The enmity between the two groups was carried at times to the extent of street brawls and open rioting.

But each time this occurred, the importunities of the people obliged the withdrawal of the ban and the return of the entertain- ers. Considerable emphasis has been laid upon the fact that the popularity of silent acting in Rome was due chiefly to the vast size of the theaters. Undoubtedly, this was an Important contributing factor. Champfleury, how- ever, stresses additional elements.

He points out first the fact that due to the expansion of the Roman Empire there were great numbers of foreigners in the audiences and consequently a need for entertainment in a universal lang- uage. He further brings out that one important reason for the special atten- tion given to this form of entertainment may be attributed to its being re- garded as a sure guarantee against political allusions.

Another outstanding mime of this epoch was Paris, a particular protege of Nero, who became extremely pop- ular later during the reign of Domitian. Paris specialised in the portrayal of salacious love themes, which took the feminine element of Rome by storm and brought ladies of rank to his feet. During the later years of the Empire pantomime underwent a deteriora- tion. The serious pantomime tended to become more and more a language of symbol, an artificial pantomimic language, while the farce pantomimes became increasingly licentious and lewd.

Forbidden production in the theaters be- cause of their demoralising influence, the people continued to demand panto- mimes. The nobility hired mimes to entertain privately in their homes. The common people continued to enjoy them as strolling players at street carni- vals and festivals. The greatest enemy of pantomime was the early Christian Church, which, not alone because of its licentiousness but also on principle since this form of amusement sprang from paganism in its origins, made every effort to uproot it.

Consequently, with the fall of the Empire and the spread of Christianity the pantomimists were banished from Rome. As outcast itinerant players they were to spend a period of nearly eleven centuries wandering over the face of Europe, keeping their art alive until it was once more permitted to enter the theater. There were no theaters at this time to which the banished Roman pantonimists could migrate.

That itinerant players did continue to perform this genre of entertainment, how- ever, is amply attested to by scattered references. Even from a very early period it seems to have existed in two parallel forms, sacred and profane. There is evidence that simple Bible incidents, presented first in dumb-show, were permitted from time to time within the Church as early as the late 4th and early 5th centuries, during the time of Saint Augustine.

As chants and dialogue were authorised, the element of pantomime diminished, although the religious mystery plays of the 11th and 12th centuries still show traces of pantomime in their comic elements. The incident of the strolling players in Shakespeare ' b Hamlet, which supposedly took place in about the 5th century, may be considered as reason- ably authentic and representative.

There is no doubt that pantomimists were firmly established in France by the 5th century. Act III, Scene 2. In Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, sent his felicitations to Clovis on his victory at Tolhiac and as a special favor presented him with a mime for his entertainment. With the establishment of the great fairs by Charlemagne there seems to have been an influx of pantomimists. Their popularity in this connection is easily understandable, for at these fairs traders from all over the world congregated. Since even the language of France itself varied drastically from province to province, it was natural that pantomime should find favor with these heterogeneous language groups, since it was comprehensible to all.

These forain entertainers were the direct descendants of the mimi of ancient Rome and apparently followed in the same traditions as to subject matter, for in Charlemagne was obliged to place a ban on the presentation of pan- tomimes because of their indecency. Apparently this ban did not prove permanently effective, however, for rjnrlng the next half century or more we find a series of ecclesiastical re- strictive edicts.

In at the successive religious councils of Chalons, Reims and Tours, laws were formulated forbidding the bishops, abbes and priests from attending pantomime entertainments. Similarly, in , the Archbishop of Tours defend aux pretres et ecclesiastiques d'assister aux representations des histrions et mimes, de les intro- duire ches eux et enfin de jouer eux-memes dans ces sortes de spectacles turpides.

From Labedol- liere's Vie Privee des Franoais he quotes: La jonglerie comprenait en effet la poesie, la mu- sique, la danse, l'escamotage, la prestidigitation, la lutta, le pugilat et l f education des animaux. Ses plus humbles adeptes e talent les mimes, grimaci- ers en costume multi colore, saltimbanques ehontes qui provoquaient le rire aux depens de la pudeur. He says, No one knows to what extent the fugitive strolling player had persisted or disappeared through the dark ages.

We do know that if his companies were broken up, there were at least clowns, dancers, conjurors, pantomimists who bridged the gap. It is probable that pantomimed performances in the strict sense did disap- pear. But it seems incontestable that the element of pantomime persisted and no doubt held a place of considerable importance in the more popular forms of entertainment.

Thus through the dark ages, despite the persecutions of the Church, a smouldering spark of the pantomimic art managed to keep itself alive and was spread throughout France by means of the pantomimic buffoonery of wandering mountebanks.

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Like the fabulae Atellanae from which it was derived, this form of comedy was a more or less heterogeneous melange, consisting of dialogue im- provised on stock plots, elaborated by pantomime, dancing, acrobatics and singing. The pantomimic element was resorted to particularly for comic ef- fect. It often replaced the dialogue entirely, such portions of the piece being known as lazzi. This word is a corruption of an old Tuscan word, lacci, which meant a knot, or something which connects.

Charles Hacks de- fines these comic interludes or by-play as an "interruption qui permettait aux camarades un instant de repit pour trouver la repartie ou le mot. He sits down to rest for a moment, and being of a gluttonous disposition cannot resist the temptation of sampling a few bites for himself. One fellow engages Burattino in conversation while the other helps himself shamelessly to the contents of the basket. The latter then holds the attention of Burattino while his companion takes his turn. When the basket is empty, the two adventurers take their leave with impeccable politeness and Burattino discovers that he has been duped.

This example is typical of the stock trick, such as was to be extensively used in the pantomimes of the Theatre des Funambules and which still exist today in the horseplay of our circus downs. As the ccsnedia dell 1 arte increased in popularity throughout Italy, its fame began to spread beyond the boundaries of its native land. The first Italian company on record in France is reported as having toured the prov- inces in , giving pantomimes and spoken comedies.

On the journey through France the players had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Huguenots near Lyon and were held prisoners until ransomed by the king. By the end of the century the Italian troupes were favorites in all of the leading courts in Europe and were to retain their popularity for a period of two hundred years. Italian was regarded as la langue a la node and many people spoke or under- stood it sufficiently well to comprehend a comedy in that language.

But be- cause of the predominance of pantomimic action even those not familiar with the language were also able to follow the intrigue without difficulty. Many of these harlequin- ade characters were retained not only in French ballet and pantomime but al- so, both as to names and types, flooded the legitimate theater in France through the 17th and 18th centuries in the comedies of Moliere, Lesage, Mari- vaux and their contemporaries.

As these stock characters passed through the different countries of Europe and were submitted to the varying influences of 16 1 N. In most cases, nevertheless, they continued to retain the funda- mental essence of their original characterisations. The most outstanding of the traditional stock characters in the early 17th century were two old men, Pantalone and Dottore; the hero, Leandre or Lelio; the heroine, Isabella or Colombine; the Captain, a braggart soldier who later evolved into Scaramouche; and two low comedians, Harlequin and Pul- cinella, who were predominantly pantomimiste.

Among this group of characters the oldest are Pantalone and Pulcinella, both direct descendants from the Atellan farces, the former being known originally as Pappus and the latter as Bucco. In the Italian improvised farces Pantalone retained many of his orig- inal characteristics, being represented as a cantankerous, penurious old fogey, more or less unintelligent and consequently serving as a butt for the tricks of the low-comedy servants.

He was sometimes depicted as very rich, some- times as extremely poor, but in either case one of his typical characteristics was his miserliness. He usually represented the father or guardian of Colom- bine and had his hands more than full trying to ward off her various undesir- able suitors.

Similar to Pantalone in type was Dottore, the doctor, who tried to pass himself off as a learned scholar, sometimes a doctor of medicine, some- times a legal doctor or pedagogue. On certain occasions he was supposed to be versed in occult sciences, a necromancer or alchemist. Actually, he was a pedantic old windbag who knew nothing.

He sometimes replaced Pantalone as the father or guardian of Colombine and even, on occasion, was represented as her suitor. In the majority of the 17th and 18th century ballets, as well as in many of the pantomimes, Colombine was supposed to be under the special protection of a good fairy or a fairy god-mother, thanks to whose good offices she habit- ually contrived to elude her persecutors and become united with her lover, Arlequin, at the denouement. The Captain was distinctly a product of the 16th century, a caricature of the hated Spanish mercenaries who overran Italy during the wars of Charles V, In character he was a boaster and swaggerer.

In a blustering way he gave the impression, as did so many of the harlequinade characters, of a brave front while being at heart a prodigious coward. He was boldly gallant where the ladies were concerned and in spite of the fact that his love affair b in- variably turned out disastrously, he continually boasted of his conquests.

He was heartily detested by every other character in the play and was con- stantly their butt, particularly so with his rival Arlequin. The audience always looked forward with special anticipation to the traditional beating which the Captain habitually received at the hands of Arlequin. During the 17th century in France the Captain, who became particularly popular as in- terpreted by Tiberio Fiurelli, was transformed into a new character as a re- sult of the originality of this actor.

It resulted that the new characteriza- tion took on the stage name of Fiurelli, or Scaramouche. Pulcinella, too, underwent extensive transf ormations during his career in Italy, France and England. In Italy he was known successively as Pulcin- ello or Punchinello and eventually as Pulcinella, In France he became Poli- chinelle and was particularly popular during the 17th century. In England he came to be known as Punch and was eventually associated with the puppet show rather than with pantomime. In France he became one of the chief dancing characters and was usually one of Arlequin's rivals for Colombine hand.

His physical deformities, a hump on his chest, another on his back, and his grotesque, crooked nose, furnished the principal elements for his comic ef- fects. Arlequin traces his ancestry back to a prototype in the Roman comic pantomimes. It is here that we find the beginning of his characteristic patched costume. At this time he was supposed to be the servant of a penuri- ous old master, whose cast-off rags and patches he was obliged to wear. In time the originally haphazard, irregular patches were arranged in diamond- shaped pieces in variegated colors, often set off by glittering spangles.

Arlequin adhered to ancient tradition in the use of a black half-mask, by virtue of which he was supposed to assume the characteristic of invisibility, and carried a bat or small wand, supposed to possess magic powers.

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In Italian the words il lecchine mean "the evil one" and quite pos- sibly gave birth to the Italian appellation Arlecchlno. At the same time, hellsquin or harlequin was a French word in use during the middle ages, de- noting a fearful demon who was supposed to ride through the air at night. These words are quite possibly corruptions of the German word for devil- 19 20 child, hoallenkind. Originally depicted as a rather dull, stupid, clumsy, ignorant coun- try fellow, often indecent and lewd in his clowning, he cane to acquire a marked sagacity and cunning, developing later into a sharp-witted rogue and amusing mischief-maker , No longer the butt of the tricks of his companions, he became himself the leading spirit in the intrigue.

He finally became the leading male dancer and Colombine's favored suitor. Marmontsl has described the metamorphosed French Arlequin in these words: He is a mixture of ignorance, simplicity, wit, stupid- ity and grace; he is a half -made-up man, a great child with gleams of reason and intelligence, and all his mistakes and blunders have something arch about them. The true mode of representing him is to give him sup- pleness, agility, the playfulness of a kitten with a certain coarseness of exterior which renders his actions more absurd; his part is that of a faithful valet - greedy, always in love, always in trouble, either on his master's account or his own, afflicted and consoled as easily as a child, and whose grief is as amusing as his joy.

These noted, how-' ever, constitute the most conspicuous of them and the most popular. Not all of these mentioned passed into French pantomime proper. The pantomimes of the Theatre des Funambules retained only five: Gassandre, who represented a composite of Fantalone and Dot tore, Leandre, Polichinelle, Arlequin and Col- ombine. I existed only as a very Insignificant and unremarkable minor character, ap- pearing oily occasionally in the Italian comedies. The most famous of the Italian troupes during the last quarter of the 16th century was that known as I Gelosi.

This company appeared at the Hotel de Bourgogne in Paris on May IS, , But there were many other ac- complished troupes in addition to this one and they met with tremendous favor in Paris. Both became favorites of Louis XIV and received pensions from him. The circumstances un- der which took root the long friendship between Fiurelli and the little Dau- phin who was to become Louis XIV are related by Bernardin as follows: La cause de l'interet que Louis XIV, le grand roi, le roi-soleil, temoigna tou jours a Scaramouche, est inat- tendu et asses curieusei un jour que le comldien etait venu saluer au Palais-Royal la regents Anne d'Autriche, il avait trouve le petit roi dans une violent e colore.

Ells le merited t d'ail- I lours, at par la valour de son repertoire, que Boileau, au temoignage de Gherardi, avalt appele "un grenier a sol. The movement, gesture, expressive- ness and rapidity of action in their pieces appealed strongly to his own dra- matic sense and it is not surprising that many of the seeds of his own plays are traceable to the commedia dell' arte.

Most of his earlier farces, such as Gorgibus dans le sac, le Medecin volant and la Jalousie de Barbouille. When Moliere returned to Paris from the provinces in he shared the Hotel de Bourgogne with the Italian players, the two companies appearing on alternate days, and the most cordial of relations existed between them. Moliere re- garded the Italians as excellent actors and "fort honnete gens".

Chez le grand Scaramouche il va soir at matin.

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La, le miroir en main et ce grand homme en face, 11 n'est con torsi on, posture ni grimace Que ce grand scalier du plus grand des bouffons Ne fasse et ne refasse en cant at cent fac,ons; Tan tot, pour exprimer las soucis du menage, De millo et raille plis il fronce son visage. Puis joignant la pfileur a ces rides qu'il fait, D'un mari malheureux il rend le vrai portrait, Apr as, poussant plus loin cette triste figure, D'un cocu, d'un jaloux il en fait la peinture; Tantot, a pas comptes, vous le voyez chercher Ce qu'on voit par ses yeux qu'il craint de rencontrer.

Puis, s'arratant tout court, scumant de colore, Vous diries qu'il surprend une famme adulter e, Et 1'on crolt, tant ses yeux poignant bian cet affront, Qu'il a la rage au coeur et les comes au front, ,,, 1 Moliere was one of the first to make use of the word "pantomime", which was only just entering into the vocabulary in , He makes allusion to it in les Amants magnif iques , in which Cleonice says, Ne voudriea vous pas, madame, voir un petit assai de la disposition de ces gens admirables qui veulent so donner a vous?

Ce sont des personnes qui, par leurs pas, leurs gestes et laurs mouvements, ex- priment aux yeux toutes choses, et on appelle cela pantomimes, J'ai tremble a vous dire ce mot; et il y a des gens de notre cour qui ne me le pardonneraient pas. Z Dominique Biancolelli appeared for the first time in Paris in , at the invitation of Cardinal Mazarin, who had been greatly impressed upon see- ing this mime perform in Vienna in the previous year.

Dom- inique expanded the laaai in his plays to such a degree that they came to con- stitute the major part of the performance. The character of Arlequin was one of the principal protagonists in the commedia dell' arte stock cast. His name features in a vast number of their titles, such as Arlequin empereur dans la lune. Arlequin lingere du palals. Arlequin chevalier du soleil, Arlequin Protee.

In this latter piece, incidentally, Dominique ' s daughter made her debut as Colombia e in , with great success. This same practice in titling was to be continued in the f orals comedies, as well as in many of the pantomimes of the Theatre des Funambules. While giving a command performance before Louis XIV in , Dominique contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia and caused his death. In token of their prof ound grief at their loss, his fellow players closed the doors of their theater for a month. In the spring of the Italian company at the Hotel de Bourgogne was preparing a new comedy by Nolant de Fatouville called la Fausse belle-mere.

At this precise moment rumors reached the French capital that a new novel entitled la Fausse prude, reputed to be filled with derogatory allusions to Madame de Main tenon, had been published in Holland. The book was banned in Paris, with the natural consequence that in- terest and imaginations were fired. The comedians decided it would be a good joke to re-christen their own projected piece, giving it the title of the banned novel. When the announcement was made, Madame de Maintenon believed herself to be caricatured in the title and took measures accordingly. The following morning, May 14, , Monsieur d'Argenson, lieutenant-general of police, arrived at the Hotel de Bourgogne supported by a small but efficient army of commissaries and soldiers and in the name of the King declared the theater closed and the players expelled from Paris.

In memory of his youth and his high esteem for Scaramouche, Louis XIV did give permission for the troupe to perform in the provincial theaters but until his death they were not allowed to play in any regularly licensed theater nearer than thirty leagues from the capital.

The banishment of the Italian players was destined to open up a new epoch in the theatrical history of France. From the Paris theaters they mi- grated to the theatres de la foire and the f orain performances in their turn were now destined to be revolutionised through this new alliance. The season for the former extended from early February until Holy Week, while that of Saint-Laurent ran through the summer from the first of July to the end of September, Their entertainments had continued the traditions estab- lished centuries earlier, being of the circus side-show and vaudeville order, including freaks, tightrope walkers, acrobats, jugglers and marionette shows.

Frequently short dramatic skits or farces were presented, sometimes by inde- pendent troupes of strolling players but more often by companies constituting the medicine shows which were an important adjunct in the equipment of quack doctors. For once in their history the forain actors found the Church on their side, and for good reason. In the early part of the last quarter of the 17th century there was a tendency to increase the dramatic entertainments , substituting them for the marionette shows.

As the popularity of the little theaters of the fairs increased and business was none too good at the Comedie Francaise, the latter, on the strength of its exclusive privilege, succeeded in obtaining the suppression of spoken plays in the forain theaters This interdiction was imposed in the face of the fact that the fairs were sup- posedly not subject to any such restriction, by virtue of an ancient ordon- nance of Francis the First, who had declared the fair a lieu de franchise. TThen the Italian players were exiled from the licensed theaters of Paris in and joined the ranks of the forain players, the latter again be- came bold and once more resorted to the production of regular farces and com- edies.

Their audacity was rewarded, for the Italians became the life of the fairs and first the townspeople and eventually even the court itself began to frequent the forain theaters with constantly increasing enthusiasm. Ce sent les ruses, les subterfuges, les st rat ag ernes dramatiques, que les forains in vent en t avec un in- fatigable habile te pour jouer la comedie sur leurs planches, tout en soutenant d'un air ingenu et d'une voix Candida qu'ils ne l'y jouent pas; ce sont les curieuses transformations materielles qu'ils ont suc- cessivement fait subir k la comedie, en vue d'eluder la severity des ordonnances; ce sent les genres nou- veaux, secondaires a la verite, mais non sans prix cependant, qui sont nes de ces transformations et dont nous 8ommes ainsi redevables aux theatres de la Foire: le monologue, la pantomime, le vaudeville, la revue a couplets, 1 ' opera-comique.

The forains countered by producing single scenes and dialogues. Dialogue itself was next to fall under the ban. Nothing daunted, monologues took their place. At times two or more characters were used, one only having a speaking part, the others playing in pantomime. On one occasion a monologue was transposed into a dialogue by the naive de- vice of relegating one character to the wings while the other spoke his lines on stage. The first speaker would then retire in his turn while the second 1 N.

Since at no time were there two speakers on the stage at the same time, the piece could not be called tech- nically a "dialogue". Finally, all forms of speech were prohibited and panto- mime alone held the fort. This was not pantomime in the strict sense, how- ever. It was never an end in itself but rather a pis-aller. The need of explanation to make the pantomime clear led to the develop- ment of a genre which became known as pieces a ecritaux. The earliest form of this device was originated by two forain authors Chaillot and Remy.

Upon beginning the presentation of one of their pieces a la muette one day, the spectators were surprised to see all the actors come on stage with their right-hand pockets bulging with huge rolls of paper. The reason was not long in clarifying itself. One of the characters stepped forward, bowed, gallant- ly placed his hand over his heart, moved his lips and said nothing.

Ne m'entendez-vous pas? The play then commenced and whenever it became necessary or desirable to give any verbal explanation the actors would resort to their scrolls, upon which the verses were written in enormous letters that could be easily distinguished by the audience. The ceremony consisted in drawing from the right-hand pocket the scroll to be read and returning it to the left-hand pocket after reading.

Experience improved upon the system. Three contemporaries of the initiators, Fuselier, Lesage and Doroeval, evolved a means of giving voice to the scripts. When the scrolls were displayed, the "orchestra" of two or three musicians swung into a familiar popular tune and guided by leaders "planted" in the audience for this purpose, the audience itself was soon sing- ing the words. Against this device the Comedie Francaise could do nothing, for there was no dialogue.

The hands of the Opera were likewise tied, since it was not the actors but the audience who did the singing. The writing was applied on a piece of cloth rolled on a stick. These were fastened to the flies and were lowered at need, usually be- ing unrolled by two children representing little Cupids, who were likewise sus- ded to the flies and balanced by counterweights. As each scroll was unrol- ed, the orchestra took up the music, the audience joined in the singing of the couplets and the actors performed in pantomime.

This was a parody, very freely drawn, of the opera Iphigenie en Tauride. In Lesage T s version the scene takes place not in Tauride, but in Serendib, sup- posedly a mysterious island of Arabia. The play opens as Arlequin, sole sur- 1 N. He is somewhat consoled in his misfortune by having es- caped not only with his life but also with a well-filled purse belonging to a procurator who is by this time at the bottom of the sea.

YVhile he is count- ing his money, a suspicious-looking individual with a patch over one eye and a formidable blunderbuss over his shoulder appears, bows politely, throws his turban on the ground, pantomimes to Arlequin to throw some money into it, takes aim with his gun and cries out ferociously, "Gnaf f , Gnaff J" Jargon, not being classifiable as dialogue, was permissible. Terrified, Arlequin tosses a few coins into the turban and the individual, after another courte- ous bow, withdraws. Immediately afterward, a second creature appears, this one with one arm in a sling, a wooden leg, and a large cutlass slung at his side.

His procedure is the same as that of the first, except that his ex- clamation is "Gniff, Gniff I" Arlequin parts with more money and the second thief withdraws. Arlequin is congratulating himself upon having got off so easily when a third brigand appears before him, a cripple seated in a wooden bowl cul de jatte , with a pistol at his belt. Take care, sir, that Justice, in its turn, does not take it from you. The three dance about Arlequin and discuss what his fate is to be, while their victim falls to his knees and implores mercy.

One of the captors suggests that they kill Arlequin, and brandishes his cutlass in prepa- ration but another proposes that they imprison him in a cask which chances to be handy, explaining that the wolves will soon find him and eat him.


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  • Accord- ingly, Arlequin is put into the cask and abandoned to his fate. As Arlequin is lamenting and rolling about in the cask, a famished wolf appears, smells fresh meat, and sniffs at the cask. Sticking his hand out of his prison, Arlequin succeeds in catching the wolf by the tail. As the enraged beast pulls himself free and runs off, leaving his tail in Arlequin' s hands, the cask breaks apart and Arlequin escapes on the opposite side of the stage.

    It appears that it is the custom in Serendib that every stranger who arrives by hazard on the island must serve for one month as king. According- ly, Arlequin is accorded a triumphal entry to the palace, which scene gives opportunity for a splashing display of pageantry, enlivened by the accompani- ment of a dialogue in jargon, the whole an obvious steal from Moli era's Bourgeois gantilb The law of the island decrees that at the expiration of the month's reign the pseudo-king must be sacrificed by the high priestess to the god Kesaya.

    It develops that the high priestess is none other than Mezzetin and his confidante is Pierrot. These two have disguised themselves as women in order to escape a kingship of which they knew the disagreeable consequences. As the sacrifice is about to begin, Uerazetin asks Arlequin from what country he comes and when the latter replies, C'est a Bergame, helasl en Italie, Qu'une tripiere en ses flancs m'a porta, the knife falls from the hands of the executioner Mezzetin, who, with Pierrot, falls into the arms of their long-lost compatriot. The trio then decides to sack the temple but as they attempt to carry off Kesaya, the god vanishes, 52 leaving in its place a suckling pig.

    The temple itself then falls to pieces as Mezzetin, Pierrot and Arlequin make a successful escape and the piece ends. In the forain theaters progressed a step beyond the pieces a eoritaux. The Opera, badly in debt following the death of its director, Guy- enet, conceived the idea of constituting a new revenue for itself by selling privileges to the forain theaters permitting them to use songs and music in their representations.

    The result of this development was the birth of comic opera. Two years later, in , a newly organised Italian troupe played be- fore the Regent and was subsequently again permitted to play regularly in Paris, resuming its former fascination for the populace. The battle between the forain theaters and the regular theaters of Paris was far from over, however.

    It reached a conclusion only in with the proclamation of liberty for the theaters during the Revolution. When- ever the popularity of the forain presentations reached a high point and that of the Comedie-Francaise or the Opera sank to a correspondingly low ebb, hos- tilities flared up anew and restrictions were again imposed. The forain the- aters, therefore, continued to fluctuate between spoken farces, comic operas and - when they could do nothing else - pantomimes. Just as the pantomime of the commedia dell' arte was an outgrowth of the farce pantomimes of the ancient Roman mi mi, so the pantomime of the ballet was a development of the serious mimo-dramas of the pantomimi in the days of Augustus.

    Introduced by Catherine de Medici s from her native Italy shortly after the advent of her comedian compatriots, the Italian ballet was also adopted by the French and achieved a tremendous popularity. Aside from a desire to satisfy her own craving for sumptuous enter- tainment, it was also to Catherine's interest to distract the attention of her son, Henri III, from affairs of state and consequently she spent large sums of money on devising performances of this nature. The most famous of them was the Ballet comique de la Reine. The libretto was adapted from Agrippa d'Aubigne's Circe by Baltasarini, otherwise known as Beaujoyeulx, a Neapolitan violinist and favorite of the Queen, aided by La Chesnaye, the royal almoner.

    This production marks an epoch, not in the his- tory of pantomime proper, but in that of ballet and opera, for in it we find for the first time in modem history the unification of the three essential elements of ballets music, dance and coordinated dramatic action. From this time on until , when Lulli became director of the Opera, ballets were in increasingly great favor as court entertainment. The ballet de cour was a poetic fantasy, combining song, dance and music.

    It drew its themes from mythological historical and allegorical subjects. Frequently it descend- ed to outright licentiousness. On occasion it resorted to buffoonery, though this was the exception rather than the rule. Its protagonists, who wore con- ventional masks, represented legendary kings and princesses, mythological gods and goddesses, shepherds and shepherdesses such as are portrayed in Watteau's paintings. Since at this period the ballet was developed as an entertainment for and by the nobility, it reflected strongly the court influence in its cos tumes.

    These were elaborate, heavy and hampering to any real bodily expres- sion. In effect, pantomime occupied a very negligible place in the ballet during this early period. The ballet de oour reached the peak of its popularity during the reign of Louie XIV but became highly formalised, artificial and as un-spontaneous as its rival in the field of farce was spontaneous and free. When Louis XIV finally grew too fat to dance any longer himself, the popularity of ballet waned at court and was then taken up by schools and colleges, which resorted to it on special occasions, most notably on days of distribution of prizes.

    Three years later, in , Lulli became its director and for fifteen years Lulli was French opera. During his incumbency the ballet element in opera was strong. Lulli was also responsible for the daring innovation of introducing women into ballet performances. Hitherto, women's roles had been impersonated by male dancers. The entertainments sponsored by this popular lady in her chateau at Sceaux were justly famous and this social leader was constantly in search of something new to add to their glory. She conceived the idea of presenting a dumb-show as a novel in- novation, or rather as a resurrection of an art which had been esteemed by the ancients.

    The vehicle selected by her was the fourth act of Comeille's les Horaces, the scene in which the young Horace kills his sister, Camilla. The episode was set to music for the orchestra as if to be sung but was pre- sented as a dramatic dance without vocal accompaniment. Unable to procure veritable pan tomi mists to enact it, two women dancers from the opera were J Specially trained.

    The duchesse du Maine labelled the performance a panto- mime-ballet. From this time on, but particularly during the latter part of the 18th century under the dancer Noverre, the ballet became a dance in which a story was interpreted by action, constituting a veritable mimo-drama, com- plete in itself, independent of song or dialogue. Toward the middle of the century opera attempted to gain a monopoly over pantomime, in consequence of the popularity of this genre among the Ital- ian companies and the forain theaters. Time and again, it seems, pantomime was being "re-discovered".

    Jean-Georges Noverre was a dancer, bom in Paris in 17 After studying at length the history of pantomime, No- verre travelled extensively throughout Europe endeavoring to discover some i c 57 stray remnants of the ancient pantomime of classic Rome, particularly the art of Fylades and Bathyllus. His search proved fruitless and he concluded that the art of pantomime was dead. It then became his ambition to restore it to the stage as an independent species. In this respect, his project failed but he did succeed in regenerating the ballet, giving to pantomime a place and a character unknown to the French ballet before his time.

    Noverre' 8 first original work was composed for the Opera-Comique in , when the dancer was but twenty years old. He was a prolific creator, responsible for a long list of elaborate ballets, which were often elaborated pantomimes of classical subjects treated in heroic or lyric manner.

    L'amant idéal - Indécente proposition (Harlequin Audace) has been added

    In his libretti he made wide use of emotional situations and constructed plots of great dramatic movement, Voltaire was a particular friend of Noverre, as were also Frederick the Great and the English actor, David Garrick. The latter termed Noverre "the Shakespeare of the dance". In Noverre discussed with Voltaire his ambition to adapt a part of the Henriade into a ballet pantomime. His in- tention, in accordance with that of the ancient Roman pantomimists, was to choose a well-known piece which would be recognized and easily understood by the audience, Voltaire approved the project and encouraged Noverre to carry it through, at the same time expressing regret that the infirmities of his ad- vanced age prevented him from aiding actively in the adaptation and witnessin its representation.

    Deprived of the collaboration of the author of the Henri ade. Noverre subsequently abandoned this plan. In Noverre was made director of the ballet at the Paris Opera, where he remained until , Following the success of his ballet les Ca- prices de Galatea, in It was presented as pure pantomime, not dance. Noverre tried it out first for the court, where it was politely received, but unfortunately it achieved a succes d'estime rather than an ap- preciation on its own merits. Deceived by this reception at the court, No- verre decided upon a presentation at the Opera before a public audience.

    Here it met with a very different fate. One facetious commentator suggested that Noverre next attempt to put La Rochefoucauld's Maodmes into pantomime. Undaunted by this initial failure, however, Noverre persevered and achieved success with sub- sequent productions, not alone in Paris but also in other parts of Europe when he took his troupe on tour, appearing at Vienna, Wurtemberg end Milan. Under Noverre the pantomime-ballet reached a high degree of develop- ment.

    It was due to his revolutionising influence that the original type of the Italian ballet became transformed, the dancing being more and more sub- ordinated to the dramatic elements. In addition to the drastic changes in the treatment of the plot, Noverre was also responsible for important modifi- cations in costume. His contention was that dress, music and action should be inter-interpretative.

    This was impossible in the stiff and cumbersome cos tunes of the period of Louis XIV. Some progress had already been made in this direction by the famous dancer Camargo, who between and had accom- plished a methodical stripping process, eliminating the heavy foundation gar- 38 1 Charles HACKS, Le Geste. Noverre completed the revolution and in addition to dispensing with the cumbersome court costumes with their ham- pering paddings and paniers, also did away with the wearing of the convention- al masks, Noverre 1 s theories are exposed in his Lettres gar les arts en general et 8ur la danse en parti culier, published in , and in De la Dense et des Arts imitateurs, in two volumes, published in and dedicated to the Empress Josephine, Upon reading the first, Voltaire wrote to Noverre, "Cost d'un hosnne de genie.

    Both of these works of Noverre are highly meritorious and can still be read today with both in- terest and profit. In a moat had been construct- ed at this point on the outskirts of the city as protection against invaders. In a quadruple row of trees was planted between the moat and the city and toward the middle of the succeeding century this pleasantly shaded spot constituted a popular promenade for the proletariat of Paris. As early as Jean-Baptist e Nicolet, a forain actor, established a permanent little theater on the Boulevard du Temple, specialising originally in spectacles musts, pantomimes and ballets.

    Before long he became more am- bitious, the main attraction of his theater consisting of farces of the forain type but still including pantomimes as entr'actes. The Foire Saint-Germain was destroyed by fire in and the other famous feirs disintegrated by degrees, their theaters finally extinguished as a result of the interdictions imposed upon them following the absorption of the Qpera-Comique by the Com6die-Itslienne.

    The clientele of the f orain theaters now flocked to the Boulevard du Temple and particularly to Nicolet 1 s theater, which acquired a special reputation. Louis XV heard so much about this troupe that he summoned it to perform for him at Choisy in and was so delighted with its performance that he authorised Nicolet to appropriate the title of Theatre des Grands Danseurs du Red. A little later Nicolet attached to his theater as dramatic author one Robin eau, known professionally as Beaunoir.

    Beaunoir was the son of a notary at the Chatelet and had begun his career in dignified fashion as abbe and li- brarian to Louis XVI. He was to finish it as secretary to Jerome, king of Westphalia, but in the interim this versatile individual, independently or with the collaboration of his wife, turned out for Nicolet some two hundred pantomimes, comedies, farces and parades, "toutes plus litteraires et plus decentes que ce qui avalt ete jusqu'alors joue sur le Boulevard. It became the rendes-vous a la mode not only for Parisians of all classes but for the manv foreigners who were flocking to Paris during the pre-revolutionary epoch.

    When the original building was torn down wit the demolition of the Boulevard du Temple in , this theater moved to the Square des Arts-et-Metiers, where it now stands. Shortly after the Revolu- tion, upon changing hands, it became known for a brief interim as the Theatre d'Qnulation but in it again resumed its previous title and its original specialties in program material, Voila done ce theatre rendu a sa premiere denomina- tion, a son institution primitive.

    La Gaite, a la- quell e il semblait jadis consacre, va y rappeler tous les amateurs de la foire, de la pantomime italiexme et des tours de force. Still another theater on the Boulevard which began exclusively with pantomimes in the Italian style, later adding melodramas, vaudevilles and comic operas, was the Theatre des Varietes Amusantes, founded in A separate realm of pantomimic entertainment associated with the Boule vard du Temple was the Cirque Olympique, which opened in Although trained horses, dogs and other animals held a large place, by elaborate pantomimic spectacles comprising enormous casts of characters, reminiscent of our late New York Hippodrome performances, had become exceedingly popular.

    With the outbreak of the Revolution the aristocratic clientele disap- peared from the Boulevard du Temple but the populace remained faithful. Many of the little theaters here were converted into political tribunes and meetia places for the different political parties. The Directoire returned the Boulevard du Temple to its former status.

    Hungry for pleasure and entertainment, and particularly for thrills, all Paris again thronged the little theaters here until, under Napoleon, their liberties were once more temporarily restricted. The founding of the Theatre des Acrobates by Madame Saqui in brings us to the even of the birth of true French pantomime. Madame Saqui was the daughter of a former f orain acrobat and had been herself a popular dancer in Nicolet's troupe. She was highly esteemed by Napoleon, who called her his "enragee" and conferred upon her the title of premiere danseuse of France.

    Profiting by her influence upon those in high places who admired her talents, Madame Saqui secured authorization from Louis XVIII to establish a sails de spectacles on the Boulevard du Temple, this privilege being accorded upon condition that she restrict her entertainments to tight-rope dancing and pantomimes, or harlequinades in the Italian manner. Meanwhile, in addition to being the special preserve for pantomime, this popular theatrical center had also become the realm of melodrama. Its founder was one Nicolas Michel Ber- trand, who had begun his career modestly as a butter merchant in Vincennes.

    Stepping up a rung or two in tho social ladder, he became in time a carriage maker. To further augment his means of livelihood, he made a practice of transporting passengers by carriage between vincennes and Paris. Among his passengers one day was Madame Saqui, owner and star tight-rope dancer of the recently founded Theatre des Acrobates on the Boulevard du Temple.

    During the course of the journey an argument arose between the two, which soon de- veloped into a noisy quarrel.