Commedia dell Arte

Commedia

We began with a full body warm-up:

Lying on the floor, roll around as it feels good, notice your body and the various parts that ache or feel good.

Roll up and then down: this was a series on movements first from laying on the floor to seated, then from floor to crouch, then from floor to knees and finally from floor to standing (should get your heart rate up)

Random walking every time a cue is given (vocally or I’ll probably use a light flicker) actors change direction and movement, (tempo, height, staccato or smooth etc.)

Have the actors jog, point to the floor follow your hands and move to a crawl,  walk, then again drop to a crawl, walk then lift knees “spiderman” walk

Slowly stand and notice toes, knees, hips shoulders

Stretch as you feel

Double-take

Random walk with a “surprise” expression on a cue “see” something in the room, move: eyes, head, body, then walk

Build onto this with see- head-POINT- move

Add on see-head-point-move- REACTION

Add on see-make a physical shape – point (vocalize Aha!) – move – reaction to audience

“Ring of fire” Chair conflict

The actor’s objective it to sit on the chair but they cannot move closer to the chair until they make the audience laugh

Reinforces: movement of some sort, a reaction to what you did then look to the audience to “report”.  The difference between a “take” (look at something more than once) and a “report” (share your reaction with the audience) can be made clear here.

In Commedia there is a status to consider: level #1 expresser (sender) – Gremlo – narrator (communicates in gibberish)

Level #2 the listener (receiver) (there can be many of these level people as needed

Take a look at Meyerhold’s Biomechanics and various books of complied Lazzi

Reading List

The Moving Body-Lecoq
Theatre of Movement and Gesture-Lecoq
Comedians Dell’Arte: An Actors Handbook– John Rudlin
The Natural Way to Draw– Kimon Nicholaides
Lazzi– Mel Gordon
Meyerhold on Theatre– Vsevolod Meyerhold

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