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Midori
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Old Town Alexandria -- out of the desert and into this beautiful rainy, misty unbelievably green world. And so many places to visit... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at In the Labyrinth
Thank you! I love the mask, it's really eerie.
Oh wow -- that's awesome! I checked the University of AZ's library catalogue and I can snag a copy there. What fun to be able to read about Howard and Ophaboom!
In 1590 Conte Ulysse de Bentivolgio described a company of Commedia actors as: "It is a brothel of infatuation between strumpets and scamps." (Perhaps shocked by the troups insistance on having women actors actually play the female roles. Very un-Shakespearean.)... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at In the Labyrinth
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I am uncertain where this piece of information came from originally -- I neglected to write down the cite perhaps already transforming it into a scene I myself might write, while metally putting it into the "truth is stranger than... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at In the Labyrinth
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"Let us amuse ourselves today, You will never guess my name and I won't ask you to try. I am a mad spirit or goblin. I come from the other world and one of those spirits Actius or Plautus orders... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at In the Labyrinth
One of the most instructive texts on the Commedia dell' Arte that I read while researching The Innamorati was John Rudlin's classic Commedia dell' Arte: An Actor's Handbook. It is a wonderful combination of history, explanation of the different stock... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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This is a complicated moment in the novel when several threads come together, all for the purpose of resolving Anna's terrifying possession. Having accepted the maenad's mask, and now in its spell, Anna throws herself into the bloody revels of... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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Anna's personal journey into the maze has to do with her belief that her anger at lost love incited her miscarriage. Within her own body she "feels" the curse like the twisting of thorns which keeps her in constant pain... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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In the midst of all this heavy lifting of my research notes, I re-read my own essay "A Chorus of Clowns and Masked Comic Theater" written for Realms of Fantasy on the history of clowns, from antiquity to the Marx... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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"The mask is a terrible, mysterious instrument. It has always given me and continues to give me a feeling of fear. With the mask we are on the threshold of a theatrical mystery whose demons reappear with static, immutable faces,... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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Very early in the novel I sought to establish a fantastic relationship between Anna Forsetti and the Commedia masks she creates. The masks speak to her, they are very alive and responsive to her mood. For Anna there is an... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
Dario Fo was a very interesting perfomer -- he pushed Commedia into modern politics (he was an Italian Socialist) so his work was often a combination of modern political satire and very very traditional Commedia work. Dario Fo repsected the orgins of the art, but felt as those early actors in their century often made fun of local nobility or the equivilent of a 16th century politician poohbah, it was a duty perhaps of his to update the ridicule of such creatures. There is difference, however between the theater mask, and the ritual masks (drama of a different kind) -- where possession is about communing with very ancient characters and persona in a mythic and mystery play. Only the boundaries of the ritual itself keep it contained enough to experience without totally losing ones' self.
Oh..it looks fabulous! Thanks for the recommendation -- just went and got a copy. (Why are there no smiling emoji's on this platform -- I need to ask them to kindly make it possible! )
Can't believe, until you see it. It really was amazing. I have done more reading on the subject and it seems a common experience for actors doing work with masks for the first time (usually in an improvisational manner) to lose the ability to speak, or speak like a child. Over time, the mask acquires a vocabulary (especially as the actor wearing the masks feels the character come to life). It was also mentioned in Johnstone's work that "new" masks can learn faster if they interact with older masks who are more established and speak more easily. Kind of eerie really....
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Keith Johnstone's Impro is a terrific book for actors looking for methods to feel at home and never without words on the stage. Johnstone's emphasis is to understand and utilize improvisation effectively. The book is full of wonderful exercises and... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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When creating the characters of the masks in The Innamorati (and they are a lively bunch) I was profoundly influenced by both the traditions of the Commedia Dell'Arte but also by Keith Johnstones' brilliant work Impro, on improvisation for actors... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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I follow a lot of knitters on Instagram who post beautiful, homey pics with their knitting, tea in fine china cups, a flower tablecloth. But I am knitting dish cloths in camo colors for my guys...so I thought a change of decor was in order. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Handwork and The Craft
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I follow a lot of knitters on Instagram who post beautiful, homey pics with their knitting, tea in fine china cups, a flower tablecloth. But I am knitting dish cloths in camo colors for my guys...so I thought a change... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
Hi Philip -- thanks for your post here. I was thinking, if you would like to send me copies of the photos (like a scan of them) I would be happy to print them out here. It has been awhile since I have done a recent Madrid post -- but I do have a lot more photos that I have been meaning to share. My email can be found at the top right hand of the page. Thanks
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Rediscovering earlier notes for my article The Swan Maiden's Feathered Robe -- I always like to circle back to these notes because they continue to offer insights. These were from BF LEavy, In Search of the Swan Maiden: A Narrative... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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I have recently come across a host of wonderful green images of spring -- a rarity in this desert to be treasured. It reminds of more northern places, where rhubarb leaves unfurl through spring snow, lambs gambol in wet green... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
I have no real idea of how they managed these complex sculptural forms in food -- I have been doing a little research to figure it out -- but of the few I have found, they are usually really elaborate structures underneath and then careful coverings -- maybe they sculpted the form of the nymph in chunks of cooked meat, and then laid over that thinly rolled pasta??? The mind sort of boggles really.
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Quite a few reviews of The Innamorati mentioned with some glee and the occasional admiration the insults hurled back and forth between characters in the novel. Many of them are historical, taken from a variety of Renaissance story-telling traditions, some... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at In the Labyrinth
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One of the things weaving and writing share is unweaving and discarding false starts. I didn't love the twill enough to keep it. Too many things I should have done differently in the set up. Unwove it and started over,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at In the Labyrinth