"Now, that's The Marceau!" is one of those sayings my students hear me say often. Someone will create a pose that reaches far beyond the studio we are working in, and that's what we see;
Marceau's unique combination of counterpoints, contra-direction rotations and pulling one part of an arm one direction while pushing the wrist another.
Like a science, you know it's a truth when you see it, even if you don't understand why.
When Etienne Decroux was first inventing mime, the newspapers wrote: "Decroux has created: The Art of Counter-Weight." I knew that was true when it came to creating an illusion, because to show something heavy, your body had to make another part "compensate" for the weight.
However, I later learned...that "Mime" is always:
Counter - "Something!" Counter-Weight. Counter-Direction. Counter-Thought. Counter-Clock.
This is what makes this art so unique and so unlike anything else.
When it comes to how we stand and move in space we are always using a coiling system based upon unique science of counter-direction. (Contra-Point) Look closely at how Marceau is using this system of "Counter-Direction" pulls and pushes, and rotations combined with he risking of balance points.
***CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO ENLARGE THEM***
Don't Miss the Most Important effect that he is creating.
Look at the "stage space" around him.
|"The Lion Tamer"|
Look at each photo I've posted for a few minutes...Look at how he is filling the stage.
All the air around him is bright, and he looks as large as the stage he is standing on.
I didn't crop these shots so you could look at the stage space around him.
(I took them from the back of the balcony in 2003.)
|"The Lion Tamer"|
Note that on some photos I've put Red Circles on his throw points...to show the part of his body where the gesture initiates from.
Below is almost the same pose from the same play, but from different angles. In the first photo, you can barely see he is leaning backward as you can see in the second photo.
As you can see, there is so much we can gain from this information, so I will continue to write more about this area of mime.
Written by Gregg Goldston
Photos taken by Gregg Goldston & Coiling Lines drawn by Gregg Goldston
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