Legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau who entertained people in many countries, died at the age of 84 in Paris. He had a gift to communicate with people beyond the barriers of language and is said to have brought poetry to silence with his pantomime art.
To honor the mime master Marcel Marceau, let us turn any celebrities (including famous world figures, characters from paintings, etc.) or politicians into mimes. Please note that mimes differ from clowns, even though there are similarities.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Mimes ( in Greek - Mimicry ) - Among ancient Greeks and Romans, any dramatic mass shows for lower strata of the society-like performance of acrobatics, magicians etc., turns with songs and dances and at last full spectrum of real - everyday satirical farce. Actors in this type of theatre are also called “Mimes” (imitators).
Born among wide popular masses at different places in Greece, this folklore genre got initial literary elaboration among Greek colonists in the south of Italy, in Sicily; those were the turns with brisk dialogues, torn out from everyday life of local artisans, settlers and who were close to those layers of the society (compare the names of mimes: The fisherman and settler, darners etc.); Literary elaborations of these turns show the interest in them by even educated higher society as well. (Sicily’s tyrants, not without reason, kept spectacles in their courts). This genre was widely popular in Hellenistic era of Greece in IV-III B.C. In these times mimes are created not for theatre but only for artisan’s entertainment and to serve as recreation of high social layers. Herod was a specialist mimeograph who written with “halimabs”( a part of his Mimes were found in Egypt in 1891).
If Gerond, apparently, smeared class acuity of mimes but with mimeographs of this period, mimes ostensibly became an instrument in struggle with ruling classes (parody of pathetics on tragic style, religion and even the mockery of Crowns’ life, for this mimeograph Sotad, for instance, paid with his life). Mimes got wide popularity in Ancient Rome. Flourishing since long in the south of Italy and prevailing in Rome as low masses theatre, mimes firmly mastered stage by the end of II and I B.C., this happened when the victories of democracy sharpened mimes as an useful instrument for class struggle and the theatre had become a place for socio-political satire. Known were the literature elaborated mimes of Syrian slave Publilius and Decimius Laberius (I B.C.), who were patronized by democratically oriented dictator Julius Caesar. Reflecting everyday’s life of petty artisans (painters and rope weavers and etc.) these mimes are often directed against ruling classes- large landowners and others- and sometimes sharply criticizing religion as a bulwark of exploiting top (for ex. Mime
“Carven Diana” and others). Here the dirtiest plots were dominating. Traditional character of mimes was a simpleton, who showered with abuses; Extemporaneous element of Topic A was often crept into the text. Roman mime as a lower class based genre was written in the language of lower layers with all its vulgarisms and slang of town taverns.
New peculiarities speak of mimes in the era of Caesars. Under the aegis of State which was diverting democratic masses from class struggle, mimes are extended into a state-sponsored complicated performance in big theaters, which was called Apotheosis, but it was deprived of mime's previous class acuity; Apotheosis was written in prose but alternatively mixed with: ultra-natural verses, a picaresque dramatic turnings, various whiz-bangs, and other means of enticing fastidious spectators. Here, singers, dancers and even trained animals had performed; actors performed without masks, which induced, as a consequence, accusations of Christian writers.
FATE OF MIMES IN MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE- Colossal cataclysm in
V B.C, put the lid on existence of Roman Empire, but that did not involve disappearance of mime. Mime’s history continued in subsequent centuries which were marked with transition of slave-owning society to the feudalism, from ancient “pagan” culture to medieval Christian. But residual forms of Roman mime acquired new features of quality in new social surroundings. Strengthening “barbarism” in erstwhile Roman Empire, got expression in “reverse” movement, i.e. from complicated system of exchange economy to simple forms of natural economy, and therefore material grounds for existence of mimic ipothesis, this last big theatre genre of Antiquity gradually fell away.