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Pantomime is acting without talking

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1 Pantomime is acting without talking
The word pantomime comes from the Greek word pantomimus which means “to imitate an activity” Why study pantomime? It helps the performer develop a very powerful and important tool for theatre, the human body.

2 History of Pantomime Pantomime goes as far back as primitive man – the cavemen told their hunting stories using their body movements to express themselves. Popular form of entertainment in ancient Rome. -A single actor played many roles doing interpretive dances with a chorus – they told stories of mythology. In medieval times, characters used pantomime to communicate good and evil of humankind.

3 History of Pantomime, continued
Fairy tales and folklore were great material for pantomime. Three major characters: the hero, the dame (old woman), and the heroine. Consisted of happy endings, spectacular events, lavish costumes and incredible scenery. Pantomime is still performed today in England in farces (comedies done for laughs), especially around Christmas time. Marcel Marceau

4 Why is pantomime important?
Actors are seen before being heard or understood, the art of acting without words is the first phase of acting training. Pantomime is valuable because it encourages meaningful movements, significant gestures, and animated facial expressions in actors. Physical actions, not words, are the basis for most characterizations.

5 Why is pantomime important?
We use facial expressions, gestures, body language to communicate constantly – much of our daily language is nonverbal communication. Good actors are always aware of their physical portrayal of a character when on stage. character study (the richest source of authentic material for pantomime is careful observation of people in daily life). Most of us walk without giving much consideration to what we are doing. On stage, however, the manner in which actors walk is observed very carefully.

6 Principles of Pantomime 2 phases of your work with pantomime
1. Relaxation Use relaxation to loosen tight muscles and gain habits of graceful movements. Helps develop controlled gestures. Almost all body movement begins with the chest. It is important that every arm movement finish at the fingertips. The key to getting smooth gesture is getting your elbows away from your body slightly before making the gesture. Every gesture must have a definite purpose – If no purpose, then no need for a gesture. The sole purpose of a gesture is to emphasize or clarify a thought or feeling. Must have definite, clear gestures.

7 Principles of Pantomime 2 phases of your work with pantomime
2. Create physical characterizations, where feeling prompts a physical response Notice others physical responses that reflect their feelings. Opposite action emphasizes physical movement Pulling your arm back before delivering a blow makes the punch much more expressive. Arms and hands should move in curves, not straight lines unless you are deliberately trying to give the impression of awkwardness, uneasiness, force, or strength. Positive emotions: love, honor, courage, and sympathy are evidenced by a high chest and head, free movements broad gestures animated facial expressions Negative emotions: hate, greed, fear, and suffering contract and twist the body shown by a sunken chest tense movement restricted gestures

8 2. Create physical characterizations, where feeling
2. Create physical characterizations, where feeling prompts a physical response, Continued… Facial expressions use of eyes, eyebrows, and mouth usually precede other physical actions Whenever possible, make gestures with upstage arm, the one away from the audience. Some exaggeration of movement is often essential. Always keep the audience in mind, direct your actions towards them. All actions must be definite in concept and execution, and all movements must be clearly motivated. (Video Clips)

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