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Transcript of Pantomime
Traditional Pantomime is . . .
A pantomime is acting and telling a story without words. It is often called the art of silence. The art of pantomime is basic to your training as an actor, because a character is portrayed through gestures, facial expressions, and movement.
It is the first thing the audience notices.
Pantomime goes as far back as primitive man. Telling stories of hunting and other adventures using their body movements to express themselves. It was also popular entertainment in Ancient Rome in the form of interpretive dance telling mythological stories. In Medieval times characters in miracle plays used pantomime to communicate the good and bad of mankind. During the Elizabethan period pantomimes were called "dumb shows" and were very popular with audiences. The popularity of silent films was due to the skill of pantomime experts like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
There are 2 phases to pantomime: exercise and relax your muscles and free your body for quick expression of feeling & create characterization where feeling prompt a bodily response.
Characterization in pantomime involves placing a character in a situation and showing that character's thoughts through nonverbal expression.
This entails two mental processes: Imitation and Imagination
You must develop a memory bank of emotions by carefully observing other people
When you see a person involved in a highly emotional situation, observe facial expressions, gestures, and body language.
Draw on your own observations when creating ways to make your characterization true to life.
This is only the beginning however, you must put your imagination to maintain yourself in the part you are playing.
Basics of Body Language
Your chest is key to all bodily actions
Your wrists should lead most hand gestures
Move your elbows away from the body when making hand gestures
Opposite actions emphasizes physical movement (pulling your arm back before delivering a blow make the punch more forceful)
Arms & hands should move in curves unless you want to seem uneasy or strong
Facial expressions happens quickly with eyes, mouth, muscles
Emotions affect your body in various ways. Practice feeling the emotion first then let your face and body respond.
Positive emotions like love, honor, courage, or sympathy are shown with a high chest, head, broad gestures, and animated facial expressions
Negative emotions like hate, greed, fear, or suffering contract & twist the body. They are shown by a sunken chest, tense movement, restricted gestures & drawn features.
Make all gestures with your up-stage arm if possible and exaggerated movement is often essential.
All actions must be definite in concept and performance. All movement must be clearly motivated.
This style of pantomime is a unique theatre genre that only really exists in the United Kingdom. It is extremely popular and every year theatres are completely sold out to an audience of all ages, backgrounds and tastes. Traditionally, adults take their children to the "Panto" as a Christmas treat but often the adults have the most fun. The mad knockabout comedy of the pantomime, where people are hit but not hurt, where authority is constantly flouted and where fun is poked at everything from past to present.
The pantomime we see today can be distinguished by its dramatization of a classic fairytale told through the use of eccentric characters and absurd situations. It’s a place where men dress as women and women dress as men, where good triumphs over evil and the audience are as much a part of the action as the pantomime cow, the beanstalk. The stories are told with a gigantic emotional heart through the use of acting, song, dance & illusions.
The most important source of British Pantomime is Commedia dell' Arte, a theatre genre originating in renaissance Italy. Troupes of traveling players working from a basic plot or scenario improvised comedy routines. The use of stock characters and story lines as well as slapstick comedy are essential elements of British Pantomime that go back to Commedia dell 'Arte. So does the emphasis on singing and dancing; originally an effective way for actors to reach their English speaking audience.
An important aspect of pantomime is its ability to adapt, innovate and develop as trends and fashions change. Modern British Pantomime owes a lot to more modern sources of inspiration.
Contemporary Pantomime is . . .
Traditional Pantomime Examples
Contemporary Pantomime Examples
Size: height, length, width, small with hands, large with body, extra large with eyes
Weight: muscle tension communicate specific pounds
Resistance: firmness, how does it react to your influence?
Texture: smooth, jagged, how cam you convey this?
Placement: location, keep it consistant
DETAIL, 5 SENSES, COMMIT, HONESTY
Pantomimes of Marcel Marceau Pantomimes of Jerry Lewis Charlie Chaplin's Lion Cage Troop 1139 - Fatality
Rowan Akinson's Invisible Drum Set Pantomimes of Shirley & Dino Pantomimes of Les Bubb Troop 900 - I Scream For Ice Cream
Funny Date Pantomime Troop 89287 - The Great Movie Ride Utah State H.S. Hello Dolly Pantomime
Contemporary Pantomime needs . . .
This is a show for everyone; there are elements to appeal to all ages. A Pantomime should be fun, involving & entertaining. It should encourage lots of audience interaction like, characters coming into the auditorium, shout-outs, songs, & sing-alongs!
Some of the elements you should expect to see in the pantomime are:
The Slosh Scene: During the pantomime, there is usually a very messy scene called the ‘Slosh’ scene. This is a scene where the Dame and the Comic characters, make a lot of mess on stage – usually decorating something.
Audience Participation: The audience are encouraged to shout out responses to lines from the show. These can include “He’s behind you!”,”Oh yes it is/Oh no it isn’t” and often shouting the name of the Comic Character to get their attention. The audience are also encouraged to boo or hiss the villain whenever they enter, exit or do something bad.
Sing-along Song: At the end of the play, the Dame and the Comic Character will come out and sing a short section of one of the songs from the Pantomime. They will encourage the audience to sing along and join in with the actions. This song will lead to a competition to see which half of the audience is the loudest.
The Walk Down: When the Pantomime has finished, the actors will perform a walk down and take a bow to show that the show has reached its conclusion. The characters will then say a short conclusion before reprising a few numbers from the show. The walk down is a more fun, vibrant version of a normal Curtain Call which happens at the end of a play.
Animals: Every pantomime has a lot of animal characters – Jack & the Beanstalk has a cow, Dick Whittington has rats, Cinderella has horses & mice. Animals are a good opportunity to showcase the abilities of the younger dancers.
The Spectacle Scene: Pantomimes have at least one show-stopping scene. In recent years, Cinderella’s kitchen transformed into a magical carriage with moving horses, Aladdin took Princess Jasmine for a high-flying ride over Old Peking on his Magic Carpet, and Dick Whittington dove into the sea to fight a Giant Squid.
History of Contemporary Cinderella - Meet The Characters Cinderella - Good Fairy, Animal, & Spectacle Cinderella - Slosh Scene & Dames
Sleeping Beauty Robin Hood Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Dick Whittingotn
Jack and the Beanstalk - Dame Trott Aladdin Peter Pan Goes Wrong - Capitain Hook