Mime Pantomime Art

Mime Pantomime Art

You must have heard the word ‘mime’ sometime in your life. Miming is a form of silent acting, wherein the actor conveys all the emotions through gestures and facial expressions. The word mime can be used to describe an actor and this technique.

Mime Pantomime ArtQuite a few people, when they think of mime as a form of acting, think of the French and of France. However, the mime as an art can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans of ancient times. Before it found its way to France, mime as a form of entertainment was popular in Italy. This form of acting went on to become so popular in France that schools of mime were founded that followed traditions of great French mimes. Present day American mime is very different from the French version.

Abstract and literal are the two main kinds of mime. Of these, abstract mime deals with expression of feelings. This form of mime does not use a plot or for that matter a central or lead character, but deals with a serious subject in a thought provoking way. The other mime– literal mime is used to tell a story. Very often, it is of the nature of a comedy in which gestures and visuals are used to depict a mostly hilarious tale of the conflict faced by the lead actor’s character. Two schools of mime will be taken into consideration for the actors:

  • Western
  • Indian

Western Mime

Mime is also referred to as pantomime in the West. Roman pantomime was different from Roman mime in that the themes used by it were lofty. Another difference was its use of masks. In Roman pantomime expression was conveyed through posture and hand gestures. Mime as an art played an important part in Chinese and Japanese dramatic forms. A comic art form in the 16th century called commedia dell’arte caused the Roman pantomime to undergo a change. This form of comedy influenced the 18th-century French and English comic interludes. These comic interludes in turn developed into developed into 19th-century pantomime that centered on children’s entertainment. Modern Western mime grew gradually into a form of art that was silent. All dramatic meaning was conveyed in the form of gestures, movements, and expressions. Famous mimes include Jean-Gaspard Deburau, Étienne Decroux (who developed a systematic language of gesture), and Marcel Marceau. Charlie Chaplin was an accomplished mime, as were Sid Caesar.

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