Crafting Gentleness

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Calling All Clowns: A Creative Project and Personal Journey"

by Linda Ann Elizabeth Cripps.

"The beginning of this journey was the creation of a large (120 inch by 40 inch) mask for the first Educational Foundation Fundraiser with a Mardi Gras theme for Delaware Technical & Community College, Newark, Delaware. The work continued as part of my First Year Creative Project for the Creative Pulse program with the study of the Commedia Dell’ Arte and the performance of Commedia characters. The 2nd Masks of Transition convention at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, in the fall of 2005 was a natural segue into the next phase of the project: preparation for professional clown school in the summer of 2006. The prime point of the plan was to study mask by doing, and making, in addition to traditional reading research. It was harmonious coincidence throughout the two years as the opportunities that presented themselves for study led through a similar path as formal Lecoq study. The first year of the Lecoq study begins with work with the neutral mask and expands through multidisciplinary experiences and experiments in basic materials and poetry, to animals to larval masks, which would include masks such as the Basel masks, to study of character, situation and emotion, and music. The second year of Lecoq study includes gestural language, melodrama, commedia dell’arte, bouffons, tragedy, and culminating in clowns (Lecoq, 2001). Without planning it or realizing it, the steps of my personal odyssey of study followed much a similar course, although much abbreviated. It is the journey of a broken-down dancer, who simultaneously discovers a new art and a mission."


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