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buffoon & Grotesque

Buffoon & Grotesque

The buffoon is the more intelligent and darker cousin of the clown, but unlike the clown, whom we laugh at, buffoons form a gang and laugh at us. Buffoon is an extreme state of play, a mime gone wild. Combined with the surreal and deform shapes of Grotesque it amplifies the absurd expression. A gang of Buffoons is a shapeshifting chorus of wild creatures, who mirror society by playing the games that we all play. The imitation becomes mocking and the mocking will trigger the community to review its own ethics. As a theatrical territory or genre, Buffoon has a unique poetic potential because it allows the performers to explore and play with hotspots of the community and provoke laughter, outrage, political and social awareness and a shared reflection on the ethical dilemmas that any human community has to face.

The tragic space, the fantastic level of play, the foolish logic, and the direct contact with the public are part of the play of the buffoon. Students will perform Buffon & Grotesque in contact with an actual audience and discover how to confront the public about sensitive currant social issues in a manner that is effective and yet not destructive.

For us at The Commedia School, it is important that the students create performance level material in each of these styles. Shows in each style are staged in the school studio and often are later performed in other venues in Copenhagen or at festivals in Denmark and abroad. These performances confirm for the students the attractive power of popular theatre styles.

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