By Bertolt Brecht, Elisabeth Hauptmann, Ralph Mannheim, John Willett

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Extra resources for Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera)

Sample text

In 1942 he and his students performed Chirurgie esthetique, Derniere conquete and Passage des hommes sur Ia terre about one hundred times, in a large dining-room, for audiences of from five to ten persons. As one reads through the newspaper clippings of reviews from these years, one frequently comes across phrases such as 'magnificent ardour' describing the way Decroux and his students approached their work. Decroux is called a 'zealot of mime' and 'a curious man, with fixed and fevered eyes ...

Just as the work of Picasso, Matisse, Mir6, Gauguin and Giacometti was radically changed by their contact with such art, so Decroux, Artaud and Barrault were deeply influenced by the performances of Balinese and Cambodian dancers on their infrequent visits to Paris. Decroux was influenced 40 Etienne Decroux not only in his choice of subject matter, but in movement qualities as well, as he incorporated certain articulated movements derived from Cambodian dance into his technique, a technique already influenced by the No play.

Decades later Decroux remembered this rehearsal as one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen in the theatre. One could argue that it influenced the whole of Decroux's subsequent work; years later, when he took over the school of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan from Jacques Lecoq, he confided to Lecoq that he hoped to make the students 31 Modern and Post-Modern Mime there move like Japanese actors. Gide, alone unmoved, wrote in his journal for 15 January 1931 that it was 'something indefinably strained toward the supernatural in the tone of voice, gestures, and expressions of the actors' (Gide, 1949, p.

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