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Daisy Mae
Expert Boarder

Re: Do it yourself trivia, part 2

#35628 3 years, 4 months ago
Thanks to you all for sharing in one of my deepest loves since early childhood, the masks of the Italian Comedy. The first 6 years of my life were spent in Germany, where Carnival and it's attendant costumes and masks have been very popular for centuries, with the Commedia del Arte being one of the most popular themes. Harlequinn and his fellows appear in ceramics, painting, theater, opera, and as a living art still today, every year during Carnival season (Twelfth Night through Fat Tuesday). Sadly, the masks of the Commedia del Arte live today in the US only rarely. Their crude, rude, and often lewd humour can sometimes be found at a Renaissance Fair, though, if you're lucky.

Pantaloon (Signor Pantalone): a miser

Isabella (Inamorata): his daughter

'Oratzio (Inamorato): her lover

Harlequinn ('Arlecchino, a zany): servant of Pantalone

Columbine: maid servant of Isabella

The Doctor (Il Dotore): a charlatan (the bird nosed mask of the plague doctor is one of the most frightening images of the art of that time. It was constructed to allow nostrums to be stuffed into the nose of the mask, as this was thought to protect against plague. So, if you looked up and saw this mask hovering above you, it meant you had the plague...)

The Captain (Il Capitano): an aquaintance of Pantalone, and a suitor for the hand of Isabella.

Troupes of Italian actors traveled the continent during the late 1600's and 1700's performing pieces with set characters and improvised dialog reflecting local characters and local scandals. The natural excitability and overly exuberant theatrical delivery common to Italians was much appreciated all across Europe, particularly in Germany where they love nothing better than a good fart joke. Music and dance, as well as juggling and other bits of 'funny business' were an important part of each performance. Naturally they were much frowned upon by the church and authorities, but the common folk loved them with a passion that is still widely reflected today.

So, who's got the next question?
Senior Boarder

Re: Do it yourself trivia, part 2

#35630 3 years, 4 months ago
I used to love fasching when I lived over there. (3 years)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Daisy Mae
Daisy Mae
Expert Boarder

Re: Do it yourself trivia, part 2

#35640 3 years, 4 months ago
Thank you! Every child's dream: hordes of cowboys and indians, clowns, African natives, Cavalliers, Vikings, you name it, all running around throwing streamers and confetti, and screaming with laughter. It's an organically formed performance piece of anarchic merriment. People come in groups, dressed as a theme, so, for one, you can tell who is with who because they have the same themed costume on, yet everyone runs around and mixes together, so you have the juxtaposition of different characters interacting, say, the Lone Ranger dancing with a Harlequinn. Very stimulating visually. Kind of like being at a Dead show.
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