By Marco de Marinis
Etienne Decroux and his Theatre Laboratory.
Icarus Publishing Enterprise, Holstebro – Malta – Wroclaw – London – New York 2015. 257 pages. In English. ISBN 978-1-138-95358-1
Etienne Decroux and His Theatre Laboratory is based on the long-awaited translation of Marco De Marinis’s monumental work on mime in the twentieth century: Mimo e teatro nel Novecento (1993). Revised and updated to bring it up to date with recent publications and other materials, the volume focuses specifically on the seminal role played by French mime artist and pedagogue Etienne Decroux, especially on the laboratorial dimension of his work.
Mime is a theatrical form of ancient tradition. In the nineteenth century, it saw both apogee and crisis in the west with the realistic and gesticulating ‘white pantomime’. In the twentieth century, it underwent a radical overhaul, transforming into an abstract corporeal art that shunned imitation and narrative, and which instead tended towards the plastic, elliptic, allusive, and symbolic transposition…..