Mime Artists Performance. Information and definitions via the web
Fundamental Constructs of Mime: While there are many 'mime artists performance tricks' that form the basis of mime training, there are a few underlying 'building blocks' that make up most techniques:
Fixed Point: This may be more commonly referred to as 'pointe fixe', however that is simply the original French wording of 'fixed point'. This is an incredibly simple idea: The mime locates a point with his body, and then keeps it motionless in space. This technique is the basis of all illusions a mime can create.
Line: The line builds upon Fixed Point, at first, by simply adding a second fixed point in space. What makes this a unique technical skill is the added difficulty of keeping two points the same relative distance from each other. Also, the relative distance between the two points becomes the definition of this 'construction block'. As such, the line may become 'un-fixed' as long as the two points are kept steady in their relation to one another. A good application of this concept is the 'mime wall'.
Dynamic Line: Whereas the Line did not apply force to its points, the dynamic line adds that element. This is the idea applied to 'pulling the rope', but it can be applied to virtually any use of force in an illusion. The secret to this concept is synchronizing the impact of an imaginary force throughout the body. In that respect Dyanamic Line is essentially an understanding of physics applied to the human body. This may seem complicated but you can get a sense for it very easily:
Find a wall and place both of your hands on it at approximately shoulder height. Push lightly into the wall with your hands. As you push try to feel where pressure builds up in your body. You should feel pressure in your hands, of course, but you should also feel some tension in your shoulders and hips. If you can't feel anything, gently increase the pressure until you do. Also try different positions and feel how they change the pressures in your body.
Dynamic Line calls upon the memory of forces like the ones in the above exercise to create realistic illusions of imaginary forces.
Space/Matter Manipulation: This is a fancy phrase for "making things out of thin air". This is the most complicated technique to explain because it makes use of many of the elements from the previous three. It is best served by an example illusion: dribbling a basketball. Using only one hand, the mime imitates much of the idea behind Dynamic Line, however by using only one hand, he only uses one point. Instead of two points, the mime transforms his remaining point into a shape: a rounded palm with fingers gently curled over it. This shape defines the 'space' where the illusion exists and allows the basketball, the 'matter', to exist in the illusion.
Space/Matter Manipulation can be used to create any number of objects, characters, or events by utilizing this principle.
The 'Fundamental Constructs of Mime' are the work of Dr Louis Campbell - founder and director of the 1974 1st International Mime Institute & Festival. This event brought together over 150 top international mime artists and thousands of students; deriving the above concepts from their work, performance, and input.
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