Physical Theatre Performance Analysation

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“Audiences today want a real experience in their live performance, because they can get great script based entertainment at home, through various new media sources. Traditional theatre, which appeals on a mental, and hopefully also emotional level, has not been enough to compete with other media, and audiences have been declining. Physical theatre, by contrast appeals to the audience on a physical and emotional level, providing a much more immediate experience than traditional theatre” ~ (Artmedia Publishing in Zen Zen Zo’s “The Tempest” Teacher’s Notes)

“…Then you realise that theatre is a more personal experience.” (Stephen Atkins, Dante’s Inferno Director) After viewing Zen Zen Zo’s physical theatre reincarnation of the
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The audience then became lost and frightened as there were no signs leading them to their next destination, once again forcing them to partake in the performance. This physicalisation not only successfully involved the contemporary audience, but demonstrated the necessity of physical composition to give audiences that real experience. This use of physical composition provided immediate reaction and emotional expression through action and contrast. These elements ultimately enhanced the mood and symbolism of the performance, allowing audiences to not only partake in the production on an intimate level but also on an emotional level. Another way in which mood and symbol can be created is through the use of complicité.

Another element used to enhance the physical theatre experience is complicité. This dramatic language refers to the use of an ensemble. In Dante’s Inferno the benefit of an ensemble is demonstrated throughout the whole course of the production as it provided bigger representations and enhanced the powerful concepts. In particular, the “violent” circle representing murder, death and the element of fire, excelled in the utilisation of an ensemble. The audience were guided into a large hall where approximately thirty ensemble members were positioned around the architecture. The ensemble worked together, manipulating their bodies into unnatural, unsettling postures. Through precise

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