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The Superlative Theatre of Edward Gordon Craig and the search for symbolic utopia of Supermarionete and the interface with the tradition of classical theater in India, as suggested by Ananda Coomaraswamy.

Grant number: 10/15911-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2011
Effective date (End): January 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Theatre
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria de Abreu Amaral
Grantee:Almir Ribeiro da Silva Filho
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This work aims to analyze the proposal made by Edward Gordon Craig in his article The Actor and the Über-Marionette and its feasibility and power over the imagination of the Western theatrical universe, meanwhile proposes an interface with the traditional Oriental Theatre. Concomitant to the theoretical study on the subject and laying the foundation, this study intends a thorough theoretical and practical approach to linguistic universe of acting and staging on the Eastern forms of Theatre. We elected the Kathakali, Indian classical style of Dance-theatre as theoretical and practical foundation for its reflections.From that dialogue between the Eastern theatrical traditions and Craig's theatrical propositions, this research also proposes the construction of a practical, scenic, approach. With investigative and experimental character, this practical result will try to objectify dramatically the interrelation of these two strands. At the same time, seeks to gather a significant theoretical material to justify its publication editorial.Craig suggests that the figure of the actor, extremely susceptible to the venture and therefore not suitable for the construction of a true work of art, should be abolish and, in its place, arise an inanimate figure, which will be called at first Supermarionete. This Supermarionete, does not represent life, being itself parted from it, but, exactly because of this, therefore, to be able to even transcend life and offer men a unique vision of its essence.The fascination with the Puppet Theater revived during this period to be fill by unusual importance. The staging of a lifeless "lived" on the scene, excites profound experiences of spiritual and essential character and to human beings, thus part of an underlying intuition of the transcendental. The doll has an intimate and vital relationship with Death, or the "Non-life." By resorting to this powerful image, Craig opened a door to this powerful and intriguing universe of animate forms, and its archetypal, playful, mythical and mystical possibilities. The search for this actor, absolute owner of his abilities, free from selfishness and vanity, with total control of his emotions, able to overestimate their expressiveness and completely available to represent and serve all the transcendence of the human, has become an obsession in theater history of this century.The Indian scholar Ananda Coomaraswamy, knowing Craig propositions, held to find the answer to the issues raised by him. He affirmed that the prototype Supermarionete could be finding in India and in the ancient tradition of classical training of his actors, such as the Theatre Kathakali of Kerala state, southern India.Is it possible to identify in these traditions, objectively, the components of this provocative utopia engendered by Craig? And if so, what that fact could contribute to the research and development of theatrical expressiveness?Incremented by the eastern approach to theaters in the last century, the debate on this point had intensified and deepened, and replaces Craig in the center of controversy. The consistency with which eminent thinkers of the theatrical scene of the late twentieth century (Ariane Mnouchkine, Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Eugenio Barba, and others) have returned their attention to the eastern universe points to the still present and unending perplexity that is admired the intriguing surprising and monumental technical refinement that the Theatre of that part of the world reached to attain. This study aims to validate the proposition of Coomaraswamy face the historical and controversial questioning of Edward Gordon Craig.

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