Some Thoughts on the Mechanical Features of Pantomime Dancers


  • Maria Gerolemou


Palabras clave:

automata, pantomime, mimesis, phora, schêma, isxus, katanagkasmos


This paper aims to investigate the kinaesthetic experience of dance, and especially of pantomime dance in Lucian’s De Saltatione and in Libanius’ oration 64, A Reply To Aristides On Behalf Of The Dancers, from the perspective of the mechanical. Specifically, pantomime will be discussed in juxtaposition with the concept of mechanical automation. Until now, this aspect remains unexplored; however, this is of great importance, particularly if we take into consideration that from the Hellenistic period onwards theatrical automata and processions with engineered artefacts were considered to be a popular entertainmentmechanism and, as such, they exerted great influence on the public’s aesthetic. In this respect, I intend first to survey the concept of pantomimic mimesis as a mechanical reproduction of motion, i.e. gestures and postures. Next, I shall detect the vocabulary of mechanisms/mechanisms’ function that is generally embedded in dance rhetoric by examining forced motion both in pantomime and ancient mechanics.


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Cómo citar

Gerolemou, M. (2019). Some Thoughts on the Mechanical Features of Pantomime Dancers. Araucaria, 21(41).



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