Monday, December 7, 2009

Jon Davison's Encyclopaedia of Clown

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I had the pleasure to meet British clown performer and teacher Jon Davison this summer in London and to speak with him about his research into the workings of the performing clown. For the past couple of years he has been undertaking an International Clown Research Project, in residency at London University and at the Escola de Clown de Barcelona. He is in the process of compiling a sort of Encyclopaedia of Clown. I say sort of encyclopaedia, because part of what he's doing is analytic writing and part of it is "a performance designed to test, compare and demonstrate the wide variety of forms and structures in clown performance."

Here are some of the issues he's tackling:
what is a clown in the 21st century?
what do they do?
what are they for?
do clowns change over history and across cultures?
what is their true history?
how can we train clowns better?

more polemically...
why are women clowns underrepresented?
why are people obsessed with red noses?
what myths about "traditional" and "post-Lecoquian" clowns need to be thrown into the dustbin?
why is the fad for being afraid of clowns not altogether a bad thing?

Check out his blog and his web site for some more food for thought.

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