Deeply affected by the events of World War I , the artists of the movement felt increasing skepticism of the existing societal structures that had allowed for global warfare. In his manifesto on surrealism, Breton writes, "pure psychic automatism, by which is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real process of thought. The theatre lasted only two years. The performance conventions of Balinese dance were different than any Artaud had previously experienced, and he was struck by the intense physicality of the dancers. Nerves and heart," and through which we experience, "immediate violent action," that "inspires us with the fiery magnetism of its images and acts upon us like a spiritual therapeutics whose touch can never be forgotten. According to scholar Nathan Gorelick, Cruelty is, more profoundly, the unrelenting agitation of a life that has become unnecessary, lazy, or removed from a compelling force.
|Country:||Turks & Caicos Islands|
|Published (Last):||24 February 2015|
|PDF File Size:||12.71 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||9.3 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Themes: 20th-century theatre , Capturing and creating the modern , Theatre practitioners and genres , European influence Published: 7 Sep The Theatre of Cruelty, developed by Antonin Artaud, aimed to shock audiences through gesture, image, sound and lighting. One of the most influential theatre theorists of the 20th century and a key figure of the European avant garde, Antonin Artaud — developed the ideas behind the Theatre of Cruelty.
The Theatre of Cruelty is both a philosophy and a discipline. Artaud wanted to disrupt the relationship between audience and performer. He believed gesture and movement to be more powerful than text. Sound and lighting could also be used as tools of sensory disruption. The audience, he argued, should be placed at the centre of a piece of performance. He was interested in the use of facial expressions and the relative unimportance of the spoken word. Gesture could make these things visible on stage.
To express it is to betray it. He believed in the abolition of the auditorium and the stage to create a single playing space with no barriers between audience and performers. His work had a profound impact on a generation of European writers including Jean Genet and Samuel Beckett.
His ideas bled beyond the world of the stage. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the s American band the Doors, was inspired by his writings on ritual and spectacle in performance. The effect was an overwhelming of the senses. The text is sparse and the stage directions are surreal. Scenes of destruction abound.
There is an earthquake, a giant hand — and a jet of blood. Dead bodies are left strewn across the stage. Jelly and ice cream are splattered about with abandon, and the production ended in a disorientating looping, the same line repeated into a microphone until the words cease to have any meaning.
Who was Artaud? Artaud was born in Marseilles, France, in He contracted spinal meningitis as a young child and spent long stretches in sanatoriums during his youth. While he read widely during this time, he also developed a laudanum dependency that resulted in a lifelong dependence on opiates. In , he moved to Paris intending to pursue a career as a writer, but he became interested in the avant-garde theatre scene and began training and performing with directors, including Charles Dullin and Georges Pitoeff.
He continued to write poetry and essays during this time. He had a great interest in cinema and wrote the scenario for an early surrealist film by director Germaine Dulac, The Seashell and the Clergyman Artaud appeared in over 20 films.
Soon afterwards, Artaud travelled to Mexico, where he studied and lived for a period with the Tarahumaran people, experimenting with peyote. After a strange and disastrous episode in which he travelled to Ireland and was deported in a straitjacket — he had acquired a cane that he believed holy and sought its creators, an episode ending in an altercation with the police — The Theatre and Its Double was published in Already behaving erratically and increasingly fascinated with magic and astrology, Artaud spent much of the Second World War in asylums and psychiatric hospitals.
Electroshock treatments were administered. During this period he began writing and drawing again. Because of its political content and its cacophonous quality — including grunts and moans — a panel was assembled to discuss the merits of the piece.
While they found in favour of it, it was never broadcast on French radio. In , Artaud was diagnosed with cancer and he died shortly afterwards at the age of She is the co-founder of theatre website Exeunt.
She is regular reviewer of books for the Observer and has written for Literary Review. The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License. See Also.
Theatre of Cruelty Conventions
A unique theatrical language can be defined as its possibilities for dynamic and spatial expression, rather than using dialogue as it does in theatres. Such theatre evokes a variety of art music, dance, pantomime, or mimicry , but only if they can contribute and lie great stress to the central expression without advantage for any particular art. This kind of theatrical language creates witch-crafts, encourages voice, uses vibrations and frees meaning from the words. Finally, Artaud interrupts intellectual subjection of the language. In order to achieve this by spectators, Theatre of Cruelty evokes themes such as dreams, crimes, erotic obsessions, savagery, ghosts, cannibalism After a brief theory of the theatre as it should be, I resume some of Artaud detailed analysis of the areas that set up a show in Theatre of Cruelty. Directing is considered the starting point of all theatrical works.
Themes: 20th-century theatre , Capturing and creating the modern , Theatre practitioners and genres , European influence Published: 7 Sep The Theatre of Cruelty, developed by Antonin Artaud, aimed to shock audiences through gesture, image, sound and lighting. One of the most influential theatre theorists of the 20th century and a key figure of the European avant garde, Antonin Artaud — developed the ideas behind the Theatre of Cruelty. The Theatre of Cruelty is both a philosophy and a discipline. Artaud wanted to disrupt the relationship between audience and performer. He believed gesture and movement to be more powerful than text. Sound and lighting could also be used as tools of sensory disruption. The audience, he argued, should be placed at the centre of a piece of performance.
Theatre of Cruelty
Artaud was diagnosed with meningitis at age five, a disease which had no cure at the time. He was discharged due to addiction to laudanum and mental instability. Intonation is found within oneself and pushed out with the burning power of feeling, not achieved through imitation". He wrote a number of film scenarios, and ten are listed in his Complete Works. Directed by Germaine Dulac , it is often considered the first surrealist film. Although he did not fully understand the intentions and ideas behind traditional Balinese performance, it influenced many of his ideas for theatre.