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The movements of Olivier Taquin

I just tripped over this posting at The Westerly Sun

Showing how to move

It’s always great reading how people enjoy mime work, the art of physical performance and I hope Rona still follows up.

An extract from the article:

Olivier Taquin does not wear whiteface. His act in The Big Apple Circus is remarkable as he portrays a lifeless mannequin who is dragged through the Big Top early on, but who later comes to life in a performance that has won critical acclaim throughout the tour.

Taquin begins with me by leaning his elbow on absolutely nothing, yet making it appear he’s a bit tipsy and leaning on a bar. He gestures for me to do the same. Looks easy.

Not so much.

Matter of fact, no matter what we do, and we do a lot, it all appears easy for me to mimic; and yet when I try it, Taquin’s cries are always the same.

“Relax! Relax! You have so much tension.”

I think my leg is loose. Olivier pronounces it stiff and tense.

I think my arms are light and graceful. Olivier tells me to get my shoulders down.

I think my hips are swaying. Olivier deems them tight.

“Relax. Relax. Relax, you have tension!” becomes his ongoing mantra to me.

Gee, I don’t know where the tension comes from. I work in a deadline atmosphere. The economy is tanking. My car has 180,000 miles and makes a noise my mechanic has never heard and does not like. Why would I have any tension?

But Taquin is the ultimate circus performer. His body is beautifully balanced. His limbs are loose, yet perfectly controlled.

“You must know your body,” Olivier commands. “The art of mime is all about small movements. Just little, tiny movements, but you must know every one at all times.”

While he is quite proficient in English, Taquin occasionally asks for a word. As he attempts to teach me to let an imaginary string go up into the wind and then come down, he asks for the word “kite.” But the man doesn’t need words; he makes the viewer see the kite.

Read the full article at The Westerly Sun

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