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Primitive Theater: Ritual, Dance, Storytelling
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  • To truly understand what theatre is and WHY we have theatre today, we need to take a look at its beginnings – basic human activities such as ritual, dance, and storytelling.Knowing the way theatre has evolved throughout history will help you to understand the possibilities of performance and production.
  • Shamans employed the elements of performance such as characterization, dialogue, music, song, dance, illusion, clowning, ventriloquism, and hypnotism. This picture shows a Native American shaman.
  • Or, “The Water Cycle of Theatre”
  • A ritual is an action performed REPEATEDLY because of its symbolic significance and its ability to evoke the emotions of those engaged in the performance.2. Success in hunt/battle, Adequate sun/rain, duty to community & gods.3. Through evidence in wall paintings, artifacts, and hieroglyphics.4. Elders, priests, shamans.5. A shaman is apriestly figure whocommunicates directly with the gods through rituals for the benefitof the community.
  • Keep in mind that storytellers were not AUTHORS. They had no written language.
  • We have very little concrete knowledge of who Homer was. Many historians suspect that Homer was not an INDIVIDUAL, but several poets whose stories became one throughout history. Most of what historians believe is contradictory, and it is based on evidence found in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Primitive Theater: Ritual, Dance, Storytelling Primitive Theater: Ritual, Dance, Storytelling Presentation Transcript

  • What is THEATRE?
  • “Bye, Bye Birdie”
    • You might think of musicals, like “Bye, Bye Birdie” or “Oklahoma!”
    • You might think
    of plays by
    Shakespeare,
    like “Romeo
    And Juliet” or
    “Hamlet.”
    “Romeo & Juliet”
    View slide
    • Or, you might think of actors in costumes from different time periods – like these actorsfrom a production of “SheStoops to Conquer.”
    Marcel Marceau
    • Or you might think of mimes, dressedin black and white.
  • The REAL Story:
    Theatre BEGAN thousands of years ago, probably before the start of recorded history.
    View slide
  • The REAL Story:
    Theatre BEGAN thousands of years ago, probably before the start of recorded history.
    Early cultures used ritual, dance, and storytelling to communicate.
  • The REAL Story:
    Theatre BEGAN thousands of years ago, probably before the start of recorded history.
    Early cultures used ritual, dance, and storytelling to communicate.
    Theatre is one of the humanities; it attempts to answer the questions: “Who am I?” “Why are we here?” and “Where are we going?”
  • Rituals
    A ritual is an action performed REPEATEDLY because of its symbolic significance and its ability to evoke the emotions of those engaged in the performance.
    • Through rituals, early humans wanted to:
    Express their duty tothe community andto the gods
    Achieve success inbattle and hunting
    Ensure adequatesun and rain
  • Other Facts: Rituals
    Common to all traditionalcultures, the shaman is apriestly figure whocommunicates directly with the gods through rituals for the benefitof the community.
    Rituals were often performed by elders, priests orshamans.
    • Our knowledge of rituals and early “theatre” comes from wall paintings, artifacts, and hieroglyphics.
    • Rituals often told a story based on the culture’s beliefs. These stories are usually based in myth.
    • Myths gained a life beyond the original rituals, and began to be performed for entertainment.
  • How it happened:
    Myths
    StoriesRituals
    Entertainment
    Habit
    Tradition
    Theatre!
  • The First Drama
    The earliest example of ritual evolving into “theatre” comes from Ancient Egypt.
    • The world's earliest report of a dramatic production is an Egyptian drama known as the Abydos passion play.
    The Play at Abydos is the story of Osiris.(He’s the green guy dressedall in white.)
  • Quick Review:
    What is a RITUAL?
    • What are three reasons early humans performed rituals?
    • How do we know about the rituals/early theatre that early humans performed?
    • Who usually performed the rituals?
    • Who is a shaman?
  • Storytelling
    Can you name anyfamous storytellers???
    • Myths and stories have been used to entertainand to educate human beings since the very beginningof spoken language.
    • Stories were told in order to: - TEACH HISTORY - ENTERTAIN
    - SETTLE ARGUMENTS - HONOR THE GODS - MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD - COMMUNICATE EXPERIENCES - RECORD HISTORY
  • Storytellers
    Homer was anancient Greek epic poet, traditionally said to be theauthor of the epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
    Homer’s (and others!) stories provided many of the ideas and plots for playwrights that came after him!
    • Homer was a blind poet who mayhave been born on an island in the Aegean Sea (GREEK).
    • He probably composed his works between 700 and 800 B.C.
    • Homer was one of the first storytellers to userepetition and dialogue in his stories.
  • DANCE
  • Dance
    Dance is another probable origin of theatre.
    Dance comes from:- animal imitation - pantomime- gymnastics - rhythmic movement
    Dance was often used as part of rituals.
  • Dance
    This photo shows a traditional Fijian WarriorDance – a ritual that uses dance as part ofthe ritual performance showing theoutcome of battles.
  • Quick Review:
    Historically, what are some reasons myths and stories were told?
    Name the Greek storyteller that probably composed the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey.
    Homer was probably the first to use r________ and d_________ in his stories.
    Historically, where does dance come from?