OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2012 – 2013 Istanbul – Turkey

Commedia dell’Arte Mask
in a research path on Innovation

The workshop is part of an Educational Project for Promoting Commedia dell’Arte in Turkey, which was organized in Istanbul by Teatro ricerche in collaboration with Tiyatro Barbone (Istanbul) in 2012 – 2013.
During those two years of activity, this ongoing workshop received Turkish actors, artists, critics, students and teachers interested both in learning about Commedia dell’Arte as a tradition and in researching on its innovation, so as to discover contemporary European Commedia dell’Arte features.
The production of plaster gauze masks was the basic element we started from in order to suggest the participants a new approach to half-mask, both by using other material than the traditional one (leather), and by creating colours very different from the typical black of demonic masks. The black Commedia dell’Arte masks traditionally represent the darkness of the underworld, where demons live and from where, once a year (during Carnival), they rise in order to take possession of the earth, just for one day.
But possibly, in a new way of conceiving the masks transference from the underworld to the earth, the contact with other kind of materials makes them dirty and stained, shading their surfaces with different colours; in our case, this alteration also helps enhancing the aesthetic and dynamic aspects of the mask on the actor’s face: nose, eyebrows, cheeks and other features become more marked, and more refined become the colour tones of the mask moving through space.