Theatre is a type of scenic art. It comes to life with the help of action. The main elements of theatre are: actor, audience and the topic(drama).
The motherland of theatre is Greece, as it arose and had it's early development in Greece.
Scientifically the origin of theatre is conjoint with Dionisos' celebrations taking place in pagan Greece. During these celebrations the participants joyfully were passing through the streets wearing goat's fur.
Farther on, by the time of theatrical buildings - amphitheatrons, the history of theatre gave us dramaturgists.
In the Middle Ages the theatre had the form of wandering artistic groups. In France these actors were called "junglers", in Germany - "shpillmans", in Russia - "skomorokhs"... They were pursued by church as there also was a religious drama called "lithurgie". Today's lithurgie has kept some elements from the religious drama (curtain, vocal performance, seperated parts for performers and for audience...)
The topics of religious performances were taken from The Bible. These perfomances were called "mysteries", "miracles"...
The supreme power of the church gradually was losing it's significance, and accordingly professional theatres arose. Now the actors were free of execution.
One of the first professional theatres was Comedi del Arte in Italy, by the time of Renaissance.
In Armenia the theatre in it's early perod was taking place in the courts only. In the palaces and castles of armenian ministers were performing "gataks" and "vardzaks".
In Armenia the first theatre was built by Ardavazd-II, in Ardashad(BC 69). Ardavazd-II hisself was writing dramas.
This was a time when Armenia was fighting against Rome. Famous general Crassos, who was in The Triumvirat with Pompeos and Cesar, and who defeated the insurrection of Spartacus(BC 71), attacked Armenia and was defeated(BC 53). Ardavazd-II and ally King Orodeos were watching the drama "Bacchae" by Euripides. And the actor threw the head of Crassos before the feet of the ally kings from the stage.
The Armenian theatre further on had it's development and left us names such as G. Sundukian, H. Paronian, L. Shant, A. Shirvanzade and so on...
Anxious by the future of Armenia, the friend of armenian nation, Russian writer and intelligent A. Griboyedov, who was sent from Russia to Persia as an ambassador and was killed there in 1829, wrote his famous drama "Gore Ot Uma", which first was plotted up in 1828, in Yerevan.
The histaory of Armenian theatre left us names of tallented actors as: P. Adamian, H. Abelian, Hasmik, Siranuysh, O. Gulazian, V. Papazian and so on...
The "Othello" of Papazian was very famous even in Europe.
Russian theatrical critics expressed about Petros Adamian this way: - "Not Possart, not Rossi, not Barnai, no one of european actors visitted to Russia gave us so absolute, artistically complete "Hamlet" as Mr. Adamian did".
Pantomime is a type of scenic art, where the words are missing. It's being performed with the help of the flexibility of body, gesture and mimicry.
When only reading about pantomime one easily can gain the feeling that as a type of theatre it's imperfect, and nonable to express spiritual, difficult ideas. Though for contemporary pantomime do not exist any non-performable idea or ideology.
As a type of theatre pantomime is classified as one of the many-ages arts.
The oldest information about pantomime we get from the "Feast"(BC 420) a historical work by Xenophones.
The presence of pantomime in the antique theatres was doubtless as it would be very hard and difficult to express(pronounce) the words lucidly for the audiences of the last lines of huge and open-air amphitheatrons. Pantomime visually was helping to make the words clear.
The motherland of the "Renaissance" of pantomime is France. The founder of contemporary pantomime(mim pur) is E. Decroux. He proposed the principle "naked actor on the naked stage". He had students and followers such as M. Marceau, J. L. Barrault, E. Kubbe and so on (I'm included LOL)...
Pantomime in Armenia is coming from the times of Trdat the king.
State pantomime theatre was established in 1971, and it's first performance was "Mozaika".
Among all armenian mimes (pantomime actor) the most famous was Leonid Yengibarov, who unfortunately died very early.
Today in Yerevan there is a State Pantomime Theatre, which has a studio to prepare mimes.
In the repertoire State Pantomime Theatre of Yerevan has several performances which are plotted up whith the support of the Republic of Armenia and French embassy. State Pantomime Theatre of Yerevan has participated in some several international festivals held in Europe(Germany) and Georgia(Tbilisi), had artistic tours to Canada, Russia.
In the Fall 2001, State Pantomime Theatre of Yerevan, by the artistic management of Zhirayr Dadasyan, is going to organize an international mime festival in Yerevan under the heading "Nazenik".
Best wishes and good luck them.
About theatre I have studied in Russian language, so I had to translate into Armenian and then into English.
There may be some linguistic mistakes for what I apologize in advance.
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