Wicca, Druidism and other neo-pagan faiths offer a great many things to their roughly one million adherents. Spiritual fulfillment, friendly communities of like-minded believers and some of the best drug fueled sex parties you'll find this side of Lichtenstein. But it's all good, people have been wearing immense hooded robes, and sacrificing goats around bubbling cauldrons since years before we had electricity, right?
The origins of Western theatre Pre-Classical antiquity Notwithstanding its great diversity of styles, forms, themes, and functions, the theatre of today has its roots in a basic impulse to embody expression mimetically.
Theatre is a social art based on explorations of the cycles of nature, the progression from birth to death, and the forces that compel our behaviour. The lack of documentary evidence makes it impossible to determine exactly how theatre began, though it is generally believed to have evolved from religious rituals.
It is difficult to decide at which point ritual became theatre.
Important clues as to the nature of theatre in prehistoric times can, however, be found by examining the many patterns of drama and ritual that exist throughout the world today. Nature worship The most widely held theory about the origins of theatre is that it evolved from rituals created to act out natural events symbolically, thereby bringing them down to human scale and making the unknown more easily accessible.
Individuals would express themselves through rhythmic movement using some kind of adornment to enhance the expressive range of the body. Dating from the Late Paleolithic Period about 40,—10, bcethese ancient manifestations of art depict half-human, half-animal figures in animated poses.
The figures appear to be dancers wearing the heads and skins of animals, suggesting the early use of mask and costume. As part of these rituals, the natural elements were given personalities, which were in turn abstracted as spirits and gods.
By wearing masks and moving in certain patterns, individuals could impersonate these deities. Sacred dances were performed to influence the course of nature—to bring rain, to facilitate a good harvest or a hunt, and to drive out evil.
But one of the most important patterns was the enactment of the cycle of the seasons, dramatized by a battle in which winter gave way to spring. This ceremony involved a year-king figure who was ritually killed and supplanted by a new king.
At first this was probably a human sacrifice of propitiation; later the killing was mimed. In a further development of this theme, as part of other rituals, the two kings were reduced to a single figure who underwent a process of repeated death and resurrection.
This interpretation is used to explain the mock battles in such folk traditions as the European mumming plays or the multiple deaths and rebirths of such figures as the Padstow Horse in Cornwall, England. Shamanism A second theory proposes that theatre evolved from shamanistic rituals that manifested a supernatural presence to the audience, as opposed to giving a symbolic representation of it.
The shaman was believed to travel in the spirit world or to actually be possessed by spirits. One of the main activities of shamanism, which is still practiced today, is the exorcism of evil spirits; this can often involve trance dances in which the shaman performs acrobatics, juggling, or vigorous dancing for long periods, demanding a facility and stamina that seemingly would not normally be possible.
Fire-walking, fire-eating, and other acts of apparent self-torture, performed while in a trance, are taken as further demonstrations of the supernatural. They represent the opposite pole from illusionism, in which such acts are achieved by trickery. Sometimes puppets are used by shamans as manifestations of supernatural forces in the giving of divinations or oracles.
Masks also are an important part of shamanism: The use of body paint and elaborate costumes helps further in the personification of the spirit or demon. These ritual elements gave rise to an archetypal genre known as the demon play, a primitive dance drama in which the force of good exorcises the force of evil.
The demon play is still performed in various guises in parts of Asia. An interesting component, which also occurs in later Western theatre, is the use of clowns —often deformed—to parody the more serious figures. Shamanism emphasizes the special skills that actors have traditionally developed and that set them apart from the rest of society.
Indeed, when an individual addressing a gathering modifies the manner, voice, or appearance of an expression, the event becomes theatrical rather than actual.Nothing shuts down a person's higher reasoning functions quite as fast as the word "tradition." If it was good enough for our ancestors, it must be good enough for us, damn it!
Unfortunately, some of the most "ancient traditions" still followed today come from people who knew this, and just made. Ancient Greek art stands out among that of other ancient cultures for its development of naturalistic but idealized depictions of the human body, in which largely nude male figures were generally the focus of innovation.
AP Art History Terms. STUDY. PLAY. abacus. with influence from the ancient Mesopotamian traditions as well as Egypt, Greece, and the Persians own traditions.
acheropoietes. When spelled with a capital "E," Expressionism refers to a distinct period or movement in art of the twentieth century. Aug 06, · While we have various ways to perform such calculations, Egyptians used a more computation-friendly method that involved doubling numbers, a technique we still use in modern-day computing.
The above video goes into detail as to how computers and ancient Egyptians come together. Egyptians also invented basic fractions.
In performance traditions, designers generally create new costumes and sets for particular productions. False Expressionism was a movement that made dramatic use of angles, lines, and distortions to portray the world as perceived by the inner character. The development of Western theatre lies between these two extremes and polarizes into its two primary types of experience—tragedy and comedy.
Ancient Egypt In ancient Egypt, religious ritual moved toward a more explicitly theatrical enactment.