Sacred Clowns_masquerade

etude II

Sacred Clowns_masquerade

etude I


We investigate the personae of the sacred clowns, court jesters that have a long history in both Africa  and  Europe. 


Sacred clowns, sometimes referred to as priest clowns, conjoin qualities within themselves that are  easily thought of as opposites. They control and can play with boundaries between the sacred and  the profane, challenging rules and authorities. They are fluid beings that create and dissolve  phenomenal realities. They liquify reality. 

Like kings, sacred clowns hold a spiritual and commanding position in society from which they  can transgress human moral codes. They are permitted to provoke, parody, taunt, tickle and  titillate. Therefore, the ritual clown must master the burlesque art of travesty, must learn to  embody the ludicrous, the incongruous, the backwards, forwards, and upside-down .

For it is with inversion, the turning of cultural norms inside-out and wrong-side up, that  traditional, spiritual, and societal values, social positions and identities are, with hilarity and  irony, reaffirmed, inspired, redefined. 

They parodying society in precarious times; they reveal and reconcile. 

Sacred clown represents a reversal of the normal order, an opening to the chaos that preceded  creation.

A project in collaboration with dramaturg Esther Severi. 

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