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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Oct 13, 1998  9:47 am
Subject:  Recording Mime With SW

On Fri, 9 Oct 1998, Fernando Capovilla, in Brazil, wrote:
"As with any true language, SL is mostly arbitrary (that helps to explain
why it is so hard to learn and differs from region to region, etc.). SW,
however, is mostly analogical (that helps to explain why it may be used to
record SL universally, as well as mime, pantomime, gesture, dance...).

But what really fascinated me was the work done by your student, Valerie,
who recorded classic mime (Marcel Marceau) using mimewriting. We could
really use this important work in our books written in SW on storytelling
in BrSL! Where was it published? How can we order it? Do you think the Deaf
mime Billy Krahl would be able to prepare an illustration of her work that
can be seen by the SW-L members? Perhaps someone might want to use
Eastman's book From Mime to Sign as a starting point to illustrate how to
use the writing system for drammatic impact in theater and storytelling. It
is a delightful book!"

October 13, 1998
Yes, Fernando, I think recording the movements illustrated in Gil Eastman's
book would be great, but of course I need to get Gil's permission, and in
time I will write to him about this.

In regards to writing the mime and gesture associated with signed is actually quite different than the Classic Mime of Marcel
Marceau. As you may know, Marcel trained with a famous mime instructor
named Etienne Decroux in Paris. "Decrouxian Mime", as it is called, or
"Classic Mime" is extremely difficult. The students train everyday like
dancers or atheletes. They teach their bodies a series of exercises, that
move the torso one direction while the neck (and not the head) move in
opposite directions. They are close to being contortionists (from the
physical point of view), but the end result of course is that the body can
create an "illusion". They wear white makeup so people can immediately
recognize it is "Classic Mime".

Yes, I publish the MimeWriting books that have been done - they were
written by Mary Lou Morrissette in Boston in the late 1970's. We have a
"MimeWriting Workbook" and a thick document: "The Classroom Exercises of
Etienne Decroux". Someday I hope to post some of this work on our
DanceWriting Web Site. And Billy Krahl wants to post some of his Classic
Mime compositions written in MimeWriting. But as you can see, it is not
what you need to record sign-related gesture and mime.

So I think that we can approach writing mime and gesture, as a part of
SignWriting, rather than using formal MimeWriting. I hope to continue this
thread later, giving clues as to how to write gesture and mime with

All my best wishes -

Valerie :-)

Visit the SignWritingSite:

Valerie Sutton at The DAC
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax

  Replies Author Date
455 Re: Recording Mime With SW Valerie Sutton Tue  10/20/1998
456 Re: Recording Mime With SW Mark Penner Tue  10/20/1998
478 Re: Recording Mime With SW Valerie Sutton Fri  10/23/1998

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