Friday, June 5, 2009
Clowns are comical performers, stereotypically characterized by their grotesque appearance: colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, etc., who entertain spectators by acting in a hilarious fashion. The types of their acts varies greatly. Although many find clowns to be scary, their intended purpose is to entertain people, especially young kids. Peter Berger writes that "It seems plausible that folly and fools, like religion and magic, meet some deeply rooted needs in human society." For this reason, clowning is often considered an important part of training as a physical performance discipline, partly because tricky subject matter can be dealt with, but also because it requires a high level of risk and play in the performer. This has included the training offered by Jacques Lecoq. An example can be found in the Native American clown societies.