Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation

Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation

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Analysis of improvisation as a compositional practice in the Commedia dell'Arte and related traditions from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Domenic Pietropaolo takes textual material from the stage traditions of Italy, France, Germany and England, and covers comedic drama, dance, pantomime and dramatic theory, and more. He shines a light onto 'the signs of improvised communication'.

The book is comprehensive in its analysis of improvised dramatic art across theatrical genres, and is multimodal in looking at the spoken word, gestural and non-verbal signs. The book focusses on dramatic text as well as:

- The semiotics of stage discourse, including semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of sign production
- The physical and material conditions of sign-production including biomechanical limitations of masks and costumes.

Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation is the product of an entire career spent researching the semiotics of the stage and it is essential reading for semioticians and students of performance arts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12.7mm | 294g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474225799
  • 9781474225793

Table of contents

1. Memory and Imagination in Impromptu Performance
2. The Pragmatics of Derision in Commedia dell'Arte
3. Semiotics of the Improvised Performance Text
4. Quidquid in Buccam Venit: The Syntax of Stage Improvisation
5. The Biomechanical Base of Improvisation
6. The Dramaturgy of Improvisation
7. The Pragmatics of Texuality
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Review quote

A fascinating and scholarly book ... [Pietropaolo] masterfully combines [his] broad knowledge to provide a novel and important analysis of Italian commedia improvisation ... Every scholar of improvisation, who would like to round out their expertise with a knowledge of its medieval Italian variant, will enjoy reading this book. * Studies in Theatre and Performance * This is a valuable piece of work for readers with an interest in the Commedia dell'Arte tradition, particularly an avid interest in what we know of the descriptive detail of performance improvisation, and would be a relevant addition to the toolkit of scholars and practitioners alike. * Scottish Journal of Performance *
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About Domenico Pietropaolo

Domenico Pietropaolo is Professor of Italian Studies and Drama at the University of Toronto, Canada, where he is also Principal of St. Michael's College and Senior Fellow of Massey College.
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