The Genealogy of Clown in the Iranian traditional Theatre
The clown is a special character which has arisen from the depth of folkloric culture، and beside his similarities in many cultures، he has some specific characteristics that distinguish him from one culture to another. The popularity of the Clown has established him as a lasting and powerful social pattern. He cleverly coordinates himself to current social conditions and maintains his place in folkloric culture constantly. The complete recognition of clown requires genealogical and taxonomical studies. In genealogical studies، the state of clown formation will be studied in diachronic and synchronic methods and in taxonomical studies various kinds of clowns will be recognized in a variety of places and times. In this research، the genealogy of Iranian traditional clown has been considered. Clown has an important role in the Iranian traditional humorous theater that has a clownish central character who moves the play forward. The Buyer character in Baghāl-Bāzi، Siāh (black) in Siāh-Bāzi and Mobārak in Kheime-Shab-Bāzi are the most important Iranian traditional theatre clowns. These traditional clowns are placed in the middle point of the two phases of the history of clowns in Iranian theatre: one from the beginning to the established and well known traditional types and one from there to clown-like characters in contemporary theatre. In researching the first phase، we aim to find out what character samples in society have brought about the clown as an effective character whose powerful shadow has never left the Iranian dramatic arts. It seems that the clown، based on «the other» as the main feature of clown، in the traditional humorous theatre has been the continuation of specific character groups. It is realized that these descends can be separated on the basis of ritual، social and historical views. The scapegoat is considered as a ritual descend of clown، and also، the minstrel، gypsy and trickster are his social descends and court jester and public fool represent his historical descends. These characteristics can be seen in the Buyer، Siāh and Mobārak. The scapegoat is our starting point which is an ancient pattern for «the other» and which is related to the clown. The specific example of Iranian scapegoat is Mire-Norouzi that runs a joyful carnival. But the definite descends are social and historical ones، whose qualities can be clearly seen in the Iranian traditional theatre clown. The minstrels who are called Gusān and go back to Sassanid dynasty، Gypsies who settled in Iran ages ago with their beliefs and manners، and tricksters that are known as Ayyārān and their tales in folkloric literature have been very popular، alongside court jesters and public fools play important roles in generating the Iranian traditional clowns. Features such as singing and improvisation from Gusāns، rebellion and marginalization from gypsies، and trickery and cross dressing from Ayyārān، awareness and frankness from court jesters and public fools are depicted in the clowns. This genealogy research finds the clown to be a deep and multi-layer dramatic character and provides a suitable base for further studies in the Iranian contemporary theatre.
Honar-Ha-Ye-Ziba: Honar-Ha-Ye Mosighi Va Namayeshi, No. 49, 2014
47 - 58
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