Poses plastiques: the art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre

Nicole Anae

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    Abstract

    Artistes of a performance style known as poses plastiques mastered the art of manipulating the body into highly stylized and apparently motionless postures to resemble so-called 'living statues'. Most favoured adopting 'classical' stances in the garb of Greek and Roman deities, and a number of its female technicians titillated Victorian audiences with costumes giving the appearance of almost complete nudity. Poses plastiques was, for a time, a remarkably popular 'sensation', and while aspects of the form can inform discussions of puppetry, this article argues that the significance of poses plastiques emerges with greater clarity when discussed within the broader context of Victorian visual theatre.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-130
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralasian Drama Studies
    VolumeApril
    Issue number52
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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