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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