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Mime

  • By: Aubrey Mellor
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Mime is the art of communicating without words and is used internationally to express ideas across language barriers both professionally in the theater and in personal behavior. In theater, the words mime and pantomime are often used to define the same thing, although the English pantomime is a distinct theater genre (properly shortened to “panto”). Deriving from the Greek word mimos (a mimic or imitator), mime is both verb and noun, thus both the act of miming and a practitioner of the art (although mimes use the word for the mimic act itself and use pantomime for sketches, scenes, or plays using mime).

Mime demands complete control of muscular isolation, focusing on communicative bodily and facial expression. Although some of the art is naturalistic, most involves ...

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