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Monday, September 24, 2007

A Bientot et Merci, Bip!

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?
Marcel Marceau, nee Marcel Mangel, March 22, 1923 - Sept. 22, 2007

Porcupine has learned with regret of the passing of the last living Renaissaince treasure, Marcel Marceau - mime extrodinaire.

M. Marceau had a difficult early life. On the run from the Gestapo at age 16, he lost his father at Auschwitz while figting with DeGaulle and the Free French. He began his career as a mime after the War, in 1947. Many will extoll and exclaim over his life and accomplishments, and Porcupine hopes you will all read these tributes. Still Porcupine has his own memories, for he saw M. Marceau at his peak for himself.

Built in 1857 by the Worcester County Mechanics Association, Mechanics Hall is known as the nation's finest pre-Civil War concert hall. Mechanics Hall is one of the world's finest concert halls. Internationally regarded for its superb acoustics, the Hall boasts a celebrity list that includes Thoreau and Dickens, Caruso and Dvorak, Teddy Roosevelt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Yo Yo Ma and Itzak Perlman, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald. And - Marcel Marceau.

Porcupine attended a gala performance shortly after the Hall's restoration in 1977, and M. Marceau was the lead attraction. Look at the stage, and you will see why it was the ideal venue for the performance. There is no barrier between the stage and the audience. It was the closest anyone was ever likely to come to see a true master of his art perform live, untrammelled by technology, and entirely outside of time and space, a genius of shape, line and movement.

Porcupine has vivid memories of M. Marceau's performance - especially one ballet in which he mimicked the various stages of life, going from seed to prime to decay, using nothing but his delicate body movements to convey a lifetime. It is indescribable - truly, you had to be there.

Au Revoir, Bip. Unhampered now by the gravity which you seemed to defy so well, Porcupine is sure you are amusing the other great mimes through the ages, and your passing evokes flashes of brilliance for all of us lucky enough to see you.

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Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

Mimes have always creeped me out, but that quote at the top is brilliant.

1:57 PM  
Blogger T. F. Stern said...

“Internationally regarded for its superb acoustics", followed by, "M. Marceau was the lead attraction.”

Now that comes across as very funny to me; a warped sense of humor maybe?

4:29 PM  

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