Monday, September 24, 2007

A legend passes

Marcel Marceau, the legendary mime, died this past weekend at the age of 84. Mimes have become something of a punchline cliche, and if your experience of them is limited to your standard-or-garden-variety street performer I can see why. But Marceau was an artist of a different order of magnitude. His ability to tell complex, human stories without words was unparalleled, and his legacy can be seen in performers as diverse as Cirque du Soleil, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Pilobolus, and Blue Man Group. He was also, as I was lucky enough to know from personal experience, a genuinely lovely man and a born raconteur. I'm very sorry to hear of his death, not least because it is almost certainly also the death of the artform to which he dedicated his life.

Wikipedia on Marceau
Salon Brilliant Careers: Marcel Marceau
The Times obit
The Intn'l Herald Tribune obit