Clowns in the St Pats parade in St Louis
Clowns are comical performers, stereotypically characterized by their grotesque appearance: colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, etc., who entertain spectators by acting in a hilarious fashion. Types of their acts vary greatly. Some children find clowns very scary.
Clowns are found in cultures of any time and place, because they meet some deeply rooted needs in humanity: violation of taboos, the mockery of sacred and profane authorities and symbols, reversal of language and action, and a ubiquitous obscenity. For this reason, clowning is often considered an important part of training as a physical performance discipline, partly because tricky subject matter can be dealt with, but also because it requires a high level of risk and play in the performer. This has included the training offered by Jacques Lecoq. An interesting example can be found in the Native American clown societies.
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