Poses, plastiques: the art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre

Article


Anae, Nicole. 2008. "Poses, plastiques: the art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre." Australasian Drama Studies.
Article Title

Poses, plastiques: the art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre

ERA Journal ID9869
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorAnae, Nicole
Journal TitleAustralasian Drama Studies
Number of Pages19
Year2008
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN0810-4123
Web Address (URL)https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/ielapa.791839100117095
Abstract

Sometimes dismissed as practitioners of a humble variant of pornography, specialists of a Victorian performance style known as 'poses plastiques' mastered the art of manipulating the body into highly stylised and apparently motionless 'attitudes' 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 audiences with costumes giving the appearance of almost complete nudity. Poses plastiques were, for a time, a remarkably popular 'sensation' in Australia, as elsewhere, and this article argues two main points: firstly, that the appeal of poses plastiques during the Victorian era characterised a broader social 'blurring' of the boundaries between titillating visual theatre and pornographic displays and secondly, that this genre of visual theatre later developed to eroticise and personify a burgeoning sense of early twentieth-century Australian nationalism.

Keywordstheatre, poses plastiques
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360403. Drama, theatre and performance studies
430302. Australian history
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/9z8y9/poses-plastiques-the-art-and-style-of-statuary-in-victorian-visual-theatre

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