Copeau’s original premise, one of his intuitive leaps in actor-training, was to cover the face of the student actor so that his body would be forced into greater expressivity. From this central idea, the importance of the core of the actor rather than his extremities, modern mime was born. This is the major difference between modern mime and the nineteenth-century paradigm it sought to replace; in the work of Jean-Gaspard Deburau and his successors, the face and the hands were of primary focus, working overtime to make up for the verbal language that had been forbidden.
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