Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bip and His Flower

Marcel Marceau was buried in Paris September 26, his stovepipe hat and red flower standing by.


Family members (and two old friends from the stage) mourned mime Marcel Marceau during his funeral September 26, at Pere Lachaise in Paris.

Photo: Benoit Tessier, for Reuters

Born March 23, 1923 in Strasbourg, France - died September 23, 2007 in Cahors, France. In between there were flocks of flying hands, the invention of moonwalking, a red flower of tulle and a hat, squashed and tipped to international crowds. When Marcel Marceau was buried Wednesday at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, “the top hat and red flower were placed on a stand next to the mime’s coffin and later in front of his grave,” wrote Rachid Aouli for AP.

“About 300 people attended the ceremony, some of them fans holding roses or carnations…. Some mourners threw flowers on the coffin, others placed small stones by the grave. ‘The rest is silence,’ and ‘To our dear maestro, the show goes on,’ were among the messages on the funeral wreaths.”

imageMarcel Marceau

by Hirschfeld

Image: George J. Goodstadt

Modeling his act on Charlie Chaplin’s tramp and the 18th Century’s Pierrot, Marceau combined clowning and dance into the art of mime. Marceau usually performed alone on stage, save his equally silent sidekick, the red flower. It had to be. With the white face makeup and black and white costume (fit for a 20th century harlequin) the red blossom was an emotional antenna, its extension as warm and suggestive as mercury rising from the bulb of a thermometer. Like the rest of mime, you could find it poignant or trite—maybe both.

In the New York Times’ good obituary, James Clarity (who also died last week) quoted the world famous clown:

“‘This character Bip is a funny, sad fellow,’ Mr. Marceau once observed, ‘and things are always happening to him that could happen to anybody. Because he speaks with the gestures and the movement of the body, everyone knows what is happening to him, and he is popular everywhere — Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, wherever he has traveled.’” In all these things, Bip was much like his companion in bloom.


Posted by Julie on 09/26 at 09:59 PM
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