Günter Berghaus
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Futurist Performance, 1910–1916
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This chapter investigates the history of Futurist performance. The serate, Futurist Variety Theatre and Theatre of Essential Brevity were all designed to break down the stilted traditions of virtuosity acting and the stultifying conventions of dramatic literature. The Futurists managed to demolish a system characterised by histrionic excess and artistic debility and instead created an avant-garde form of theatre that invaded society and helped to mould a modern civilisation. In the manifesto of 1913, The Variety Theatre, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti summed up a number of innovative features of the genre and outlined how it could serve his fight against the traditionalist theatre in his home country. He felt that nothing contradicted the rules of Aristotelian dramaturgy more than the heterogeneous mixture of numbers performed in a Variety show.

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