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

Anae, Nicole (2008) Poses, plastiques: the art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre. Australasian Drama Studies (52). pp. 112-130. ISSN 0810-4123

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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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright on all articles appearing in Australasian Drama Studies rests with the author.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2010 00:18
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2014 01:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: theatre, poses plastiques
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7003

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