Friday, May 16, 2008

IN MEMORIUM: Carlo Colombaioni, 74

Photo and comments courtesy of Raffaele de Ritis

I'm sad to announce that the great Carlo "Charlie" Colombaioni, age 74, passed away yesterday.

Without make-up nor costumes, speaking only in Italian in the five continents and amusing the world.

Carlo, with is brother-in-law Alberto Vitali, left the circus in the late 60s beginning the "revolution" of new clowning in the theatre. They were the first duo to introduce clowning in theatre. Carlo was the major inspiration to both Dario Fo and Fellini for the reflections about clown of this two great masters. He was the major consultant for "The Clowns" movie, and behind all the Dario Fo plays involving clowning.

He was part of a large clown dynasty: about his nephews are also David Larible and Fumagalli.

He also was one of the first ever to involve audience participation in clown entrées.


Adam said...

How was Carlo related to Nanni Colombaioni?-- I met Nanni and his son at a festival in Brazil a number of years ago-- and had heard that he had passed away about 3 years ago. The festival featured Nanni, his son, and his grandson doing a pasta routine that was quite funny, although it was clear that Nanni's best days were behind him. I wrote in my journal of the time that Nanni had so much stage presence that getting on the stage and doing nothing was riveting-- and sadly that was about what his strength was up to-- I saw him fall out of a couple of chairs he was sitting in NOT on purpose.

Nanni also did some major clown consulting for Fellini-- so wondering what the connection is.

Raffaele De Ritis said...

Nani was Carlo's brother and, yes, he passed away three years ago.
They both had an amazing stage presence, on and offstage. A presence I never witnessed with others. The y didn't needed make up to perform.
They both came from circus, even if they left it soon. In the 60s, Nani developed a very original character of tramp in circus. I think he was the first to create a "poetic" clown in European circus. He performed mostly in the Togni family's varuous circuses being a major influence for the new generation (Larible, etc.). Yes, as Carlo he collaborated with Fellini. Nani, having been a good acrobat, worked a lot as comedy stunt in italian movies.


here a little video that I recorded of him speaking after the show he did here in Tenerife Canary Islands, last year.
Is so true what he says, or at least is what I bealive in clowning.
I hope you can understand it and if not I'll translate.

By the way, I've already said it but I love your blog and it inspire me to create this one in spanish.

Keep on Clowning!!!