Sunday, 18 January 2015

Words Music Dance - communnication skills msterclass for professional Selling from Circus Ronaldo

Who do you reckon are the most effective  practitioners of communication skills? 
 Politicians ?  e.g The great communicator President  Ronald Reagan ?  perhaps

 Movie Actors (e.g  this year’s Oscar goes to ... maybe

I believe a strong contender must be in those very special folk  Professional Mime artists !

Each year I  treat myself in the first two weeks of January  to  a  performance in the London International Mime Festival  season .
This is fun Continual Professional Development  CPD with a capital F.

 How many salespeople could sell their products let alone hold the attention of a buying panel through mime for an hour or two as these do with their audiences ?

Trapeze in the Circus Ronaldo on the LIMF programme
LIFM now in its 38th year  promotes cutting-edge circus, adult puppetry, live art and physical theatre.

This year I went to see Circus Ronaldo from Belgium.  The company is a family concern in keeping with  the romantic circus and travelling theatre tradition

For their LIMF performance they set up on the stage of the Queen Elisabeth Hall on London’s Southbank.
The company include artists who not only have theatre and circus skills but also play musical instruments, sing and have puppetry skills. So for those salespeople familiar with the communication channels of Words , Music and Dance ( WMD)  Circus Ronaldo are the practitioners with the full set of WMD

Learning by observing the skills and craft of another profession, namely Circus/theatre is a good way to review one's own communication skills in business.

In the  after show discussion  a large number of the audience stayed to ask questions and learn of the history of this family business who trace their roots back several generations.

 Danny Ronaldo (left in the photo) not only revealed that much of their craft has become a DNA of circus /theatre but probing a little detail he talked also of the roots of 

Commedia dell’arte.

Back in 16th Century Italy the roots of the clown can be identified.

To distinguish the form from commedia erudita or learned comedy that was written by academics and performed by amateurs.
 Commedia dell'arte , was performed by professional actors (comici) who perfected a specific role or mask.
To me this resonated as the contrast between studying Selling at a college, training programme or reading a book and practicing the craft.
Of course in our 21st century one can study both selling and Circus Crafts at University. Indeed at the Festival they also hold Week long to One day workshops .

In the legacy of Commedia dell'Arte,  also known as "Italian comedy,"  whose  humorous theatrical presentation performed by professional players who travelled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century Circus Ronaldo  tours.

  Often  today we talk of ‘standing on the shoulders’ of predecessors but of course this family have literally learnt from father to son , from generation to generation in circus skills like acrobats, tight rope walkers, jugglers, clowning.

We use the expression 'high flyer' rather too glibly perhaps, forgetting its hard earned origins of the high wire. ( Go  and see  the Cirque de Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall at present)

Performances in 16th century Italy took place on temporary stages, mostly on city streets, but occasionally in court venues.  Similalry Cirus Ronaldo used their family  demountable theatre.

I know it's a bit obsessive to scribble notes
 on the programme sheet,
 but there is so much to learn
 from these master artistes
Music, dance, witty dialogue, and all kinds of chicanery contributed to the comic effects. Subsequently the art form spread throughout Europe, with many of its elements persisting into present-day theatre.
Back in 16th Century the most notable troupes  such as the Gelosi, Confidenti, and Fedeli became internationally famous.

Music, dance, witty dialogue, and all kinds of chicanery contributed to the comic effects of Circus Ronaldo's 'Amortale 'which brought  together tragedy and clowning, opera, string puppets, slapstick and melancholy circus and simplicity and not a little hilarious anarchy.

Apparently, there was no attempt made to change the performance's dialect from region to region. Even when a local company performed, much of the dialogue would not have been understood. Regardless of region, il Capitano would have spoken in Spanish, il Dottore in Bolognese, and l'Arlecchino in utter gibberish. The focus was placed on physical business rather than on spoken text.

Similalry Circus Ronaldo do use some Italian and a   few bits of  English in the London show but mainly it is through  physical theatre .

Three characters from the Circus Ronaldo  “ Amortale” show could be identified from the Commedia dell Arte  Who make up what Danny Ronaldo  the “eternal triangle” of the ‘master and two servants” One very stupid servant and one smarter.  I think he was probably referring to
 Il Capitano/ Il Dottore  ( Masters)  the clowns   Zanni  and L’Arlecchino .

Recognise of your your clients, co-workers or bosses in the cast above ?

Whilst we in professional selling  use the work of twentieth century psychology on personality types to help us communicate and work better with clients in systems such as  MBTI, DISC or the Big Five, maybe  the  500 year old pedigree of Commedia Dell arte still can teach us when we go to enjoy the circus.
The London International Festival of Mime’s 2015 season continues next week.
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