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THE PLASTIC ART                    89
jugglers, buffoons who passed through the cities, danced, sang on public streets, and tried to make people laugh by their distortion of face and body. Many of the gargoyles of famous cathedrals were suggested to the sculptors of the Middle Ages by these buffoons.
I had among my manuscripts a piece of music dating from the thirteenth century, probably the dance of some buffoon. It was called Estampeda de Jongleurs.
I reconstructed for Miss Wilcoxon this curious dance, where the grotesque rhythm and the exaggerated mimicry illustrate the character of the personage even more intensely than the costume, which was a necessary ac­cessory on account of the movements.
The following are reproductions of a few phases of this juggler dance of the thirteenth century.
As you see, it requires quite an artistic courage to present oneself in public under such a grotesque appearance, but fortunately there are artistic souls who see art in the expression of every curious and rare form (13 • 14 • 15 • 16).
I think in speaking of the plastic art on the stage or platform, I should not omit discussion of one thing to which, in my opinion, much too little importance is attached. I mean the

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III