Il Pretesto Errante
workshop, masks, shows etc. by Valentino Infuso

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(Little Punch)
Name: Pulcinella Cetrulo
Type: Zanni (I° or II° based on need)
Origin: Naples, XVI c. 

Pulcinella - who was born in the midst of "cucuzzielli" (in italian "cetrioli", cucumbers), and for this reason he is called "Cetrulo" - he is the excellency between the masks.The birth of the character is the subject of various theories. We know that he is born in Acerra, near Naples, perhaps created by the mind of the great Neapolitan actor Silvio Fiorillo, already excellent interpreter of "Captain Mattamoros".The physiognomy of the character certainly refers to the ornithological traits, this traits permit to the actor, through simple gestures and jumps well executed, to spread that fearful but lively attitude typical of the chicks, which always characterize the physical attitude of the character.By way of the soul expression, the body expression, and (especially) by the language, Pulcinella conveys the being essence of the people of Naples, of which, in effect, he became a great interpreter and symbol.The first documentary evidences about Pulcinella, date back to the poem "Viaggio di Parnaso", 1616,  by Giulio Cesare Cortese, where the mask appears at the presence of Apollo doing a funny praise of Neapolitan language.Pulcinella is probably the only mask of Commedia dell'Arte which is survived after the Baroque period, it is survived for all the '800 c. and the '900 c. through the several plays and thanks to the work of great actors as Antonio Petito, Raffaele Viviani and Eduardo Scarpetta.

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