Tuesday, Oct. 27
MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Sharing their belief that giant painted smiles and unrestrained laughter are the best cure for sorrow, problems and stress, some 800 clowns from all over the Americas marked the close of the 14th International Clowns Convention with a parade around Mexico City’s Monument to the Revolution.
The clowns, reported La Jornada, put the effectiveness of their cure to the test by relying on laughter rather than more traditional methods of protest when they called on the Mexican authorities to establish a clown school and demanded greater respect for their art.
From Oct. 19–22, clowns from Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the U.S. attended lectures and workshops on costumes, balloon twisting and face painting. Some were dressed as punks and some as babies, while others imitated Superman or Michael Jackson, but all wore gaudy costumes, ridiculous hats and giant shoes. Among those present, according to El Informador, was female clown Adela Peralta, who, as "Triqui Triqui," is still going strong at the age of 80.
During the parade, Jaime “Pingo” Segovia told AFP, “We’re going to laugh for five minutes. It’s a first attempt because in 2010 we’re going to try to laugh for 10 minutes and win a place in the Guinness Book of Records.”
The main goal of the gathering, according to La Jornada, was to win a place for clowns in the cultural scene and to refresh their stage skills. Another equally serious goal was to win respect for clowns as professional stage artists who are on a par with actors.
Mime artist Tomas “Llantom” Morales Lozada told El Informador that it was time for clowns to be recognized as “artists with a command of stage techniques, juggling, singing and dancing,” as well being entertainers with a strict ethical code. According to Morales, the lack of a formal clown school in Latin America is not entirely without its advantages, because the eclectic way of learning means that clowns have a great variety of styles.
This year’s convention, according to La Jornada, was organized by “Llantom” and his stage partner “Llantim” (Ricardo Morales Sanchez). It took place at Mexico City’s Venustiano Carranza and Jimenez Rueda Theaters, and the Plaza Madrid Hotel.