BC: By Samantha-Elizabeth
1: She was often the only functional intellect on the stage. Columbina aided her mistress, the innamorata to gain the affections of her one true love by manipulating Arlecchino and counter-plotting against Pantalone while simultaneously managing the whereabouts of the innamorato. She may be a flirtatious and impudent character, indeed a soubrette, but without losing her judgment. In the verismo opera Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the head troup's wife, Nedda, plays as Colombina, cheating on her husband both onstage and offstage with Arlecchino.
2: She is dressed in a ragged and patched dress appropriate to a hired servant. Occasionally, under the name Arlecchina she would wear a motley similar to her counterpart Arlecchino (or Harlequin). She was also known to wear heavy makeup around her eyes and carry a tambourine which she could use to fend off the amorous advances of Pantalone.
3: Collusive - she is a spectator herself. Very strong relationship with the audience, almost confidential in the sense that she too can see what fools the rest of them are. Flirts with spectators moving closer so they can see her eyes, but not too close. | The still centre of the turning wheel, in on everything that is going on, she exerts a benevolent influence on the outcome
4: Le ballerine and/or le cantarine (French chanteuses) with a tambourine provided entracte entertainment before women were allowed into the stage action proper. Here, for once, there is an indisputable link with Roman theatre. Its relatively late development meant that the role, unlike the | male Masks derived from Carnival, was much more dependent on the character of the performer herself and on the taste of the audience. The early street performers (who were more often called Franceschina, Smeraldina, etc.) were older, lustier and more buxom than the later seventeenth and eighteenth century Colombinas, who as well as being younger and more graceful and engaging, were less overtly sexual. In borrowing from the commedia erudita, which had a tradition of the maid appearing in place of her mistress, the servetta would have had a lot to do. But once the Lovers actually appeared, the role was reduced to confidant and message carrier. Later she became the counterpart of Zanni in function and the reflection of her mistress in manner and mood.
5: Unmasked, but the eyes wide and well made-up. Rudlin As she is not considered a part of the Innamorati, she often wears a mask that usually just covers her eyes. - Shane | Often carries a basket. - Rudlin Usually has an apron, a basket, and a tambourine. - Shane
6: Stance: One knee bent, the other leg extended. Slight forward tilt from the hips to show best features. Tiny waist and wide hips. Walk: Little flick of the foot at end of grand zanni walk
7: All the learned and worked ballet positions with the focus being directed to the next speaking character. A variation of the ballet positions with the body either erect or bent. In Colombinas case, a great display of cleavege should be incorporated into the poses as often as possible. Tatiana Marciel 1.) A cross between laying down and sitting, usually with one knee up and one leg extended flat. 2.) Hip cocked outward, bust out, and hands extended behind back. 3.) Leaning forward, hands together with arms extended accenting cleavage with the upper part of the arms. 4.) Wrapping leg around a male performer. 5.) Stand upright and "perky" and arms at sides and palms parallel to the ground. 6.) Profile with weight shifted back on hip with arms folded under cleavage.
8: Sharp, gossipy, with frequent variations of pitch. Originally Tuscan, but could be any other dialect. Rudlin Specially entertaining and attractive if it is a Portuguese one. Marciel
9: Loves Arlecchino, but sees through him. Feels a need to look after him, educate him in the hope that he too can break the bounds of being a fixed type. She therefore scolds him, punishes him, deserts him, takes him back, but in the end he does not change and | she has to accept him for what he is, which is still more lovable than Il Dottore, Pantalone , Il Capitano, etc. She can be very affectionate to other characters as well, and her affections seem to flow through her physically, but she always holds something back. As a result she is pestered by other men, especially Il Capitano and Pantalone. She is always ready to help the Lovers, perhaps through natural sympathy with their plight
10: Lazzi (from the Italian lazzo, a joke or witticism) is a piece of well-rehearsed comic action commonly used in the Commedia dell'arte. Most English-speaking troupes use the Italian plural "lazzi" as the singular and "lazzis" for the plural. During improvised performances a lazzi may be used to fill time or to ensure a certain frequency of laughs in a show. For practical purposes a lazzi may be any bit of business that may be easily recalled and performed in another situation, somewhat like a catch phrase. In any given troupe, the senior player could have well over one hundred lazzi at his/her disposal. The performer would not only have these well-rehearsed but also pass them on to future generations within the troupe.
11: 1.) She appears almost if not before her name is called, always being on step ahead of her master. 2.) She finishes sentences for her master, which she sometimes uses in her favor. 3.) When a situation gets out of control, she becomes the dominant voice to put everyone and everything back in its place. 4.) She beats the male characters, sometimes even her master. 5.) She requests other characters to tell her how important she is. 6.) She can make her breasts and other parts of her body squeak
12: Colombina is what the Innamorata is not: free, insolent, not slave of love bonds, sometimes brilliant, vane always, chatterer, gossiper, always prone to intrigue at somebody else's expenses. | Colombina is very often one of the reasons of fights among Pantaloon (her employer, almost owner, sexual harassment was not a concern at the time, more like a habit) and Harlequin (her lover). We can easily imagine which kind of situations (and puns) may originate from such a setup. | Carlo Goldoni uses the Colombina character quite a bit in his plays, the wisdom of the simple, the truth revealed even if hard to accept.