Month: March 2012

Mireya’s memories

I have in my hands the photograph on the invitation from the Mexican Fine Arts Institute to the act of homage offered recently to Mireya Cuetos for her seventy years as a puppeteer: Mireya, in black and white, young and seated amongst flowers, smiles in profile in a garden which her son, Pablo Cueto, – another fascinating character with a long career in the world of animated objects and theatre in miniature -, will later tell me belonged to Trotsky’s house in Mexico. After Trotsky’s death, Mireya would go to that garden of long-leaved plants and talk with his...

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Barcelona and the TOT Festival

It seems that Barcelona wants to catch up after a certain decline in puppetry over recent decades. The TOT Festival opened its doors on Friday 16th March. The TOT Festival is organised by the Pueblo Español (Spanish Village), a tourist attraction and centre, which, since its inception has combined arts, crafts, architecture, and activities for families. The Festival is of a modest size but its artistic director is Jacques Trudeau, General Secretary of UNIMA International, gives the event considerable breadth and significance. The TOT Festival enters the void left by the late International Puppet Festival in Barcelona, which, after...

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Puppets in Film exhibition, Museu da Marioneta, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Museu da Marioneta, in conjunction with the Festival of Animated Film MONSTRA also from Lisbon, presents an unusual exhibition of films produced in the DEFA studios of East Germany. Specifically, reference is made to eleven titles, each occupying an exhibition showcase where some of the puppets used form  their own stage picture. The DEFA Studio for Animation Films in Dresden, Germany released about 1,500 animated films in all classic animation techniques during its existence from 1955 to 1992. Puppet film had a special place in the heart of the studio’s filmmakers, who fell back on the old central European...

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World Puppet Day

In a decisive gesture we put down our newspaper, switch off the news, and propose a toast to art and fraternity; today is a day of celebration, World Puppetry Day! We cannot forget the grief, the painful reality of misfortune and poverty troubling the world, but exactly because we do not want to forget, we intend to dedicate ourselves to celebrate human dignity, and the insatiable zeal of mankind to strengthen life against misfortune and death. Art is a hymn to this dignity, bringing together past and future generations, cultures and clans, in a continuous stream of poetry. Art...

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The fascinating Alexandre Expedition

It would be quite possible to recount the history of theatre and theatrical arts from the point of view of journeys. In every period and civilisation, theatre, like culture as a whole, has travelled more or less visibly or secreted amongst ideologies and spices, between people and precious materials. Puppets, objects of a naturally nomadic nature, have journeyed there and back on many occasions, crossing continents and seas. Chiwara, Hanuman, Polichinella or Karagoz are veterans of those immeasurable routes, by camel, boat, horse, car, aeroplane… In the 60’s of the past century a fascinating and pioneering experiment happened, which...

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