We are happy to announce that master puppeteer Noriko Nishimoto wins one of the highest international awards in the world of puppetry. The UNIMA Women’s Commission will acknowledge Noriko’s outstanding international Contribution to Puppetry at the 21st UNIMA World Congress and Puppet Festival in Chengdu, China in May 2012. Noriko was involved with Australian Spare Parts Puppet Theatre for 19 years, beginning in 1981 when she was invited from Japan as guest artist in the company’s first show, Faust for the 1981 Festival of Perth. She was Artistic Director from 1997 to 2001. During her time as Artistic Director she created and directed many shows which have become classics in the Spare Parts company’s repertoire. For the company’s 2012 program Noriko will direct two of her most beloved works, The Deep in april and Cat Balloon in october.
Jennifer Pfeiffer, in her capacity as President of UNIMA Australia: “Australia is a large country and with communities spread widely apart. Australia has no long puppetry traditions, any being the vicinity of only 200 years, since no indigenoes puppetry forms seem to exist. There are few people that we can name as contributors to what might serve as what could be called definitive Australian puppetry styles that display Australian identity. With these circumstances we continue in our struggle to establish these legacies for the puppetry arts in Australia, the fortunes of puppetry having considerable ebb and flow over the last decades.
“Noriko is a person who has consistently contributed to the puppetry arts, to it’s genealogy and legacy, she is indeed a quiet achiever. There is a generation of young, new puppeteers on the eastern side of the country who I am sure, have not yet heard of her. Yet she teaches, inspires, and encourages young puppeteers in her home state of WA, and if they are anything to measure by, we need more of Noriko in the rest of the country, and beyond. Her work is a credit to puppetry.”
Darja de Caluwe