ManiganSes, Festival International des Arts de la Marionette à Saguenay, in Quebec, is about to begin. As sponsor of Puppetring, we will be there to report the shows and activities. The program of the 12th edition of this festival explores how thin are the borders between creators, actors and objects. Indeed, the selection of shows (see them at ManiganSes website) is open to a wide range of forms, both in family friendly shows and performances for adults. Since it started in 1989, it has presented so many different versions of arts of marionette to become definitely an appointment of reference in the area of Saint Jean Lake, in all Quebec, in Canada and abroad.
Called Semaine Mondiale de la Marionette (Marionette’s World Week) until 2004, it is now a biennal festival rooted in its area. Not only thanks to historical co-productions of giant marionettes shows or the will to set some of the performances outdoors, but also to the vision to offer variety of forms, workshops and other complementary artistic activities to promote this art.
All this has made of ManiganSes an international focus during September. Its Artistic Director, Éric Chalifour, announces current edition is due to set a territory of exploration, discovering the relationship between audiencies of all ages and their fears, their inner monsters or simply personal approaches to contemporary world. To do this, ManiganSes starts next Wednesday with the show ‘Die Reise ou les visages variables de Felix Mirbt’, the story of a 12 years old boy who crosses Germany by bike in 1943, by the Quebec company Théâtre de la Pire Espèce. Bringing back to our days the horrors of autocracy, the ideology of war, racism and death, the actors use several tecniques during the performance: mask theatre, mime, objects…
The festival lasts until September 23rd. In these two weeks, there will be 18 performances indoors and 10 outdoors for all ages. Among the companies, we can see international renowned artists like Catalan Jordi Bertran —performing ‘Le sens des fils’ and participating in the nightime Cabaret Hydro-Québec with ‘Poèmes visuels’— or Israeli Yael Rasooly with ‘Paper Cut’ (see this article in Spanish).
The assistants to the Cabaret will be able to close the night listening to live music, seeing a small format show or simply having a happy time singing at the puppets karaoke or listening to the dj. But this is not the only action due to bring puppets to all audiences —and thus to promote pupppets beyond their regular ambients. It will be also possible to see a selection of international animated short films under the title ‘Regard Animé’, divided into two separate programs, for adults and for children. And one more thing: the company in charge for the opening of current edition, Théâtre de la Pire Espèce has also set the exhibition ‘I perform, I build / L’atélier, la scène’. It is about its master, Felix Mirbt, and will be open at Centre National d’Exposition du Mont-Jacob, in Saguenay, until November 11th. Mr. Mirbt was born in Breslau, Germany, in 1931, and died in Sutton, Quebec, in 2002. This exhibition shows some of the artworks of this puppeteer that became one the most important figures in the Quebec theatre for his ability to innovate scenic language.