Sunday, June 14, 2009

THE FIRST PUPPET IN A NEW LAND



Is anyone surprised that it would be Ned Kelly? Here he is, almost Kachina like, an outsider who preserves it at all cost.
For the last 10 years I have been making my own puppets for the Shadow Theatre of Anaphoria. My first was a fish. Almost all the human ones I have made have been based on traditional models in a desire to fully understand what goes on in every detail before undertaking the task myself. Even here choices have been made. Often I will survey as many variants of a puppet I could find, selecting what spoke to me most and what harmonized together. Traditional puppets are multilayered enigmas carrying an extensive history with past remnants hidden and informing the present ones. Often a stylistic code is used throughout all of them. They can consider the nature of flame, or the need to represent humans and gods where such images are not allowed. It does not say I haven’t kept ones eyes on more modern designs. Often one finds two common ones, the oversimplified puppets or realistic ones. These counterparts have often failed to hold me. What was missing? The director Eugenio Barba talks about how even a still actor on stage has to remain energized in their posture. In the case of a puppet this is even more necessary as one cannot rely on gesture or motion as easily. The puppet has to be ready and attentive at every moment. It is a new concern for puppet design and opens the door to furthering this art is general. So this puppet was a result of this direction.

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