Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 8 & 9 activities

Up early to attend a Professional development lecture by the touring Dutch performers: Neville Tranter, Ulrike Quade, and Duda Paiva. It was so great hearing their personal journeys toward puppetry, and they all called their puppets 'the bridge' to communicate with the audience. I took copious notes (it was in glorious English), and asked them each if the challenges of touring affected their artistic choices in terms of set/puppets/costumes. There was a resounding Yes. Then Duda admitted if he was commissioned to direct in a theatre with set designers, he would indulge them and make a big set! He also talked of recently being in Australia, and how everyone told him NOT to use the word 'puppets' to promote his work. In fact, his promo material for his new show 'Morningstar' specifically does not mention puppetry at all, just '... a unique use of foam rubber objects... that affords the performer a flexible extension to his body'.

I am SO going to use that sentence when people ask me what I do.

The 3 of them agreed that good Technique, Discipline, and Curiosity were essential ingredients to make new work, and good puppeteers. Remember that.

I saw Neville's show later that day; I have never seen him perform before, so was very excited. There is no doubting his superb technique and comic timing. Yet it also felt very staged to me; I admit I love the challenge and risk of Improvisation, which is why I love to watch good street performers. But as an actor, Neville was very polished and commanding, yet also served the puppets. Well done. Bit weird with all the fake fur bunny rabbits, but well done.

Saturday Day 9 saw me cycling/walking 20mins upsteephill to re-sell my bike to the pawnshop, then realising I didn't have any ID, so flew downhill in 5, and back up in 12 before the shop shut for lunch. Nearly had a heartattack. But felt it was probably penance for that strong French cheese pizza I'd shared at 1am as previously mentioned...

So then the bus into town, like all the ordinary people. [Yes, I am a transport snob]. A beautiful exhibition of photos of puppet faces projected onto natural forms like trees, water, grass, then photographed again. 3 theatre shows, from Italy, Germany, and Holland, with Duda's the stand out. An audience of approx 450, 5 encores, feet stamping, 'Bravos' being yelled- he was quite touched, and ran off.

I was recognised by a couple who had also performed in Perigueux Mime Festival in 2006, and the man had come out to Perth to UNIMA but we had never crossed paths. By chance I saw them in a cafe; I love that about Festival synchronicity. Also saw Joanne Foley, Jenny Pfeiffer again, and have been hanging with Jenny Ellis from Melbourne, and 'The Arrival' performers from Perth Giri, Sanjiva and Karen. Can't believe I have turned into the cliched Aussie hanging with other Aussies overseas, but yes it seems so!

Now it's 12.30am on the Sunday night/Monday morning; the Festival is over, and I haven't blogged Day 10. But my suitcase has exploded, and I need to pack and sleep. So all my pics and tales will have to wait I'm sorry. It has been incredible of course, and I will do Reflections, and Top Tips for Travellers too (Number 1 is buy a 2nd-hand bike).

So do come back, and I promise it will be good :o)

1 comment:

  1. Oh G I Luv ur passion 4 Puppetry!!!! Please say a big hey to all the ozzies.
    Happy travels,