File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 229

Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 13:37:00 EDT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Obraztsov inner stringing & Festival

In a message dated 9/19/05 5:00:01, writes:

> I am wondering if anyone has information which describes (or illustrates)
> >the inner stringing technique used by the Obraztsov company (I'm assuming
> >it involves strings).=A0 If you don't know what I'm referring to, think of
> >rod puppets that have no rods attached to their hands, but mechanisms that
> >run through their wrists, elbows and shoulders.
Dear Puppeteers:

    In the mid-70s I was lucky to be invited to watch "The Unusual Concert"
in Moscow from back stage (my seat was under the playing board.)   Three days
ago (as performing guest at the Obraztsov Theater, performing on the same large
stage) I watched the Unusual Concert from the audience POV.   While in Iran
in 1999, many of the same or duplicated rod puppets were on exhibit and I was
given the opportunity to operate them. (The buxom ladies were draped
appropriately.) This week, I had ample time to again play with the larger scale rod
puppets currently in use. Over the years the rod puppets have been duplicated,
refined, enlarged and improved.

    The puppets' arm rods (emcee is best example) at the puppeteer's end, has
three modified thimbles, which are soldered to rods.   It is an ingenious
method which defies accurate description by this writing about the operating
method, but basically it's similar to rods extending up to a double bell crank
thru shafts to the elbow.   Other rods extend the motion from elbow to the hand. 
 The elbows do not lift, so hand motion is basically from the elbow at the
side of the puppet.   Other rod puppets make ample use of rods in the
traditional way, but are hidden by cosuming.

    I have VCDs of the production as well.   This time, following the two
hour performance, they added an "Open Tango" piece, with 6-8 puppeteers
performing the same tango routine in front of the stage.   The choreography=20was spell
binding, giving the audience an increased appreciation of the talent, skill=20and
rehearsal required to perform this one part of the Concert.

    The Festival itself was outstanding!!!!!!.   Not only were daily
performances for the public from the O theater's repertoire provided, but outstanding
puppetry companies from Belarus, Estonia, France, Germany & Israel (a
cooperative production),, Sweden, Turkey and other parts of Russia...and my=20own
marionttes, of course.   The days passed too quickly.

       Regards, Jim Gamble

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