File puptcrit/puptcrit.0606, message 488


Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 10:22:11 -0700 (PDT)
To: puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague


I have to say, I understand your frustration. 
   
  When in the festival of Seville, Spain- I had a somewhat similar experience. Festival coordinators were rude, the americans were looked down upon (we're not the most popular internationally foreign policy wise- if you've traveled internationally you may have picked up on this), I saw the people that complained BITTERLY go on to make the fesitval their own, while the people that tried to make the best of the situation get trampled underfoot time and time again. 
   
  My advice in this situation is to remember what is really important. Why you love puppetry to begin with. Revel in the magic. Let go of the awards and everything else. Take a day off from the festival to see the town or city. Enjoy yourself. Don't buy into the drama. 
   
  Puppetry is essentially about creation, motion and energy- all supernatural and otherworldly characteristics. It is the closest we can ever come to God- making something out of nothing, giving it life, and then sharing the energy with an audience. If we buy into awards, especially spinach awards, then we are missing the point entirely. 
   
  Just make sure people are polite and hospitable and that your needs are met. After that, enjoy life. 
   
  Yvette

Robert Rogers <robertrogers-AT-frontiernet.net> wrote:
  > I just came from World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague.I presented the 150 
> Years Old Puppets of Pioneer Indian Dramatist Vishnudas Bhave.I won a 
> Special Jury Award for the traditional performance.

Dear Ramdas,

I'm glad you had a successful time in Prague. I performed in that festival 
in 2000 and found it to be a frustrating experience. Don't think I'm 
suffering from a case of sour grapes but consider this:

Despite a lot of information sent on my part about my production, it was 
listed offhandedly in the festival program as "A typical American show." 
Whatever that is.

A performer from Sweden who showed his work on day one cried to the festival 
director, "How will the judges remember my performance at the end of the 
week. How can I go home without an award?" He got an award.

It was widely publicized that the Chinese Embassy gave financial support to 
the festival. A Chinese troupe was given an award.

A very successful Austrian troupe complained vociferously about a perceived 
lack of quality in some of the performances. I too felt that the festival 
director was interested in bragging about where participants came from 
rather than the quality of their shows. The Austrians got an award.

The festival director was given a special award in a made-up catagory at the 
end of the festival.

Me? Well, I was so happy to be there, whenever I was asked how things were 
going I replied, "fine." Perhaps I should have complained.

Don't get me wrong. There were many fine inspiring performances. But 
politics, politics, politics...

Robert Rogers
www.robertrogerspuppets.com

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Yvette Edery
Director, ArtistrYE Productions
Puppetry for Film, Television, & Theater

http://www.artistrye.com

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