CTGDF2014 – Handspring Puppet Co. War Horses on Show
They are so beautifully made – they gave me goose bumps
Photograph by Odette Herbert
- CTGDF2014 – Cape Town Guild Design Fair
- On till 9th March
- Waterfront : Stadium side
- Parking R10
- Expect to be bowled ova!
• HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY
OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY HAS PARTICIPATED IN THE CREATION OF OVER 16 THEATRE PRODUCTIONS. ALTHOUGH THE COMPANY HAS DONE SOME WORK FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES AND FOR TELEVISION, THE MAJORITY OF THE WORK HAS BEEN ADULT THEATRE.
“Handspring’s work has been instrumental in redefining boundaries between craft and art, fine art and performance art, the living and the dead. Their puppets for War Horse, have become icons of design innovation, receiving the Olivier Award for Design in London and a Tony Award in New York. These puppets embody a thirty-year development process during which levels of craftsmanship and expressiveness gradually matured. Handspring’s puppetry training methods developed concomitantly over time and then were propelled forward rapidly during the rehearsal processes with successive groups of puppeteers leading to openings of the play in London, New York, Toronto, Sydney etc.. Their training now embodies a philosophy of breath, of ‘group mind’ and of micromovement, which is being widely utilized in contemporary puppetry. And their puppet making too is very much part of a coordinated group effort with craftspeople in their Cape Town factory sharing their expertise across continents and welcoming puppet makers from abroad to interact with and develop their own methodologies. The not-for-profit Handspring Trust, which has developed out of the success of War Horse, now works in Masipumelele and Barrydale, bringing Young Leaders into the Handspring Factory in Capricorn Park for training, and returning them, inspired , to their own communities, where they are running annual festivals and puppetry workshops for younger learners. And Handspring’s senior puppet makers, decamp each year to Barrydale to help finish puppets and participate in the Day of Reconciliation parade and performance, which slowly grows in reputation.
So, for Handspring, puppetry has become a medium which can touch, reflect and amplify many aspects of our lives: self expression, care and respect for both objects and people, understanding of animal being, expertise in mechanical engineering.
Puppets can exist as objects and are indeed beautiful in themselves. But they magnify and extend their power when they enter the fourth dimension of time and performance. Then they become our emotional prostheses: mechanical objects which take on life and express our lives, whether in the schools and the streets of a rural community, or enchanting audiences on the world’s great stages.” Guild
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Tags: AFRICA, ART, CAPE TOWN, cape town guild design fair 2014, ctgd2014, DESIGN, goose bumps, guild, handspring puppet Company, masters, odette herbert, spiritual, war horse