Puppet Power Artist Feature – Celebration and Indignation

Puppet Power: Festival of Ideas All Access PassIn association with our Puppet Power: Festival of Ideas which runs May 23 – 29, 2022  we’re excited to offer a Puppet Power Artist Feature, a series of blogs exploring the role of puppetry in ‘celebration’ of some sort or another. Thank you to the puppeteers from around the world, who contributed their insights and their work in these challenging times.  

The line between Celebration and Indignation

by Daniele Rocha Viola, actress, light designer, shadow puppeteer, mask maker.
(edited Wendy Passmore-Godfrey)

Shadow images
Lambe – Lambe Theatre with Daniele Rocha Viola

The Lambe-Lambe Theater is a language of puppet theater created in 1989, by two Brazilian women, Ismine Lima and Denise Di Santos. This aesthetic consists of a miniature show (in a box) with a short duration, where there is usually, only one animator-actress and one spectator at a time. Lambe-Lambe Theater is usually acted on the street and the audience is simply a passer-by.  It’s a chance encounter that has the power to transform the daily rhythm and invite the viewer to enter another world.

Daniele is creating beautiful Lambe-Lambe shows experimenting with integrating shadow puppetry and social commentary.

In “Delírios” the glass bottle is used as the “box” of the lambe-lambe theater and the shadows are projected on the bottom of this bottle. It is born from a reality produced by the pandemic – with multiple interpretations. At the bottom of the bottle is ‘breath’, the imagery leading to ancestry and the connection with nature; a space to celebrate the natural elements and possible dreams. However, the bottom of the bottle also brings delusions of a dream, out of it a nightmare – the devastation of the Cerrado (Brazilian biome) and people in Brazil. The atrocities and destruction is slowly killing us.

In “Orgão de Morrer” Daniele  works with eggshell and onion skin, which is also born out of the relationship with everyday life during the pandemic. She works with food scraps and can celebrate that she has food to eat. But this is not the reality many people in Brazil, which in these recent years, has returned to the line of misery with nothing to eat.

In this way, her shows are a celebration of life, of something that pulsates within us, and at the same time, they are a lament for a nation that is starving, but struggling to survive.

(Puppet Power Artist Feature)

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