Lemonia – a bunraku style puppet by a greek company


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In October 2009 I was part of the production team of the 1st Athens International Street Theatre Festival, and one of the performances that stroke me with its quality, originality and sensitivity was “Lemonia”. The conditions in which I saw it were those of a street performance in the middle of a very crowded square in central Athens, and the play managed almost immediately to captivate and hold the full attention of an heterogeneous audience. With no words, and only the sound of a small radio player to accompany her, the Bunraku style puppet (an Otome Bunraku style puppet, to be more precise, but this tradition is the subject of another post…) an almost human sized old lady, an archetypical “granny”, that could have been part of everybody’s childhood, part of our imaginary, or even our own actual grand-mother, performed her lonely moves, portrayed a slice of everyday live, and most of all expressed her deeper feelings. She was in her kitchen, dressed in her black head scarf, and her white dress. The puppeteer offered her hands to the puppet, she molded some flour, made some dough, started playing with it, and little by little felt safe to remember, to laugh, to get angry or dream, to dance…

Lemonia - by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

Lemonia – by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

Lemonia - by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

Lemonia – by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

Lemonia - by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

Lemonia – by Eva Nikiforou, Nevma theatre

The play’s positive impact was the result of a well structured character and a scenario that hit the audience’s imaginary – not to mention the very good technique of the puppeteer.  Eva Nikiforou (Εύα Νικηφόρου) is a trained actor from Thessaloniki, Greece, who created the group Nevma in order to experiment with different forms of theatrical expression. The combination of puppets, mime and object theatre is the research area of the team. Satisfying her personal need to expand her expressive means she participated at a puppet theatre workshop, the acknowledged “Ayousaya” workshop, run by Stathis Markopoulos, in Athens. The outcome was the first raw material for what was later to become one of the most successful and most traveled Greek puppet performances.  […]

 

Source: Lemonia – a bunraku style puppet by a greek company

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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