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Puppet show combines art of east meets west

Update: June, 26/2014 - 10:03
On a string: A scene from the shadow puppetry show Frontieres by Les Remouleurs. — Photo coutersy of Anne Bitran

HA NOI (VNS) — A puppet show entitled Frontieres (Border)will debut in Ha Noi on Saturday featuring artists from the French ensemble Les Remouleurs.

The show is a stage production combining Thai shadow puppet art and a light performance depicting the travels of a migrant.

The musical will be performed by director and puppeteer Anne Bitran; puppeteer and light specialist Oliver Vallet; puppeteer Martina Menconi and musician Francesco Pastacaldi.

The idea for the show was conceived during a former operation in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, organised by the French Institute and the Goethe Institute two years ago.received an award from the French Institute for a two-month research and exchange residency and travelled through Thailand in 2013.

The cast's experience in Thailand profoundly inspired the artists, according to Bitran, who founded the Les Remouleurs.

"In fact we have been fond of South East Asia for a long time. Our first trips to Thailand and Myanmar date back to 1983. We love puppetry art from Southeast Asia, especially in Myanmar.

"Everybody went to the puppet shows there: adults, children, old people, monks... Everyone!

"That is not the case in France where puppetry is usually associated with childhood," Bitran said.

The performance will enchant audiences with a mix of shadow puppets from Thailand and visual effects used in western puppet shows.

Light specialist Vallet will use cameras and an impressive number of props to highlight the character's plight and bewildered state of mind.

The music composition is also sure to impress, with Pastacaldi inventing each piece to match the themes and variations of shadow work in the show.

At home, Bitran is a comedian and puppeteer. She created Les Remouleurs with fellow artist Vallet in 1983. From there, she learnt to perform and give a voice to her puppets, with her shows featured in festivals in France and other countries around the world.

Les Remouleurs has been hailed as one of the most innovative puppetry and shadow puppet groups in France.

The show will begin at 8pm on Saturday at L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street. — VNS

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