An air of mystery for the puppet festival because it keeps the events low-key
Reviews and recommendations are impartial and the products are selected independently. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on this page.
Content of the article
Promoting this year’s Animated Objects Festival is a bit tricky.
How to promote a performance which is not really a performance? This is not an existential question posed by a philosophical puppet, but a reflection of life and art under COVID-19 restrictions.
Festival organizers believed they dodged a bullet last year. Animated Objects, which celebrates âall things puppetryâ, is a biennial event and 2020 has been a low year. So there was optimism that it would all be over for the festival in 2021. Instead, as with any artistic group, we had to rethink the Festival of Animated Objects, which runs from March 20 to April 11.
âWe had to get creative on this because we don’t want everything to be just online,â says Pete Balkwill, co-artistic director of the festival. âWe want to invite people to engage in the community in the responsible way we have to maintain safety. This is to increase your awareness of the community. When you go out, you are part of a group of people who are working together to get through this pandemic safely, but who also still need to make that contact and association with others.
Content of the article
Thus, the festival will offer virtual performances, film series and workshops and a handful of free pop-up events that are not officially announced. Some have taken on a fresh air of mystery because of it. The OKO Parade is a pop-up event featuring nine local artists and will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 26 along Stephen Avenue. On March 20, Calgarians are encouraged to celebrate the Spring Equinox in a socially distant way with their own lighted lanterns. This is apparently what the artists of the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppet Iniskim’s production will do with their giant buffalo lanterns for what is described as a “socially distanced celebration of the first day of spring and light.” , the renewal and regrowth it brings. . “
“If you’re lucky enough to see it, then you’ll see it and say, ‘Oh my God, what’s that strangeness there?’ Â»Said Balkwill. âThe way art should, it gives you an impetus to respond and to reflect on your own personal journey anyway. In a way, if you don’t know or if you don’t feel like you know how to engage in it, you are in the truest relationship with art. “
âWe’ve got a cohort that’s going to slowly walk down the Stephen Avenue Mall at some point, we’ve got an artist in a mask who’ll be on the C-Train and dancing on the platforms,â he adds. “We can send notes after the fact and say ‘Hey, if you saw that, this is what it was.’ In a way, it becomes immersive. The audience participates in it and thinks it over after the fact. “
Content of the article
There will be more standard performance type events, although they are mostly held online. This includes a return of the festival flagship Dolly Wiggler Cabaret. Hosted by co-artistic director Xstine Cook and internationally acclaimed clown and Cirque Du Soleil veteran Mooky Cornish, this adult puppet show takes place on ZOOM on March 25, 26 and 27 and features “an unsettling quirk of nudity. puppets and one supposed to leave you “uncomfortable excited”. This year’s cryptic theme is âEveryone Loves Frank!â
The adults’ theme will be Spooky and Beautiful, which will feature late night horror-themed shorts from around the world.
The Handmade Quarantine Films Micro-Commission 2020 puppet shorts are from Handmade Puppet Dreams, an organization run by the late Jim Henson’s youngest daughter, Heather. The organized short film program is designed for a new generation of puppeteers to “embrace cinema as a means of artistic direction”.
Family shorts from around the world will also be shown as part of Animovies, a series of stop-motion, puppets and animated objects. All three film programs can be viewed anytime from March 29 to April 11.
On March 20, a World Puppet Day livestream, presented by the WP Puppet Theater in Calgary, is a free event that takes place at 12 p.m. It will include instructions on how to make your own puppet.
Meanwhile, on March 25 at 6 p.m., the Canadian Academy of Mask and Puppetry will launch its new virtual series as part of the festival, featuring Balkwill performing interviews and studio tours. The series will last all year. But the first will feature Wonderheads, a Victoria-based theater company that performs in full face masks.
But while a good chunk of the festival will be live, Barkwill encourages those interested in the town’s rugged mask and puppet talent to visit the website, puppetfestival.com for more details. But also just to be aware that the city will host a strange quirk in the coming days.
âOur hands are tied,â he said. âWe cannot attract people to attend public events. But keep your eyes open. If you see something curious going on, it could be a random contextual performance. “
The Animated Objects Festival runs from March 20 to April 11. Visit puppetfestical.ca