Sunday, 17 November 2013

Overseas travel 2

Russia, or better the former Sowjetunion, has established puppet theatres around its vast country. Obraszow, a friend of Stalin and puppeteer must have got the ball rolling and here on our travels in Siberia the legacy, after the fall of the iron curtain, was still evident. The former eastern block countries were all fond of puppetry but I never had a chance to visit there and experience it. We, Nico Suave a rapper, Werner and myself and the puppets performed in beautifully design and equipped puppet theatres with 50 and more members, the costume designer, the director, front of house, light person and sound engineer, ....... and yes there were puppeteers too. It was simply wonderful; anything you could think of was possible. Though as a solo performer, with a minimal set up, it was at times overbearing. No thank you just one light will do. For them a surprise.... you can do it all alone? And you designed and carved and dressed all the marionettes???  Everybody was interested, welcoming and very friendly  on this tour, set into motion by Werner from Musicisthelanguage and the Goethe Institute in Novosibirsk. Yes it was November 2012 and the temperature went down to minus 30 degree Celsius, but you spend most of the time indoors. And going out was not a big problem as it is a very dry cold and my jeans, a sweater and a wind jacket did the trick.  The cities we visited, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk und Irkutsk were reached by travelling with the Transsiberian Railways. The carriages are HUGE with two staff per wagon. A samovar supplied us with hot water and so the hours passed with endless cups of tea, frozen windows and a white landscape outside.  A myriad of impressions  later one finds oneself back in New Zealand and it all seems slightly unreal. Those beautifullll wooden houses build from solid logs with dovetail joints on every outside corner, the shop selling ice cream when its well into 20 below, the open air farmers market selling meat... no refrigeration needed, the Baikal Sea set in white, culture, markets, art, frozen cities full of life, thanks for the wonderful time. 

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