Edition: English Asia Pacific Africa Europe | Español Français العربية Pусский | 中文简体 中文繁体
Culture Express > News Video

Homer's tale told through puppetry

Reporter: Julian Waghann 丨 CCTV.com

07-26-2014 18:51 BJT

The 4th China Children’s Theater Festival is coming to a close, but the stage is more animated than ever. Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

Ulysess setting sail for China? Homer might have disagreed, but "Ulysses" is nevertheless in China before a full house of young admirers. 

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of
hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

The history of the Greek Hero is an old tale, but this performance uses modern, colorful and humorous puppetry to present Ulysses's adventurous journey to find the magical land of Ithaca. The three actors take turns playing sailors, Cyclops and Ulysses. They fight against rough seas, get enchanted by mermaids and unleash their wrath like angry gods. Marveling at the exceptional puppetry skills of the actors, it's hard to imagine they're not professionals. In fact, these actors are characters as well, playing alongside their fellow puppets.

"The style is acting and playing with my appearance, with characters and with puppets. And they interact with us. We're showing our faces to the audiences all the time." said Carlos Gracia, Actor, Bambalina.

The audience has few breaks between laughter, as the homeric tale has been stripped down to its bare essentials. The Greek gods dwelt on the peak of Mount Olympus and reigned over mankind, exerting their influence by protecting them or abandoning them to their fate. Some men dared to challenge their capriciousness and fell victim to their wrath. Such was the fate of Ulysses, who offended Poseidon by blinding his son Polyphemus, and so Poseidon prevented him from returning to Ithaca, leaving him wandering aimlessly through the expanse of the Mediterranean.

The story of Ulysses is a story of a journey, as a metaphor for life, for the struggle against adversity and ways through which we overcoming it, but it’s also a metaphor for Bambalina that has overcome many obstacles to bring the inanimate to life on stage.

Bambalina was established in Valencia in 1991. The company has always been known for putting together shows with actors from eclectic backgrounds, and for staying at the forefront of theatrical language with contemporary playwrights. Bambalina has often staged major works of world literature, and is always looking for the soul in everything, from puppets to objects.

"We try in every show and every work to give some kind of soul to objects, not only puppets with human aspects. We try even to take a piece of plastic and make it into something alive and show people that there's some kind of heart behind everything." said Angeles Gonzales, Tour Manager, Bambalina.

And while not everyone might get the moral of the story, at least some are having their misconceptions changed.

"I thought mermaids were really ugly before... I thought they looked like 'sea cows,' but maybe not anymore."

"I brought the children here because Ulysses is a great piece of literature, and also because I want them to see a play that's not in their native language."

Whatever the language is spoken, the children have no problem catching the play's drift AND be amused at the same time. Bambalina’s Ulysses will perform at the China National Theater for Children from the 25th through the 27th before wrapping up in Majorca on August 16th.

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of hundreds
of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

Friday evening saw Greek hero ‘Ulysses’ once again come to life in front of
hundreds of curious youngsters, thanks to some skillful puppeteers.

 

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat

We Recommend

  • World Heritage China Part 29
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 2
  • Along the Coast Part 41
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 1
  • Dreams and the business reality
  • Philippines' beauty pageant obsession
  • China's love for basketball
  • Box office online
  • Jixi: Land of luminaries II