Rachel recently returned from an incredible two week trip via Bangkok to Almaty, Kazakhstan, continuing her travels through Asia. Funded by an Artsflight award from the Departmentof Culture & Arts, Western Australia, Rachels new solo show ‘Change of Heart’ http://www.dynamicnewanimation.co.uk/Art_of_heart.htm was invited from over 257 productions worldwide to the 2nd World Puppet Carnival 2012. http://www.worldpuppetcarnival.com/ .She also took along ‘Thurtinkle – the last gnome’ DNA’s favourite travelling character.
After arriving and waking to see the brilliant view of the mountains & state opera theatre, the first day was spent getting to know Almaty -apple city, an easystreet grid system and visiting the Central State Museum to find out more about the Nomadic culture , Shaman baksy healers and the Gold kazahkstan treasure relics of the the Golden Wo(man). http://www.connellodonovan.com/princess.html
Sunday morning and puppeteers were arriving for the opening parade that after noon. It was fantastic to get together with friends old and new.
Fantastic evenings are spent with the Iranian company Aban 27 Group of Theaters, Tehran, Iran on their ‘Dream Trip’ playing their music – drumming and singing, telling stories.
Some of the great work I saw included –
S.A. Marionetas – Teatro & Bonecos, Portugal with ‘Don Roberto. http://www.samarionetas.com/#!home/mainPage
Theater Tarabates , France performed’ Punchinello’ with the amazing accordionist and singer Fanny Tastic. http://www.tarabates.com/news_fraiches/news_fraiches.php
Teater Nevma , Greece with ‘Lemonina’ http://www.istfest.gr/en/open/72-nevmatheatre
Yuki puppet works, intimate theatre for one Japan- http://yuki-puppet.jimdo.com
Puppetsamongus – ‘El Sueno de Frida’ Day of the dead Frida Kahlo show, – www.puppetsamongus.com
Makhampom Theatre Group, Thailand ‘kankan Naga Tan’ – king of toads’- www.makhampom.net
Jose Navarro performing ‘Animalia’ – http://www.jose-navarro.com/
Puppet (R)Evolution ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ UK from Raven Kaliana
Handmade films from Heather Henson’s Ibex puppetry company with also ‘Celebration of Flight’- www.ibexpuppetry.com
My performance of ‘Change of Heart’ was on the last Saturday night of the festival and unfortunately the day before I woke up with no voice at all! A bit of rest, strong American medication,and a lot of hope, and by Saturday it was back, though not at all full strength. Despite everything, I got through the tech and had a great show, with a wonderful response from the audience.
‘I thought your show was really cleverly presented, and subject matter was completely fascinating. You’re a charismatic performer, and I really enjoyed your work.’
Next day was the closing ceremony filmed live for national tv, an embarassing moment when my certificate couldnt be found and the Iranians had it with them!
Sad to say goodbye to friends old and new, but the experience was tremendous in many ways, a big lesson in taking solo work internationally all on your own strength.