Nastya is an actress of the Puppet Theater “Fairy Tales at the Moscow Gates” and the author of the theater “On NiTochKaH”, whose performances regularly appear in the repertoire of the Moscow theater “House of Fanny Bell” and on the theater grounds of St. Petersburg.
The first theatrical dolls
The history of the puppet theater leads us into the distant past, in the times of primitive man, when people on Earth lived in small tribes and lived in caves. Virtually every tribe had its own totem, that is, a sacred animal, which was revered as a deity endowed with unprecedented power. It was believed that the spirit of this animal protects the whole tribe from evil forces, helps him survive. In return, all members of the community were to treat the totem animal with special respect, respect it, pray to it, and even make sacrifices. In many tribes it was the custom to make a symbolic image of a totem and conduct rituals with it. For example, if the men of the tribe were going to hunt, they would make the effigy of their sacred animal, perform a magical rite with dances, prayers, pierce the effigy with spears. They believed that the spirit that protects the tribe will see this ritual spectacle and send them good luck on the hunt. In Russia, dolls protected children from evil, evil eye and spoilage, and during rituals and holidays they played the role of a deity. Sacred people who believed in gods could not allow themselves or anyone else from mortals to “reward” themselves as god. Gradually, these dolls became toys for children. With their help, depicted scenes from everyday life and invented funny situations.
In times of ancient Greece were popular
home performances in which family members themselves made decorations, sewed dolls and costumes for them, and then made performances. The rich could afford to make dolls of gold and silver. At the same time, the first dolls appeared, moving with the help of steam and driving belts. They could themselves raise a handle or a leg, which certainly astonished the public. A little later, the dolls were placed in a simple box with small holes at the bottom or top, from which they looked out during the presentation. With such a box, the puppeteers walked around the cities and showed performances.
Theater of the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, puppet shows were often performed directly in squares and fairs. And there were both puppets – actors, and artists – puppeteers. They wandered from city to city, stretched between the pillars of a piece of cloth, because of which they showed stories of good and evil, love and hate. And only in the 19th century, special rooms began to be allotted for showing the performances. Dolls knew how to joke and often cried, ridiculed the human shortcomings and praised the good. There were many of them and they were all different - small, no more than 9 cm high and, on the contrary, very large, twice as tall as a man. They were different in their design - dolls-gloves, finger puppets, dolls-plates and dolls-spoons, puppets, walking stick dolls, mechanical, shadow, and even human dolls.
New dolls in new time
New dolls appear today. Mitten dolls, paper cone dolls for the table theater, funny socks dolls. There are a lot of dolls created, and they are all different - three-dimensional, flat and semi-voluminous, with moving parts and magnets. They sew dolls from fabric and weave from straw; they are made of paper and cardboard, leather and dermatin, foam rubber, plywood, foam plastic. Now during the performance next to your favorite dolls you can see real actors. They easily share the stage, and from this the performance often wins. There are dolls that puppeteers raise above themselves. They are not fully visible, the lower part is almost always covered with a screen. They are called riding. One of the clearest examples of riding dolls are glove dolls. In contrast, the puppets are controlled not from below, but from above.
In addition to the play, Nastya gave a very unusual master class. The guys from the theater studio created, worked, played, contrived, had fun and at the same time learned a lot. I managed to attend a master class and make a video.
If we talk about trends in the puppet theater, now there are 2 trends: one-man shows and simplicity of expression. Most of the children's performances are now being staged and played by one actor. Previously, the actors of puppet theaters in the Soviet school usually hid behind screens and were not visible, now, the actors of the new school and St. Petersburg go out to the audience themselves and not be afraid to show their faces. Interact with the viewer with various forms of interaktivov, especially it works well with children. And if before everyone was trying to make a volumetric doll and props, it was decorated for a long time, the artists drew unique sketches and then they made dolls. Now, the simpler, clearer and more original the doll, the better the viewer perceives it. In some theaters, these may be objects at all: an eraser, a package, a drinking tube, a ball, a sponge and others. I can add human features or characters to objects, and it does not go away even 5 minutes as the subject comes to life. And now this is not just a dental counter, but the queen of the realm of soap bubbles.
Young people choose puppet tetars and they are interesting to them because they project their behaviors that they cannot show on society. For example, a modest guy, can not be a magnificent Spanish singer in his group of the university, but only he comes to his small theater and bam! He already sings and fascinates plush matadors who kill cotton bulls on the carida. This is a kind of reflection and emotional relief. Plus, many people train their voice very much, because as a rule, artists work without microphones, and then with a beautiful voice left go to work on the radio presenter.
Age does matter, but as for me only for the viewer. After all, children are much more interesting to look at dolls than adults. When you grow up you become bored and squeezed. And children do not have it all, and it is easier for them. And the child is difficult to deceive, if he laughs funny, and if he cries sadly. If after watching your performance, all the children were left davolny, then you did everything right!
It is very interesting when the guys from Russia pass on their theatrical experience to the young guys from Germany.