Saturday, August 4, 2012

One breath at a time

First, a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design = a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading) talk by Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler of Handspring Puppet Company, the geniuses behind the amazing puppets of War Horse. They talk about the importance of breath for their puppets in performance as it is the essence of life on the stage, or as Adrian Kohler phrases it:

An actor struggles to die onstage, but a puppet has to struggle to live. And in a way that’s a metaphor for life.

They describe their work as "emotional engineering" as they try to provoke an emotional response in the audience by the use of dead objects, and show the great evolution of Joey, the War Horse, who then walks and breathes on stage. It is then truly amazing how the pragmatic production point of view coexists with the theatrical reality of a living horse that needs to be catered to like any other living creature. 

Second, another TED talk by actor Thandie Newton an embracing otherness by coming to terms with one's self and the otherness within in regard to our constructed identities. Thandie then asks whether the aspired authenticity and veracity of the self is attainable at all in a world of projections and whether it would not be more desirable to suspend the self and connect to an essence, i.e. to others and their emotions, for which - again - breath is the key ingredient.

submitted by Kym
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