Thursday, January 25, 2007

A gifted secret agent from the obscene machine class writes in

From: "Julianne Mitzel"
Subject: Sultan's elephant and little girl giant
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 02:30:52 +0000

Hi Herr Professor,

Following class I was headed for the library to do some homework and figured I would try to find out about the troop that worked with the giant marionettes.After about a half hour of surfing I have found a variety of sites with information about the performance, but no specifics about the puppeteers as to whether they are all male or not. I am planning to watch the video again when I get home (the computers here in the computer lab are blocked from accessing YouTube,) but even if I do that and think I see only men the results will hardly be conclusive.

What I learned is: the troop was a French company called Royal de Luxe and the director for the company is Jean Luc Courcoult. The English producers for this London performance are called Artichoke and they view theater as an act that should not be confined only to indoor performances. The story behind the performance has to do with "a sultan travelling through time and through space, around the planet, on the back of an elephant"--quote from an interview with the director. The story was the director's idea, but coincidentally Courcolt happens to be a Jules Verne fan, and he discovered after coming up with his own idea that Verne had written a story about a metal elephant. The street performance was free, and the director likes the idea of shows free to the public paid for with taxes because he thinks it is "fitting and beautiful that some tax money is dedicated to popular culture." (Also quoted from interview.)

Here are the links to the different sites I found with information about the performance:

--info about Royal de Luxe
--extracts from interview with Courcolt
--announcement for the show from Arts Council, London
--an article about show with comments from people who went to it
--another article about the show
--page with links to the four stories upon which the performances are based.

--and, of course a wikipedia article, which happened to be the last thing I found.

That's as much as I could dig up tonight. I will try to find more specific info about the company regarding whether the puppeteers are all men in the next few days.

Peace out | Julie Mitzel

[site moderator here, one more link of note from the BBC.]

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