The 29th International Festival of Puppet Arts began on Saturday in Bielsko-Biała. Scenes from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain and Poland will compete for the main prize, which will be awarded by the jury on May 25 – said Jacek Poplowski, director of the Bielsko-Biała puppet theater.
Festival organizer Bielska Banja Luka. This is one of the highlights of the doll scene in the world. It happens every two years.
The first chord at the festival was a parade. It was formed by artists from the Banja Luka puppet theatre, organ mill, walkers on stilts, a group of actors and performers Street Art Masters Living Statues, jugglers from Teatr Swiat (ł) and festival guests and spectators led by a percussion group. Together they walked through the city center to the town hall.
On the first festival evening you will attend Street Art Masters Living Statues in Sfera Shopping Center and Teatr Świat (ł) a fire show will be presented in front of the venue.
At the Banja Luka Theater, after the official opening, his team will present “Smoky” by Malina Prziluga, directed by Anna Novica. It is a story about a unique encounter between a man and a dragon and a journey that will help to undo prejudices and fear.
Late in the evening, Boleslav Shropry Square will become the setting for “Eurydice” by Teatr Biuro Podróy from Pozna, directed by Pawe Szkotak. “The performance refers to the eternal fate of Orpheus and Eurydice, whose love was stronger than death. Desperate Orpheus cannot come to terms with the loss of his beloved and decides to find her. During his journey he reaches a rat-infested hell, where he has to face his memories and dilemmas, and face his image,” the festival organizers said. Special for what is on the other side of life in reality.
Banja Luka director Jacek Poblawski told PAP that two years ago it was decided to invite only European theaters to Bielsko-Biała. Due to COVID-19, the event was canceled, but the organizers decided that in 2022 spectators who would have come at that time would be invited to participate first.
Therefore, this year’s program includes presentations by teams from seven countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Spain, Hungary and Poland. The competition includes: Compagnie Belova-Iacobelli from Belgium with the play “Czajka”, Czech Divadlo Drak with “White Tusk”, French Theater in L’Entrouvert with the play “Traversees”, Sofie Krog Teater from Denmark with the play “House”, Zero Company en Conducta from Spain with “Soul Mechanics”, as well as representing Poland: Natalia Sakowicz with “Roman” and Opole Puppet and Actor Theater with “Wielki mi something”. The main prize in the competition is a statuette made by world-class sculptor Bronisław Krzysztof. It will be awarded on May 25 At the end of the festival.
Outside of the competition, the festival audience will see, among others, two outdoor performances. In addition to “Eurydice” by Teatr Biuro Podróży, “Women in Red” will be performed by the Living Picture Visual Theater from Hungary. Hosts – Banialuka from Bielsko will present their recent projects: “Dragons”, “Process” and “Mama’s Hair”.
“These are performances about the need for friendship, love, empathy, the passage of time, the importance of memory, the existence of metaphysics, the changes of civilization, immigration, violence, and rejection by difference. Not only do we want to be influenced by the beauty of image and cartoon art, but also to open up a space for discussion about art and the human being in the modern world,” said Poplawski.
This event has traditionally been of great interest to the residents of Bielsko. The festival has always focused on the attention of the residents. It is similar now. Once the promotional banners hung in town, the viewership service desk was flooded with + phones. The people of Bielsko are used to this festival. They know how interesting this challenge is. They know how many different theaters are in the house. We have the best offers” – confirmed Jacek Popławski in an interview with PAP.
The director also added, although most theaters will come from abroad, the language barrier should not disturb reception. “The advantage of puppet theater art is the universality of what is happening on the stage. It is possible to read even without knowing the language. Many of the performances that we will see will be performed either without words or in English. When necessary, we will show subtitles in English.
The festival is sponsored by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage a. Pyotr Glinsky and the president of Bielsko-Biała, Jaroslav Klimasevsky, will finish on May 25.
Director Popławski admitted that organizing this year’s edition was associated with major problems. It was not known whether the epidemiological restrictions would be lifted or not. “We had hoped that the tightening of restrictions would appear in the spring,” he said. He added that finances also spend sleepless nights. “Covid-19 and the sudden outbreak of war in Ukraine; many programs were postponed. We were worried, but in the end we received money from the Bielsko-Biawa local government, and we found sponsors.”
The festival has a long tradition. The first edition was held in 1966. Then the event was called “Belsky Rendezvous”. To date, more than 350 theaters from about 50 countries have performed at Bielsko-Biała, including Japan, China, Hong Kong, Cuba, Togo, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Mongolia, Iran, New Zealand, India and Vietnam. (PAP)
Author: Marek Szafrański
szf / mmu /