Yesterday I was reminded of this performance by a new friend I made here in Prague. It felt like the perfect follow up to my post about strings and gravity from a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d share it here. This piece was created and performed by the wonderfully inventive french puppeteer and performer, Philippe Genty.
It reminds me of a quotation from Etienne Decroux, father of Corporeal Mime, who once wrote:
“A revolution is not a liberation from chains, it’s a changing of chains. It consists of breaking with obligations that seem bad, and adoptting other obligations that seem better. I would even say that liberty is the right to choose one’s restraints. That’s what liberty is.”
Fun (okay, nerdy) side note— In the 1945 French film “Les Enfants du Paradis," Decroux played Anselme Debureau, a boisterous actor whose son, Jean-Baptiste Debureau, becomes a famous performer for his portrayl of Pierrot, the archetypal pantomime figure depicted as a puppet in the Genty video above.
Here is a scene from the film featuring Pierrot (played by Jean-Louis Barrault).
And here is part of another Philippe Genty show, Voyageurs Immobile, that I saw last summer in Paris while assisting in a Mime workshop. It combines puppetry and mime with a particularly inventive theatricality to create quite a show.