Auditioning to be a puppeteer - Flocks, fish and eels
Auditioning to be a puppeteer -
Flocks, fish and eels
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
Reproduced courtesy Museum Victoria
Cinematographer: Jenni Meaney
Editor: Cameron Crowley
Producer: Kathy Fox
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Giant puppets were one of the features of the Ceremony, and the puppeteers had to be right for the job.
RACHAEL AZZOPARDI: When we were looking for the puppeteers, we decided to take them from the mass cast auditions. What we did is they came to the mass cast auditions, and we looked at their strength, their physicality, their coordination. We then highlighted them as possible puppeteers and asked them to come back to another session. We're looking for upper strength, for very good coordination movement-- their fluid movement.
We gave them exercises to do with big poles and which were quite heavy and had to be moved around in synchronicity, altogether, and in a row. Some people can move really fluidly. Other people can't. So we were looking for those that have qualities. It's cumbersome, it's difficult to move the poles, so they had to have a physicality, and a keenness, and a commitment. They really do.
-There is such a collaboration between performers all working together. So I look for balance. I look for an understanding of that relationship between performer and object, between performer and performer, and the ability to be able to bring life to an object. But we were after performers that had a fairly good dance background, a very good movement understanding. Because in fact one of the expressions that we often use is-- in puppetry-- is that it's like a ballet of movable objects, particularly the birds. The birds are elegant. They have lightness. They are in flight. So we look for that also, that feeling from the performer as well.
-They're a great group of people. They're really committed. And they're dynamic and can't wait to see them.