International Theatre Festival returns with puppets, masks and a giant igloo
One of the biggest shows this year comes by way of Denmark. Entitled “‘79Fjord,” the show tells the story of explorers on the coast of Greenland. “So the entire audience sits in this giant igloo,” says Kevin Elder, co-artistic director of Tricklock Company. “It’s incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it... it’s just this massive, massive spectacle.”
Elder is one of three Tricklock members who discovered and selected the productions that will be seen at the 2013 festival, and while he insists that trying to pick a favorite show is even harder than trying to pick a favorite child, he, Juli Hendren and Elsa Menendez—his conspirators in curation—have shows that they’re particularly excited to see at the festival this year.
Adding even more to the excitement of seeing “Sensucht” at this year’s festival is the bitter disappointment of having lost the show last year. “We had plane tickets for them—we had everything. And just one of their people, we just couldn’t get the visa for in time,” says Elder. “They were really our big show [last year].” Seeing plans fall through was a letdown for the organizers and the audience, but the silver lining is that as a result this year has several “big shows.”
“It’s this lovely little story that’s told all through arm gestures,” says Elder of “Artistic Handicraft.” “There’s five actors, they’re all in black … and they all wear white gloves up to their elbows. All the figures they create are through the white gloves.
“In terms of theater magic that Albuquerque has never seen, that is one of the shows that I think people don’t want to miss.”
Tricklock Company has a history with Teatr Figur Krakow that extends beyond the festival: During a tour to Krakow in 2011, a few Tricklock members were able to workshop with the company and learn their signature shadow-making techniques. These techniques were brought home and later applied to Tricklock’s own original show “Finger Mouth” which will also be playing at the festival this year. This kind of artistic exchange is at the heart of the Revolutions Theater Festival.
“You know we like to think of Revolutions as a sort of … celebration of community, of togetherness, of cultural exchange,” says Elder, “People have the opportunity to meet the artists, and break bread with them.”
The festival officially starts with the Kick-off Party on January 15th at ArtBar, a new space dedicated to supporting the arts, opening soon downtown. The party will feature local music and local libations, and during the first “VIP hour” from 7:00-8:30, a sneak preview of some of the upcoming performances.
“Most of these shows, Albuquerque is the one stop on their tour. They had no plans on coming here, and may never come back to the U.S. again. You have three shows to see them—and that’s it.”
Revolutions International Theatre Festival
January 15-February 2, 2013
Complete schedule available online