Figuren Theater Tübingen


Salto. Lamento
6, 7 May at 9.30pm

Performer and puppets: Frank Soehnle Music: rat’n’X (Johannes Frisch e Stefan Mertin) Direction: Enno Podehl, Karin Ersching and Frank Soehnle Costumes: Sabine Ebner Lighting design: Karin Ersching Assistant choreographer: Karin Ould Chih Photographs Klaus Kühn Technique: Mixed For audiences over: M/12 Time: 65 min. Language: Without words

A drawer opens… Secret messages escape and lure creatures – half man half beast, like Centaurs. They are forcing their way into the back rooms of memory where they meet with a multifaceted death – effortlessly, dancing, almost skipping. Reflecting the artistic tradition of the Dance of the Dead from medieval iconography, a ring of poetic and bizarre metamorphoses unfolds. A trio of music, puppet and dance.

The Figuren Theater Tübingen has been collaborating with the duo rat'n'X for 15 years. Their music has given a strong musical imprint to the development of the company. For the first time, this new production features the musicians Stefan Mertin and Johannes Frisch live on stage with puppeteer Frank Soehnle, amazing handler and dancer.

The Figuren Theater Tübingen is a professional company looking in its work for the borderline of puppet-theatre and other arts. Besides traditional forms of puppet theatre, areas of object and material theatre as well as elements of drama, fine arts and music are being used to develop new forms of theatre. With each play the ensemble breaks new grounds of formal and content realization and questioning far away from common theatre disciplines. Founded in 1991 by the puppeteers Frank Soehnle and Karin Ersching, the company employs different freelance workers from all spheres of art. Apart from its own productions the company creates guest productions for other companies, short films for television channels arte/ZDF and 3sat, lectures for different Universities and guest performances at home and abroad.
Frank Soehnle, who co-founded Figurentheater Tübingen in 1991, likens this German company's productions to “visual poems”. The description certainly fits Salto.Lamento, a delicate dance macabre between him and a gallery of skeletal puppets of varying sizes. The latter are cleverly concealed about a set that is an artful arrangement of hanging fabric, matching gilded luggage and instruments jauntily played by rat'n'X, the joint name of the musicians Johannes Frisch and Stefan Martin. Soehnle is the chief attendant in this elegant chamber landscape of the dead, manipulating with a masterfully light touch a range of bony, etiolated creatures formerly human or animal. Sprinkled with melody and magic, the result is a tickling, slightly chilling reminder of the transience of life.
The Times, 13/01/09

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