—Teatro y el doble’s increasingly lifelike puppets, which just keep getting more and more realistic and which will win over the Pedro y el lobo audience. “When people see puppets, it reminds them of age-old memories. A strange kind of fascination transports the audience to a different state, to a level that’s not just intellectual but also something older. It’s really nice to see when it happens to adults, because it’s something you only really expect from children. We come to see life where there ‘s none because that’s what puppets can do”, explains Aline Kuppenheim in an interview with the Teatro a Mil Foundation.
—Beyond its vocation for history and education, Teatro y su Doble also takes an interesting look at the current relationship between humans and animals and nature, which is very different to the one that existed in 1936 when Prokófiev wrote his story. “In Europe - and Russia in particular - where wolves actually exist, they’re associated with lots of different stereotypes relating to evil, demonization and the hidden forces within each person. (Nowadays), animals like that might be dangerous but they are also considered as noble and beautiful and have a right to coexist with us like any other living being. In the past, there was no awareness at all and hunting was normal and even approved of. Doing that today could cost a king his crown”, says the actress.
—It’s been created especially to give children worldwide the opportunity to hear classical music. At the beginning, there’s an explanation of how each character in Pedro y el lobo is represented by a specific musical instrument and melody in Prokófiev’s score. Pedro, for example, is represented by string instruments and his friend the bird by the flute.
—Serguéi Prokófiev: Born in 1891 in what today is the Ukraine, he was one of the world’s most prolific composers during the first half of the twentieth century. He started learning the piano aged 5 and, aged 13, started attending the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, he went to live in the United States and then France, countries where he composed different pieces for the violin and piano to mixed reviews. In 1936, he returned to the Soviet Union and composed several of his greatest pieces: the ballet Romeo and Juliet, the symphonic poem Peter and the Wolf and the ballet Cinderella. After the war, his work was forbidden in several soviet circles for political reasons, which ended up affecting his emotional wellbeing and physical health. He died in Moscow in 1953.
—Symphonic poem: This is the name of a piece of music that uses a text as a reference. Composer Franz Liszt is credited as creating the genre and it was used mainly by Héctor Berlioz, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.
—Puppet theater: This genre is defined as ‘a group of artistic disciplines and techniques through which a specific kind of show is created, performed and organized, characterized by the use of certain expressive material elements’ in the book Aproximación al teatro de títeres by Argentine puppeteer Juan Enrique Acuña. Four different basic techniques are usually described: stick, glove, shadow and either mobile or string puppets. All these forms have been improved upon by technological advances and experimentation.
Puppets in Chile. As well as Teatro y su Doble, there are also other outstanding companies working with puppets in Chile, such as Viaje Inmóvil, Silencio Blanco and Perrobufo. However, according to renowned actress and puppeteer Tita Iacobelli, this genre is still associated with an child audience. “There’s still some prejudice surrounding object and puppet-style theater; it’s claimed it’s only for children and doesn’t deal with controversial topics that generate debate. The shadow of birthday party puppet shows still hangs over it and is perhaps what stops it from developing further”, she has said.
—Video about the Pedro y el lobo puppet creation process
— Teatro y su Doble’s YouTube channel
—Pedro y el lobo narrated by English singer David Bowie on Spotify
—Article on Teatro y su Doble’s other productions on the Teatro a Mil Foundation website
—Aline Kuppenheim and Tita Iacobelli talk about puppet theater in Chile on Teatroamil.tv
Pedro y el lobo on social media:
On Instagram, @teatroysudoble
On Twitter, @TeatroySuDoble
On Facebook, teatroysudoblechile