Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Les Machines de l'île - Nantes

During the Perth International Arts Festival, held every year in February, Perth was visited by two  amazing giant puppets for two days earlier this year - the Little Girl and the Diver. I didn't attempt to go and see them myself - not being able to stand for long or walk any great distance puts a bit of a crimp in plans that most others find easy - but the news and media coverage was so extensive I didn't feel too left out.

I wanted to find out more about these creations so I went to YouTube - gotta love the internet - and I've just spent an entertaining hour or so watching videos of some of the other puppets. As well as the lifelike human figures, the puppets range from the beautiful to the bizarre and many variations in between. There is a definite steampunk feel to some of them like this wonderful elephant, which sprays the unwary with water in the summer (much to the delight of children). Then there's the world's largest walking robot, the fire breathing dragon. The attention to detail adds so much to the realism.

The Royal de Luxe company which made them is French and its workshops are located in Nantes   where visitors can see how the puppets are made and operated and watch these spectacular creatures in action. Definitely one for my bucket list.


Jo said...

I saw the elephant and the dragon on Facebook a couple of days ago. Hadn't seen the diver and the little girl. I was very impressed with the dragon in particular. There is a giant rubber duck that has been paying visits to parts of the world too.

Helen V. said...

I didn't know about the rubber duck but the elephant and the dragon are definitely spectacular. I was fascinated by how involved everyone got with the two that visited here. There were people waiting for the little girl to "wake up" in one of the city parks where she "slept" the night and crowds of boats followed them down river when the Diver and the Little Girl were reunited. There's also a story associated with the characters which is tweaked according to where they are - so in one place the Diver was saving the Little Girl from the Titanic while here they connected it (somewhat stretching belief but it didn't matter) with the local Noongar tradition.

Jo said...

Er, what's when it's at home? Noongar?

Helen V. said...

Noongars are the local indigenous tribal group.