Monday, 19 November 2012

Manipulate 2013

For the past six years, the annual manipulate festival has introduced visual theatre to the audiences of the the Traverse Theatre. Existing in the space between puppetry, animation, choreography and physical performance, visual theatre is a vital link between traditional, scripted plays and the more experimental devised work that emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century.

The festival's expansion - this year, it has additional dates at Lochgelly Centre, Fife, Lemon Tree, Aberdeen and Norwich Puppet Theatre - demonstrates that the reach of manipulate is going beyond the expected audiences with a taste for the new. Programmed by Puppet Animation Scotland, manipulate shares the mission of the lamented New Territories festival, gathering challenging, exciting and original performance from around the world, refusing to respect predictable boundaries of genre or content.

manipulate begins in February, and brings together cabaret (Netherlands based Carles Casallachs’ Sal Y Samba at Summerhall), silent theatre (Finland’s TIP Connection offer To The End of Love, a reworking of the Bluebeard myth), live animation (The Paper Cinema, returning to Edinburgh with their 2011 Fringe hit, The Odyssey), puppetry and mask work (After the Wave by Physical Theatre Scotland), interactive technology (Final Space, Ocean Flight and Myth and Infrastructure from Cloud Eye Control).

Festivals have become an increasingly fashionable way to support specific arts genres: by bunching together both internationally acclaimed companies like The Paper Cinema and younger, local performers like Drop Kick or Tortoise in a Nutshell, manipulate serves to put the shows in a wider context. Taken as a whole, it presents the scope of a particular label - in this case visual theatre - without having to  limit it through a strict definition.

Without descending to the cliché of exclaiming that "puppetry isn't just for kids" or emphasising that object manipulation is about more than hands shoved up a decorated glove, manipulate's vision identifies how this ancient form has adapted to the digital age. Films, cross-platform work, paper-engineering, animation: it's a far cry from the stereotype of creepy ventriloquists on Saturday night TV variety. 

Speaking about the festival, Simon Hart, Artistic Director of Puppet Animation Scotland said, “manipulate has grown year on year, in audience, programme and reputation. We’re celebrating our sixth year and the Traverse’s 50th anniversary with our most ambitious programme yet, presenting international productions in Edinburgh, Fife, Aberdeen and England. Our larger animation programme features great new films from the Czech Republic and the USA and a classic from the Brothers Quay. We’re also showcasing the brilliant work of four up and coming, prize-winning animators from Scotland. We’re delighted as ever, to offer audiences across Scotland and for the second year, in Norwich, the opportunity to experience the best of contemporary exciting visual theatre and animation.”

Estonia’s Nuku Theatre presents A Wild Growling Happiness, manipulate festival’s first work programmed for young people, a story about creating and exploring our own worlds by performers from the Estonian State Puppet & Youth Theatre (5 Feb).

Physical Theatre Scotland presents a full length show that has developed over the past four years from manipulate’sSnapshots programme. Inspired by images of victims of severe natural disasters, life size puppets, masks and live music explore how world events are reflected in the human body (7 Feb).

Paper-engineering features again in the programme with work from Israel’s Yael Rasooly in Papercut. This one woman show about the frustrated secretary of a big Hollywood producer transforms the vivid language and style of black and white cinema into a low–tech universe of paper cut-outs and object theatre (7 Feb).

Los Angeles-based performance group appear in the UK for the first time at manipulate with three short works, . The company combine interactive media with live performance to examine human adaptation in a technological world (8 Feb).

The Netherland’s Stuffed Puppet Theatre brings Neville Tranter’s combination of wicked, down to earth humour, deadly seriousness and virtuoso puppetry to manipulate with Schiklegruber…Alias Adolf Hitler. Neville Tranter has built a reputation over the past 30 years as a world leader in puppetry, consistently engaging with social and political issues in his work (9 Feb). Summerhall is the setting for Snapshots: Creation & Play Platform Performance, where Scottish artists Drop Kick and Tortoise in a Nutshell present works in progress, and performance critic Gareth Vile hosts a participatory seminar exploring the boundaries of art through conversations (9 Feb).

The performance programme closes with the return of Slick by Vox Motus, which had its world premiere at the Traverse during the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The story of boy permanently attached to his skateboard combines absurd comedy, visual storytelling, puppetry, object theatre and physical performance to create a unique ensemble performance. Kicking off a national tour at manipulate (12-16 Feb).

The film strand of manipulate, curated by Susie Wilson, begins with a feature from The Brothers Quay, The Piano Tuners of Earthquakes(Germany/UK 2005), strongly influenced by Eastern European animation (4 Feb). Alois Nebel (Czech Republic/Germany), Tomas Lunak’s award-winning feature film debut is based on the popular graphic novels trilogy by the Czech artists Jaroslav Rudis and Jaromir 99 (5 Feb). Nearly 15 years in the making and shot frame by frame, Consuming Spirits (USA, 2012) is meticulously constructed experimental animation by Chris Sullivan. Big Man Japan, a deadpan mockumentary satire of reality TV and monster movies by Japanese comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, concluding manipulate’s feature programme (9 Feb).

The shorts programme presents nine films in 80 minutes, with animation from Hungary, Russia, Estonia, France, USA, Canada, Austria and Luxembourg (6 Feb). Snapshots: Creation and Play – 6.05 showcases four works over four nights from recent graduates from the Edinburgh College of Art’s Animation Department, introduced by leading Scottish animator Iain Gardner (5 – 9 Feb).

Notes to Editors:

PRESS SCREENING: 4 – 6pm, Wednesday 28 November.
Simon Hart, Puppet Animation Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art’s Neil Kempsell will introduce a trailer of features, shorts and the 6.05 programme from the full film strand of manipulate which will be followed by a Q & A and a screening of All the Glistens ,  presented by ECA animation graduate Claire Almond.

Traverse ticket prices:
Performances: £15/£11/£6
Screenings: £6
Festival Film Pass: £20

manipulate dates:

Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Dates: Saturday 2 February
01224 641122 /

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Dates: Sunday 3 – Saturday 9 February
0845 874 3001 /

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Dates: Monday 4 – Saturday 16 February
0131 228 1404 /

Lochgelly Centre, Fife
Dates: Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 February
Tickets and booking: 01592 583303 /

Norwich Puppet Theatre
Dates: Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 February & 9 – 12 March
01603 629921 /

Listings – Edinburgh Performances:

Sunday 3 February (6.00pm) Summerhall
Buzzcut presents Carles Casallachs (Netherlands)
Por Sal y Samba

Tickets: £11 / £6 from Summehall Box Office (0845 874 3001 /
Monday 4 February (7.30pm) Traverse Theatre

TIP Connection  (Finland), Traverse Theatre
To The End of Love

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6
Monday 4 February (9.15pm), Traverse Theatre

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
DIR: The Brothers Quay (Germany / UK, 2005)Tickets: £6 / £20 Film pass -------------------------------------------
Tuesday 5 February (6.05pm), Traverse Theatre
SCREENING: Edinburgh College of Art Animation Showcase
Snapshots: Creation and Play – 6.05

All that Glistens by Claire Lamond
Free, but ticketed.
Tuesday 5 February (7.30pm), Traverse Theatre
PERFORMANCENuku Theatre (Estonia)
A Wild Growling Happiness

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6 (A Big Night Out Event)
-------------------------------------------Tuesday 5 February (9.15pm), Traverse Theatre
Alois Nebel
DIR: Tomas Lunak (Czech Republic / Germany, 2011)

Tickets: £6 / £20 Film pass -------------------------------------------Wednesday 6 February (6.05pm), Traverse TheatreSCREENING: Edinburgh College of Art Animation Showcase
Snapshots: Creation and Play
Tea Party
by Vitalij Sichinava

Free, but ticketed-------------------------------------------
Wednesday 6 February (7.30pm), Traverse Theatre
The Paper Cinema (England)
The Odyssey

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6
-------------------------------------------Wednesday 6 February (9.15pm), Traverse Theatre

Log Jam: KFJG No. 5 DIR: Alexi Alexeev (Hungary / Russia 2008, 2’)
Crocodile DIR: Kaspar Jancis / Estonia 2009, 17’)
Wind Along the Coast DIR: Ivan Maximov (Russia, 2003, 7’)
Aalterate DIR: Christobal De Olivera (France, 2012, 10’)
Welcome to Kentucky DIR: Craig Welch (USA, 2004, 12’)
Nightingales DIR: Theodore Ushev (Canada 2011, 3’)
Madame Tutli Putli DIR: Chris Lavis, Maciek Szcerbowksi (Canada 2007, 17’)
Log Jam: Snake DIR: Alexei Alexeev (Hungary, Russia, 2008, 1’)
Fast Film DIR: Virgil Widrich (Austria / Luxembourg, 2003, 14’)
Log Jam: The Moon DIR: Alexi Alexeev (Hungary / Russia 2008, 2’)

Tickets: £6 / £20 Film pass-------------------------------------------Thursday 7 February (7.30pm), Traverse Theatre
Physical Theatre Scotland

After the WaveTickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6
-------------------------------------------Thursday 7 February (9.15pm), Traverse Theatre

Yael Rasooly (Israel)
Paper Cut

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6
Friday 8 February (6.05pm), Traverse Theatre
SCREENING: Edinburgh College of Art Animation Showcase
Snapshots: Creation and Play – 6.05

I am Tom MoodyBy Ainslie Henderson

Free, ticketed-------------------------------------------
Friday 8 February (7.30pm), Traverse Theatre

Cloud Eye Control (USA)
Final Space, Ocean Flight, Myth and Infrastructure: 3 Short Works

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6-------------------------------------------
Friday 8th February (10.00pm), Traverse Theatre

Consuming Spirits
DIR: Chris Sullivan (USA, 2012)

Tickets: £6 / £20 Film pass-------------------------------------------
Saturday 9th February (2.00pm), Summerhall
Participatory seminar with Gareth Vile

Free, ticketed from Summerhall Box Office (0845 874 3001 /
Saturday 9th February (4.00pm), Summerhall
Dropkick (Scotland)
TornTortoise in a Nutshell (Scotland)

Free, ticketed from Summerhall Box Office (0845 874 3001 /
-------------------------------------------Saturday 9th February (6.05pm), Traverse TheatreSCREENING: Edinburgh College of Art Animation Showcase
Snapshots: Creation and Play – 6.05

The Making of LongbirdWill Anderson

Free, ticketed
Saturday 9th February (7.30pm), Traverse Theatre

Stuffed Puppet Theatre (Netherlands)
SCHIKLEGRUBER...Alias Adolf Hitler

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6
-------------------------------------------Saturday 9th February (10.00pm), Traverse Theatre

Big Man JapanDIR: Hitoshi Matsumoto (Japan)

Tickets: £6 / £20 Film pass
------------------------------------------Tuesday 12th February - Saturday 16th February Traverse Theatre

Vox Motus (Scotland)

Tickets: £15.50 / £11.50 / £6

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