Manipulate 2015

Jan 30 2015 | By More

Scotland’s Visual Theatre Festival opens this weekend

The eighth version of Manipulate, the visual theatre festival opens with performances at the Traverse this Saturday, 31 January 2015.

Mixing aerial theatre, dance and puppetry, this year’s event has an increasing focus on animation. It retains its commitment to emerging artists and artist development with a series of free sharing events at the Traverse and masterclasses over at Summerhall.

All or Nothing - opening Manipulate at the Traverse on Saturday 31 Jan

All or Nothing – opening Manipulate at the Traverse on Saturday 31 Jan

The festival opens with the world premiere performance of Edinburgh-based company All or Nothing’s Three’s A Crowd. It brings together artistic director Jennifer Paterson with Zoe Venditozzi and choreographer Brigid McCarthy. Design is by Becky Minto, lighting by Kate Bonney and it is set to a new score by Luke Sutherland

According to the company: “Three’s A Crowd crosses the boundaries between ground and air, expertly merging harness flying, aerial acrobatics, and dance theatre to create an exciting, challenging and spectacular show that delves deep into the inner workings of human relationships.”

Simon Hart, artistic director of both Manipulate and Puppet Animation Scotland which runs the festival told Æ of the importance of the Snapshots programme for helping artists develop new work, which can be brought to future festivals.

Hart said: “these are free events, there are six of them, three are theatre, three animators or visual artists. They each present a piece of work in progress for ten minutes and then talk about it with the audience.

“For instance Ubu Roi is using 3D motion capture, and we are bringing this piece to Maniplulate 2016. And Puppet Animation Scotland are mentoring Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre, so Macbag a piece for children which will come to fruition next year.

“Now we know we have got our regular funding for the next three years, that is a model that we will be using increasingly.”

Manipulate runs from Saturday 31 Jan to Saturday 7 Feb, 2015 at the Traverse and Summerhall.

Theatre Listings:

Three’s a Crowd (World premiere performance)
Edinburgh-based All Or Nothing’s new work uses aerial acrobatics, harness flying, circus and dance to explore themes around action, reaction, consequence and the societal connotations of the number three.
Traverse One.
Saturday 31 January 2015. 7.30pm.
Details and Tickets:

That’s It (UK premiere)
Multi­‐award winning Belgian company Sandman, headed by Sabine Molenaar, poses the question “Where does dreaming end and reality begin?”. With her first solo work, Molenaar entrances and hypnotizes with each morphing movement, moving her body in a way you have never seen before. Sandman provides a rollercoaster of sensual dreamscapes and bizarre nightmares culminating in the alienating fear: that nothing is what it seems.
Traverse One
Monday 2 February 2015. 7.30pm.
Details and Tickets:

And Then He Ate Me (UK Premiere)
French company Velo Theatre, fresh from a successful world tour, champions “le Theatre d’Objet”, a style of wordless theatre where object becomes an effigy, and interaction between actor and object unravels an emotional connection. With house and home as its weighty starting point, Velo Theatre explores its potent symbolism through image-­based theatre discovering an intimate relationship the audience becomes privy to.
Traverse One
Tuesday 3 February 2015. 7.30pm.
Details and Tickets:

Unchained/Tristissimo/Welcome My Son
Three Companies, one triple bill
Paper Doll Militia returns to manipulate with its European premiere of Unchained. Darky evocative physical theatre, dance and world‐class aerial performance examine themes of oppression, betrayal and rescue.
Italian company CEC bring a contemporary elaboration of Tristan & Isolde’s tragedy with Tristissimo.
Scottish company Spotted Stripes Circus premieres Welcome My Son. Rooted in Shelley’s classic Gothic horror, Frankenstein, the company uses contemporary circus techniques and multi-­media theatre to consider subjects such as idealised beauty and social conformity – all through the eyes of Frankenstein’s Monster.
Traverse One
Wednesday 4 February 2015. 7.30pm.
Tickets and details:

Autumn Portraits (Scottish Premiere)
A series of five interlocking vignettes with handcrafted rod puppets whose characters each examine their pasts in the ‘autumn of their lives’. Combining traditional craft methods with Japanese Bunraku, this production has toured to great acclaim for the past twenty-­‐five years, and is now premiering in Scotland at manipulate Festival 2015.
Traverse Two
Wednesday 4 February, 9pm.
Tickets and details:

Butterfly (Premiere tour)
An adaptation of the touching and tragic tale of Madame Butterfly, uses Ramesh Meyyappan’s celebrated visually poetic and multi-­disciplinary style which is complemented by Gavin Glover’s expressive and unique handcrafted puppets. Assisted in direction by Tortoise in a Nutshell’s Ross MacKay, Meyyappan creates a lush, textured and innovative piece of visual theatre.
Traverse One
Thursday 5 February 2015. 7.30pm
Tickets and details:

Dance of the Magnetic Ballerina (Scottish Premiere)
Intense movement sequences fuse with a collage of sound and light. Andrea Miltnerova‘s performance is both irritating and vulnerable, expressing a personal testimony of an obstinate obsession with movement, which will question your perception of dance.
Traverse One
Friday 6 February 2015. 7.30pm
Tickets and details:

Mr Carmen
Russian company and masters of the avant‐garde Theatre AKHE are known for pushing theatre to its very limit. This is an extraordinary version of Mérimée’s text using eccentric imagery, visual theatre and performance to create a psychological and physical duel between the two protagonists who attempt to free themselves from death.
Traverse One
Saturday 7 February 2015. 7.30pm
Tickets and details:

Free events in Traverse Two at 6.05pm.
Ludens Ensemble: Ubu Roi, the completed production of which will be presented as part of manipulate 2016 (Saturday 31 February)
Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre: the Macbeth-inspired Macbag (Tuesday 3 February);
Theatre Jinks – an emerging Scottish company – present an excerpt of their work‐in­‐progress Knock Knock which explores identity and horror in children’s theatre (Thursday 5 February)


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