Enter the Elephant: creative development and rehearsals in Barrydale

It has been a powerful two and a half weeks here in the Tradouw, the Valley of the Women, learning not only what it means to inhabit the sound, vocalisations, movements and characteristics of elephants, but about the absolute necessity of communal sensitivity and awareness when we work with puppetry.  With the amazing puppetry trainer Craig Leo at my side and composer Simon Kohler guiding us, and our team of  14 super-puppeteers, we managed to replicate and develop the amazing rumbles, trumpets
and whooshes of these resonant giants.  Then we merged mechanics and meaning, adapting what we thought we knew into Adrian’s magnificent kinetic frameworks, slowly working towards bringing energetic flesh and life to the ellies.  We also connected back to the basics of what it means to trust and follow the matriarch, walking in nature and listening deeply, as Elephants do- looking forward to what the next two weeks bring,
Aja,
Olifantland director

 

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“Nanna You’re the Matriarch” -Luyanda, Donna, Sipho and Zweli rehearsing our biggest elephant, Nana
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All the elephants on the open parking lot at Karooltjie Kelder wine farm in Barrydale
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All the elephants on the open parking lot at Karooltjie Kelder wine farm in Barrydale
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Our rehearsal venue
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Entering the world of the Elephants- our puppeteers in a characterisation and elephant exploration exercise on the land, connecting with sound, bodies, rhythms and nature

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daily yoga, aikido and vocal warm ups
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Entering the world of the Elephants- our puppeteers in a characterisation and elephant exploration exercise on the land, connecting with sound, bodies, rhythms and nature
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Entering the world of the Elephants- our puppeteers in a characterisation and elephant exploration exercise on the land, connecting with sound, bodies, rhythms and nature
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Entering the world of the Elephants- our puppeteers in a characterisation and elephant exploration exercise on the land, connecting with sound, bodies, rhythms and nature
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Entering the world of the Elephants- our puppeteers in a characterisation and elephant exploration exercise on the land, connecting with sound, bodies, rhythms and nature
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Sipho learning to move Nana
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Our baby Nandi
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Our baby Nandi
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Our baby Nandi
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Ellen trying on Nandi the baby elephant
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Elton sings ‘Arise’- an original composition
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Learning to make one conscious being out of four individuals- puppetry connection exercises
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some time out at the beautiful pools in the Tradouw mountains
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Vuvusela’s and tubing help us replicate elephant rumbles and trumpeting
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community meetings at Net vir Pret
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Sounding the elephants
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