Some excerpts from our interview with He Who creator Michael Montenegro.
I’m wondering how much the realm of “accident” has played into your aesthetic. In particular, do you ever find yourself making a mistake and working it into a puppet?
I consider the creative process mysterious and a large part of that mystery has to do with being open to the unexpected in your environment. To me art is a constant conversation with the past and present and even future. In terms of manifesting an original image in my head, I never end up where I began. It has always been in the actual doing that things have surfaced.
Have any songs or photographs been on your mind or present in the rehearsal room through this process? Care to share why?
The brilliant choreography of Pina Bausch,
the films of Hungarian director Bela Tarr, and the theater of Polish director Tadeusz Kantor. Photos of Josef Koudelka. And we constantly are inspired by the very present music of our own musicians and the compositions of our brilliant composer, Jude Mathews. Why? These great artists keep me from despair and guide me when I am often lost.
Click through this gallery for a look at a puppet from Michael’s “War With the Newts” from first draft to production draft.
Your puppets and masks are to some extent mechanical creations. Could you talk about a mechanical discovery that changed how you were building your pieces?
I try to keep the mechanics to a minimum. To me the best mechanical devise is the one that allows you to be most expressive. Mechanicals can quickly get in the way of expression. So I try to find a mechanical means every time to best expressive a simple movement. No matter how beautiful a puppet figure is, if it doesn’t move expressively, its no good. I long ago discovered that it was better for me to find simple methods of building that allowed me to make quick easy changes necessary if a figure didn’t work.Posted by Christopher Shea | 0 responses