The festival “FIDENA – Puppet Theatre of the Nations” was celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018. FIDENA is known for its outstanding contemporary puppet, figure and object theatre pieces, and is regarded as a seismograph for current trends and innovative forms in this artistic genre.
On the occasion of its anniversary, FIDENA had commissioned various artists – including a number of promising newcomers – to develop new productions. The invited artists and companies are known for their artistic forays in experimental, interdisciplinary and intermedial areas. They adopt the latest trends in digital art, performance art and gaming. The focus of the 2018 festival has been the connection between fine art and performing art. Many of the invited artists originally began in the fields of painting and sculpture, and later shifted to performance through their involvement in object and material theatre. The invited guests included the Needcompany from Belgium, in whose productions dance and the fine arts often play an essential role, and the French Cie. Trois-Six-Trente, whose pieces combine elements of drama, puppet theatre and sound art. The productions have been presented at eight different venues in Bochum, Herne, Hattingen and Essen.
The commemorative festival also featured a series of participative formats. In the tradition of the politically progressive Bread and Puppet Theater, a cast of protest puppets has been constructed for the festival. Together with participants from Bochum, some of Europe’s best hand puppet performers used these to develop a puppet theatre piece on the topic of resistance.
Artistic director: Annette Dabs
Performers: Marta Cuscuna (IT), Özlem Alkis (TR), Hofmann&Lindholm, Xavier Bobés (ES), Ainslie Henderson (UK)
Company/ensemble/orchestra: Jan Lauwers/Marten Seghers (Needcompany) (BE), Puppentheater Halle, Worst Case Scenario (IL), Cie. Trois-Six-Trente (FR)
Stage directors: Gisèle Vienne (FR), Bérangère Vantusso (FR), Ariel Doron (IL)