Coriolis Teatro de objetos (object theatre) from Uruguay is invited to present Manual at this year’s Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes at Charleville-Mézières, France.
With direction by Maru Fernández y Gerardo Martínez Dramaturgy and Interpretation by Cecilia Bruzzone, Maru Fernández and Gerardo Martínez the show is a joyous celebration of the hands, whether when working manually or creatively.
Three performers walk down the stairs and onto the stage. They take off their jackets, as if getting ready for work. They are all wearing black now and the set changes, lights out, and then action!
Vibrant music plays and the only things visible for the rest of the show are the six hands of the performers. They suddenly move in synch making formations and patterns in the air lit with precision so the moving hands are all that we see. After several rhythmic sequences of astounding creativity and execution, the hands explore what else they can do. For example, they form a head with a grimace that falls apart, sideways, up and down and each time a piece falls off another hand is there to pick it up to fix the face. This moves very fast and is very amusing.
Well the hands really go to town when they use a small prop or two! They discover shoes and some of the hands wear them and end up doing a tango together. By now we notice that the hands have personalities in the short scenes, which are relatable and very funny because of the magic they have of appearing and disappearing in the air! A very creative split second of a group of young children running excitedly is portrayed at one point, in between scenes, hilarious!
Sometimes the scenes are poignant and one scene in a dance hall is very entertaining and adds a change of pace. This show is a feast for the imagination where hands and hand theatre are used imaginatively in every possible way, and more.
A plastic sheet is intriguing in its effect and buckets arrive with their accoutrements for cleaning. The hands get busy cleaning and using their tools – and modest dish cloths take focus as they dance together to zippy music that adds something special to their usual unexciting but functional use. During the show a few words are spoken by the hand characters that is more like a gibberish so it’s easy to interpret in any language. Mostly accompanied to music throughout the show the music selections are dynamic and change according to the mood of the scene or formations.
Hands also become puppets with cloths on the fingers folded in a certain way can easily become little faces with scarves on their heads. This scene was the funniest and was so well received by the audience. An invitation to join in with a hand clapping moment by the audience to a special song is inevitable and pitch perfect.
There is such rapport built between the six hands and the audience from their expertise in the first minutes and this develops into total empathy for what the three performers are creating in front of us. This is such an entertaining fifty five minute show and it could be presented in any country very successfully because it is the hands and the carefully crafted scenes that are the stars here. No words are necessary and Coriolis Teatro shows us how in a most unique entertaining and creative production. Highly Recommended!