Ana Patricia Farfán: Storyteller
ANA PATRICIA FARFÁN, MFA in Dance, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Fulbright Scholar
When I was fifteen and living in Mexico City, I had the chance to attend a concert given by a marionette company. They “played” Rossini, Schumman, Revueltas, Cage … The precision and grace in the movement that these stick-boned beings showed that night left a deep mark on me.
I was looking up, admiring the mastery of these Moiras’ fingers while feeling myself tangled, trying to decipher the exact source of the marionettes’ movement.
At that time, I might have been surprised by the idea that movement and choreography are not exclusive to dance. At the end a puppet “pianist” played Saint-Saens’ “Dying Swan” and a marionette danced the iconic role. I felt myself mesmerized by her performance; her eyes seemed to me more live than those of my seat neighbors, and so her entire body. Through her movements, the fabric of which she was made emulated flesh so effectively. And if that weren’t enough, when she was about to finish the choreography, the curtains of the little theater started slowly to rise up, revealing about ten, twelve, thirteen people who were manipulating the marionettes’ strings, like ancient Moiras (Fates). I was looking up, admiring the mastery of these Moiras’ fingers while feeling myself tangled, trying to decipher the exact source of the marionettes’ movement.
Seeing how the puppeteers’ movement was transformed into a dancer and a pianist made me feel I was in the heart of an illusion. “So magic is handcrafted!” I thought. And although I was looking at the strings, magic remained.