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Musical shadow and glove peppet play

In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Maui is a demigod that is still popular today and a marker of Maori identity.

Abandoned to the waves by his mother who believed him to be dead born, he is taken in by his ancestor Tanga nui te Rangi who teaches him magic. When he finds his mother, he follows her to "the other world" where she joins her husband Makéa. Makéa recognizes her last son and promises him a glorious but tragic future. On earth Maui increases his magical powers to help men by obtaining the sacred jaw of Muri which he makes a weapon with powerful supernatural powers. One of his first exploits is to slow down the course of the sun to allow men to live more easily. With the magic jaw he invents the barbel hook and fishes, not without difficulty, at the bottom of the sea the islands that form New Zealand. At the risk of perishing burnt, he cunningly steals fire from the goddess of fire to give it to men. But he also wants to challenge the goddess of death. This one does not let go and Maui by disappearing into the island of shadows creates the cycle of life.


In the press

Central News agency

“The French artist Jean-Luc Penso has finely and intelligently created a show between puppets, shadows, actors and contemporary music.

At the Taipei Arts Festival, Maui humorously expresses the violence and sadness of life ...

With puppets and music, this show presents a series of waves of light that takes us into a symphony of emotions.

Maui expresses itself on a dynamic rhythm where comic parts and a lot of poetry intermingle.
He is the revealer of the force of life and its torments. This show is respectful of all the cultures of which it is composed. "

Journal of Theater Criticism

“Elements of humor are linked, carried by the puppets, the shadows and the actors, but also between the music and the text for the greatest pleasure of the public.

The music, partly improvised, with many percussions served by Yang Yi Ping and Liao Linni, creates all kinds of sounds related to nature. The richness of the sounds frames the structure of the show. The music emphasizes the emotions of the story and accompanies the most subtle movements of the puppets. It establishes a fluid link between the different scenes.

The whole spectacle is fusion. Fusion between puppets, Chinese shadows and actors, between text and songs, between humor and violence. "

Xie Dong Ning, theater critic

“We can only applaud as loud as possible the work of the foreign disciple of Li Tien Lu. Jean-Luc Penso deserves respect and the highest praise. He makes puppets evolve towards novelty while keeping the spirit of this tradition. By crossing different artistic fields and crossing different cultures, Jean-Luc Penso creates a modernity from this tradition and tells the traditional mythology by making it accessible. He also manages to maintain the subtle relationship between a popular performance and the transmission of a learned culture.

All the elements of the show stemming from tradition introduce modernity in a surprising way. For example, the traditional castelet now consists of a large screen framed by two smaller ones. The show is split into different spaces, at different scales. Even above the castelet there is a spectacle! These numerous spaces make the story more fluid, where puppets, shadows and actors intersect. Contemporary music, performed on stage, adds depth to the show.

New Zealand mythology is presented in a surprising atmosphere: modernity and multicultural tradition merge simultaneously through the use of multiple disciplines.

Far from making a cobbled together subculture product, Jean-Luc Penso, while remaining in a modest place, serves mythology while respecting culture. He gives an excellent example of a learned mixture succeeded in this meeting of different cultures. This show shows us how artists can make a connection between tradition and modernity.

The only solution for traditional arts to leave museums to exist on the contemporary scene is found in the excellent example proposed by Jean-Luc Penso. "

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