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18 December 2016
Olifantland – Barrydale parade

Olifantland puppet show helps people explore their ancestral connection to elephants

The Handspring puppet company in association with Barrydale Puppet parade and the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), brings you Olifantland, a multilingual visual theatre show featuring life-sized elephant puppets created by Adrian Kohler.

The 2016 Barrydale puppet show will take place on Sunday 18 December 2016 at the Barrydale hotel and the BH Oosthuizen School from 6am till 10pm; and admission is free.

The show is based on the work of the world-renowned makers of the War Horse. The life-sized puppets promise to mesmerise audiences in their exploration of these vital questions whilst also igniting the land and people in a communal celebration of the possibilities of life, shared dreams and hope.

Each year Handspring Trust and Net Vir Pret, in partnership with UWC’s Centre for Humanities Research, collaborate to produce a parade in a small farming town on the R62 in the Klein Karoo.

This creative collaboration is centred on exploring the meaning of reconciliation in South Africa. It also produces site-specific community puppetry performance events that involve nearly 200 local learners, youths and performers, including 120 children making and performing with their own puppets under the guidance of renowned arts educator Jill Joubert.

The 2016 performance entitled Olifantland is inspired by Lawrence Anthony’s novel, Elephant Whisperer, a story about re-connecting to these powerful, hugely intelligent creatures. The puppet show also explores narratives of land, heritage and history by asking important questions about the meaning of reconciliation in a Democratic South Africa.

Additionally, the show demonstrates the importance of elephants and their contribution to the ecosystem - the production aims to provoke and inspire. Through it, people will be able to explore their ancestral connections to elephants as well as their own potential to tap into their highly developed emotional landscapes and sense of community and family.

The show is directed and choreographed by Aja Marneweck, with original music by Simon Kohler of FiELD inspired by elephant infrasound, in collaboration with Barrydale and Suurbraak musicians Peter Takelo, Garry Crawford and Jazz Monkey’s. It also involves the participation of the Magpie Art Collective from the Handspring Puppet Company, in partnership with the UKWANDA Puppet and Design Collective.