Strings

The moving of figures, images, gods or puppets by means of strings is an ancestral custom, the origin of which is lost in the legends of time. String – or thread – creates, in movement and suspension in space, a poetry of its own which has to do with levity, or lightness. Not being subject to the force of gravity gives an enigmatic and spiritual dimension to marionettes. The impulse to lift oneself into the air and to transcend weight and gravity is at the heart of this poetics.

String, furthermore, creates distance between the hands of the puppeteer and the figure. The energy of contact is in the thread which stretches the limbs and creates subtle movement. This is why marionettes can sometimes be as fascinating as beings from another world.

Barcelona, today, is an important European capital of string puppets. Few cities in the world have had such masters as those who established themselves in the city during the twentieth century. Harry V. Tozer, Herta Frankel and her collaborators, and the unclassifiable Pepe Otal. They have generated a true marionette school, which is very active today.