Lambe-Lambe and the Radical Generosity of Miniature Puppet Theatre


When it was my flip to witness the efficiency, I settled right into a chair throughout from Vogel and he or she handed me a stethoscope. This was preparation, she defined earlier than the efficiency began. Here we go, I believed. I’ve develop into expertly attuned to my coronary heart’s idiosyncrasies. I’ve taken dozens and dozens of EKGs and felt my pulse hundreds of instances. But I noticed I’d by no means used a stethoscope. I panicked as I attempted to seek out my heartbeat—nothing. Vogel waited patiently. Finally I lied and informed her I discovered it, self-conscious about delaying the curtain for my very own one-person efficiency after she had already carried out ten instances that morning.

ConCordis is a deceptively easy piece. A tiny puppet named Titilo (from titilar, the Spanish verb for twinkle) strikes by way of the chambers in his home: his music room, his library, and his observatory the place he seems to be to the celebs after which breaks down into tears. His home, in fact, was additionally his coronary heart—or Vogel’s coronary heart, or my coronary heart, they’d all converged. A home is my heart specialist’s favourite metaphor for the center, which may have plumbing points, or electrical points. (Mine has electrical points; Vogel’s lambe-lambe coronary heart briefly had plumbing points. While she was conceiving the piece, she couldn’t work out the best way to assemble the evening sky till she had an epiphany with a discovered size of bathroom pipe on the aspect of the highway someday.)

Once it started, the piece was largely wordless. Ambient music piped by way of the large over-ear headphones Vogel supplied. I might really feel my heartrate and respiration sluggish as I watched the puppet climb an extended, spindly ladder from his coronary heart to his mind the place he peered in and located nothing of use. I considered a quote I carry on my desk from the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz: “Once I had brains, and a heart also. So, having tried them both, I should much rather have had a heart.”

Even after we had been confined to our properties or, in my case, once I really feel trapped inside my very own anatomy, the vastness and infinitude of the universe is at all times inside us.

As he perused the volumes of his library, I bought to learn alongside. Vogel handed me a small sheet of paper with a brief textual content from Samuel Benchetrit. It was a cri de coeur for vulnerability. “There are not enough brave hearts. There aren’t enough hearts outside,” the textual content urged. My hand went to the battery pack on my defibrillator, which pokes out from beneath my pores and skin. I traced the laborious rectangular define of what I consider as my backup coronary heart. Some individuals put on their hearts on their sleeves. Mine is about an inch beneath my clavicle.

The predicted tears welled scorching beneath my eyes when Titilo and I peered by way of the telescope. The peephole enveloped me, and the new summer season morning turned a cool, clear evening. My tears made the celebs and moon blurry. This second jogged my memory that, even after we had been confined to our properties or, in my case, once I really feel trapped inside my very own anatomy, the vastness and infinitude of the universe is at all times inside us.

In dialog with my college students at Štvanice, Vogel referred to as lambe-lambe “the most generous art form in the world.” She was talking of a reciprocal relationship between the performer and the spectator. She provides every viewers member her complete self for the few moments the efficiency lasts, and in doing so invitations the spectator to offer themselves over fully to the efficiency. After we regarded on the stars, Vogel cued me to take off my headphones. She handed me again the dreaded stethoscope. This time, as I fumbled across the web site of my defibrillator, I heard my heartbeat: faint, however there.

Then Titilo joined me, his physique barely bigger than the stethoscope’s bell.

Together we listened to my coronary heart. I waited for palpitations, bigeminy or trigeminy beats, however my pulse was regular and rhythmic. Vogel handed me a remaining slip of paper, the dimensions of a fortune cookie, to conclude the efficiency: “Have you listened to your heart today?” Listening to my coronary heart is a survival mechanism, however in that second it was additionally an act of pleasure and of connection.


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