Workshop – Learning about Puppetry
A teacher remains a student all his life, especially in a filed as versatile as Puppetry.
Since 1986 Bernd has been searching for new ways to enhance the Art of the Puppet, often resulting in new ground-breaking systems and mechanisms like featured in the movie STRINGS. He has strongly benefited from other disciplines like music and martial arts, by integrating their powerful essence into his own personal style.
It is essential that Puppet artists share their craft and findings and share it with those interested in the field. This will result in the nourishment of this Art Form and consequently will erase the stigma of existing only to entertain children on a Sunday afternoon.
Bernd has been benefiting from the willingness of fellow Puppeteers to share, since his humble beginnings as a young child. He has been strongly influenced by the German Puppet master Albrecht Roser, and to this day eagerly follows any invitation to go backstage exploring the Puppet worlds of his Colleges and listening to their personal approach.
In turn B.O. finds great joy in teaching about his experiences and findings to audiences of all sorts. He has been a welcomed guest speaker and lecturer at conferences, festivals, and schools and universities. Often the course of the lecture or workshop quickly exceeds the technical world of puppets, for the wonders of Puppetry reach far into Heart and Soul.
For Those Interested in a Journey
Bernd Ogrodnik has traveled to most remote areas to present his programs. In recent years though he has also started to invite students to his studio. Located in one of the most spectacular regions on Iceland his puppet paradise is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, and hidden valleys. He also keeps Icelandic horses, which he occasionally calls for to assist students to find their own strength and center. Participants have come on retreats, to work on their own projects or participate at a specific program.
Programs are not scheduled on a regular basis. Those interested should leave their contact, so Bernd can inform them about upcoming events.
Drawing on his strong background in classical music and Martial arts, Bernd sees in the puppet the potential of a “Stradivarius”, and approaches the manipulation of his Instrument like a samurai handles his sword.
Where does the energy to perform come from, how and where is it directed through the puppet, and how does it transfer to the audience? These are the guiding questions in this in-depth exploration of the Art and Philosophy of Puppetry.
Intended for the more advanced students of the field
Length: approx. 60 – 90 minutes
Age: 16 years and older
Styles, Techniques, and Materials
Welcome to the world of puppetry. In theaters schools, hospitals fairs, television, and films -wherever you look- puppetry is celebrating an amazing Renaissance. Why?
Puppetry offers a diverse tradition of performance, visual, folk, musical, and literary arts. Storytellers, teachers, therapists, and artists of all trades and cultures are re-discovering the educational, inspirational values of puppetry, leading on excursions into lands of beauty, magic, and creativity.
This unique program is a combination of demonstration, performance, and hands-on puppetry. Participants explore the qualities, possibilities, and effects of various materials, puppets and performing styles, and learn how to integrate them into their own storytelling, teaching, performing. This inspirational event is packed with information and fun and can be tailored to suit any audience
Length: 1-2 hours
Age: 15 years and older
THE MAKING AND MANIPULATION OF THE FULLY JOINTED MARIONETTE
Participants will learn how to create and operate fully jointed marionettes. While exploring the different procedures of marionette making-designing, sculpting, carving, sewing, and stringing-one not only learns about tools and materials but also experiences the magic of bringing a creation to life.
Due to its complexity, this workshop is conducted over a longer period of time, as weekend seminars or in-residence programs.
Age: from 16 years
MASKS AND THE ART OF EXPRESSION:
Specially designed for actors and puppeteers this workshop explores how working with masks will enhance the ability to understand character building through movement, gestures, and timing. Bereft of their own faces participants will learn to find the essence in characters they intend to portrait.
Various programs are possible for small and larger groups.
Age: from 15 years
Zen in the Art of Puppetry
This Master class focuses on the distinct relationship between the performer, puppet, and the audience and what links them together.
The starting point is the theory that the puppeteer is a service-provider, who attempts to communicate to the audience a specific idea, story, or concept in order to entertain, educate, support, and/or inspire. Participants will explore the tools and techniques at hand to best achieve this goal of communication.
A puppeteer attempts to present an object (called puppet), so it appears as being alive. He imbues it with a life force, by extending his energy into the object. Like the sword of a samurai or the violin of the musician, the puppet becomes an energetic extension of the manipulator.
Where does the energy to perform a puppet come from, and how does it best transfer to the audience? An exploration of breathing, awareness, movement, and balance will help us find some answers.
This program is a combination of lecture and hands-on exercises intended to offer puppeteers a refreshing look at the philosophical backbone to their Art.
Length: 1 1⁄2 up to 3 hours (the longer version includes more hands-on exercises)
Number of participants: unlimited for the 11⁄2 hour lecture, max. 30 for the longer version
Technical requirements: For the longer version featuring more physical exercises, a space large enough for 30 people to walk around will be necessary.
This page is intended for those interested in special techniques and methods, which have over the years been developed and tested by Bernd Ogrodnik and his colleges.
Soon you will find those tricks of the trade listed here…