Monday, March 24, 2008
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Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Greece is among the very few European countries that adopted shadow theatre, abandoning, however, its religious aspect and adding the provincial Greek culture's own uniqueness to it. Thus, shadow theatre slowly developed into an art form of its own kind, acquiring a Greek interpretation which also included music, acting and social satire incorporated with traditional folklore.
Karagiozis," as it is named in Greek for its main protagonist, was very popular during Ottoman rule. The puppeteer who stood behind the illuminated screen and masterfully moved the paper or leather-made puppets representing humans was known as the 'Karagiozopaihtis' (the "Karagiozis" player). The 'Karagiozopaihtis' brought to life the puppets by altering his voice according to the character and by changing the story line depending on his inspirations. In fact, he was responsible for all aspects of the play, as he was the mime, the writer, the musician, the singer, the stage-designer and the director.Through the main character, Karagiozis, a puppeteer would satirise authority figures and situations. Ugly and hunchbacked, Karagiozis represented the common folk, in a collision with everyone and everything unjust, whether it be a social or political injustice. He often pretended to be a man of all trades in order to find work and sought silly but cunning solutions to the various difficult and strange situations he'd get into. Karagiozis, the puppet character, is famous for his pranks, which he set up to tease those around him.
Posted by Ioanna at 12:28 AM