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  • Estelle Rosenfeld

Working with Animation in Live Performance

For International Animation Day, we ask Estelle Rosenfeld who has been directing all our shows about her relation with animation:

"My interest and training in puppetry has always been closely linked to animation. The first ever course I took in puppetry was about creating a film with puppets. It was facilitated by Francois Guizerix who manipulated all the famous puppets from 'Les Guignols' for years and years; it is the French equivalent to 'Spitting Image'.

Later, I trained with the brilliant Forkbeard Fantasy on techniques of animation and use of projection in live performances and exhibitions. And that’s what I’ve done since. I haven't really stopped using those techniques. Like everything else I do, it has a very lo-fi vibe and DIY aesthetic.

You can probably still watch online 'A Few Things I Know', which was a series of 5 short animation movies to be watched as peep-shows in train carriages. It is inspired by my great uncles and aunt who were killed in Auschwitz and it tries to piece together the stories I have heard.

I made more peep-show animation, fitting DVD players into the multi-sensory costumes of ‘Spread the Love’.

Since I've trained slightly over 10 years ago, the technology has already evolved quite a bit. I still have the cutting edge DV camcorder I bought after the Forkbeard Fantasy course. But if you keep to live recording or stop motion techniques, the principles are never going to be that different from the ones used by Emil Reynaud in his Theatre Optique (Optical Theatre) 128 years ago today.

In 'Inside' I wanted to play more with projection. The miniaturisation of the technology offers new possibilities. I decided to use projectors like puppets and also just as a source of light to mix with shadow puppetry, layering images and style.

Although there is no animation in 'Bonhomme', I am certainly not done with this media.

Happy International Animation Day to all animators and puppeteers!"

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