A PUPPETTEER CA­LLED AR­MAN­DO

Arte por Excelencias - - Cuba -

He has the na­me of a ro­man­tic he­artth­rob but he is a Ha­va­na mins­trel through and through, a crafty jum­ping jack who had the pri­vi­le­ge to ha­ve in­terac­ted with Ca­me­jo y Pe­pe Car­ril brot­hers, as a mem­ber of the myt­hic pack na­med Guiñol Na­ci­o­nal de Cu­ba, in the early 60`s. La­ter on he was wit­ness to the foun­da­ti­on (1963) of Te­a­tro Na­ci­o­nal de Guiñol. Ar­man­do Morales Ri­ve­rón is the se­cond ac­ti­ve pup­pe­te­er who is bes­towed with the Pre­mio Na­ci­o­nal de Te­a­tro, sin­ce its cre­a­ti­on du­ring the la­te 90`s; the first one was the Ma­tan­zas ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor, playw­right and di­rec­tor Re­né Fernández, in 2007.

On­ce and again, his na­me has ap­pe­a­red among the no­mi­ne­es for this the­a­ter award in our country. Now that he has re­cei­ved it in 2018, I would like to men­ti­on the na­mes of his mas­ters of the ta­ble­au who are the mas­ters par ex­ce­llen­ce of every pup­petry fan in our is­land. I al­so re­call the na­mes of his most outs­tan­ding colle­a­gues of tho­se ti­mes, Xi­o­ma­ra Pa­la­cio and Uli­ses Gar­cía, who fi­lled the 20th and 21st cen­tu­ri­es with light, un­til they pas­sed away. In 2016, at the In­ter­na­ti­o­nal Works­hop of Pup­pets of Ma­tan­zas, the Dis­tin­ci­ón Ho­no­rí­fi­ca Her­ma­nos Ca­me­jo y Pe­pe Car­ril and the Pre­mio Ma­es­tro de Ju­ven­tu­des awards by Aso­ci­a­ci­ón Her­ma­nos Sa­íz we­re bes­towed on him.

Le­a­ding cha­rac­ters in im­por­tant plays of the Te­a­tro Na­ci­o­nal de Guiñol re­per­toi­re such as La lo­ma de Mam­bi­a­la, Ubú Rey or Ibeyi Añá, ack­now­led­ge him as an ex­ce­llent pup­pet ac­tor, to which are ad­ded his works as a sce­no­grap­hic desig­ner, of pup­pets or cos­tu­mes along with mas­ter Ca­me­jo. Ar­man­do be­ca­me an ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor and star­ted to wri­te and re­se­arch un­til he put to­get­her a the­o­re­ti­cal cor­pus about the pup­pet the­a­ter that has al­re­ady be­en pu­blis­hed in Cu­ba and abro­ad. He has co­lla­bo­ra­ted in mi­se-en-sce­nes of na­ti­o­nal and in­ter­na­ti­o­nal groups, pro­mo­ted events, aut­hors, and his his­tri­o­nic and pe­da­go­gic im­print has be­en ack­now­led­ged and ac­clai­med in dif­fe­rent fes­ti­vals over­se­as, whe­re he has left the hall­mark of a le­gi­ti­ma­te ar­tist who has in­he­ri­ted the best of the pup­pet the­a­ter in our land.

The ar­tis­tic in­terest and the cre­a­ti­ve risk ha­ve marked his pro­fes­si­o­nal ca­re­er along with his lo­ve for te­ac­hing and a peren­ni­al brid­ge with the youn­gest mem­bers of the na­ti­o­nal ta­ble­aus. He has be­en run­ning for qui­te a whi­le the Te­a­tro Na­ci­o­nal de Guiñol, who­se foun­da­ti­on he was wit­ness to mo­re than fifty years ago in the crow­ded hall of the Foc­sa buil­ding in our ca­pi­tal. In that pla­ce, so full of glo­ri­ous mo­ments and com­pe­lling re­fe­ren­ce in the sce­ne of the Cuban sta­ge, he con­ti­nu­es to car­ve out his exis­ten­ce. His most re­cent per­for­man­ces, eit­her as an ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor or as an ac­tor, are evi­den­ce of his con­ti­nu­an­ce in the in­fi­ni­te path of the sta­ge. All of us who, on this land, work with a pup­pet in our hands ap­plaud this na­ti­o­nal award for this uni­que pup­pe­te­er by the na­me of Ar­man­do.

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