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Tag: Mummenschanz

September 13: MUMMENSCHANZ 4

I wish this segment of highlights could go on longer, but alas, the available material on YouTube is limited to what I’ve already included here, and this last piece.

I found these clips originally because I was looking to see if MUMMENSCHANZ was still performing here in the US. Apparently I just missed them, but I don’t think they travel to where I am. I suppose I’m lucky that I saw their work (twice, I think) while I was still in Rochester, in addition to the Broadway show.

I recall my grandfather being mystified by their performance. He liked the musical Peter Pan much more, because (as I recall) there was a story associated with the show. There are stories associated with MUMMENSCHANZ’s vignettes, too. They’re just a whole lot more abstract.

At any rate, enjoy.

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September 12: MUMMENSCHANZ 3

Returning to the world of MUMMENSCHANZ today and tomorrow,

These vignettes work best because they reach in and touch our deepest human emotions, even though they only hint at or mimic the human form. The messages stick – happiness, triumph, surprise and sadness. You don’t need words to express these feelings.  In a lot of ways, mime is the purest form of storytelling because without words, it becomes a universal communication tool; language that is capable of crossing borders and cultures.

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September 10: MUMMENSCHANZ 2

You can sort of understand the magic of MUMMENSCHANZ when you see the performances on a small screen, but they don’t convey the audience participation. I’ve seen Blue Man Group live and they also include the audience, but their performances are far louder and much less subtle. Still, they and Pilobolus are the only groups I can think of who come close.

So what’s the appeal?

By taking inanimate objects or unfamiliar abstract shapes and breathing life into them, they manage to convey human emotions without words. You don’t need words to understand sadness, joy, pride or confusion.

I wish I could find part 1 of this series. You haven’t missed it – it’s not on YouTube.

Note that I’ll be interrupting the stream tomorrow, because of Patriot Day, but there are two more parts after the 11th, and all three are equally long (around 15 minutes per segment).

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September 9: MUMMENSCHANZ Turns 40

This video is actually a compiled slideshow and radio clip from WBUR, NPR Boston. For their 40th anniversary, MUMMENSCHANZ visits Quincy Market in a really neat flash mob. The piece is a combination of performer comments and viewer reaction.

There is also a whole documentary (Story of MUMMENSCHANZ) on video. The clip below is the teaser for the full documentary which (in theory) is available at http://docsonline.tv/doc/404 (In this case, “404” is the number of the entry, not an error. I checked.) Note also that you need a user id and password, and that it looks like the video is “pay per view.” Putting the link here if you want to pursue seeing it.  The summary is also here, on Swiss Films: http://www.swissfilms.ch/en/film_search/filmdetails/-/id_film/2146531992.

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September 8: The Muppet Show Season 1, Episode 24 ~ MUMMENSCHANZ

I know you probably think this is about The Muppet Show, since I feature them often enough, but no. This week’s featured performers, MUMMENSCHANZ, just celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2012.

The Swiss mime group caught my attention in the mid ’70s and early ’80s. Their work, featured on The Muppet Show and elsewhere, so surprising and out of the ordinary, reminds me of a living abstract animated film. You can’t believe there’s a human inside some of their creations.

In a lot of ways, they’re doing what Jim Henson did with some of his more experimental Muppet work,

I’ve seen their shows at least twice, on tour in Rochester and in Manhattan on Broadway.  Glad to find them online and shareable in this medium.

(Note that this was the link to the full episode, which is on the Muppet Show Season One DVD set. It appears Disney figured it out. Sigh.)

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