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Iran unveils world's tallest puppet

Source: Press TV

Iran has unveiled the world's tallest puppet, a six-meter tall marionette, during the Iranian Art Week held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Iran's six-meter tall Mobarak during 13th Mobarak International Puppet Theater Festival in Tehran

Designed and made by French artist Fleur Marie Fuentes, Mobarak is made of recycled materials and was used in puppet shows performed by Iranian puppeteer Hamed Zarean.

"All giant puppets are five meters tall, but Mobarak is the world's first six-meter-tall marionette," Zarean told Fars News Agency.

This is the giant puppet's international debut after Fuentes designed it during Iran's 13th Mobarak International Puppet Theater Festival in Tehran.

Costume and puppet designer Fuentes is also a member of the Les Grandes Personnes, a group of French artists who design and make giant puppets.

They made two four-meter-tall puppets in the Orange Farm settlement outside Johannesburg during the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

Ms. Fuentes held workshops during Iran's puppet theater festival, teaching Iranian artists how to make puppets out of recycled materials, Zarean said.

"There are similar Chinese and Japanese puppets, but their excessive weight needs seven or eight puppeteers to move them," he explained. "Mobarak on the other hand is only 35 kilograms and can easily be moved by one person."

Mobarak's performances in the UAE were only accompanied with traditional Persian music.

Zarean also announced that they were planning to make giant puppets of Shahnameh characters to be used in performing stories of the epic masterpiece.

"We are planning to create a suitable décor and use the puppets in Naqqali," he explained.

Naqqali is an epic narration mostly inspired by 11th-century Persian poet Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)

Dating back to the Safavid Dynasty, Naqqali can be performed in verse or prose and by only one person, who presents it with a special tone and expression, playing the roles of all characters.

"We have chosen the story of the Seven Stages (or Labors) of Rostam and will make puppets for its major characters Rostam, Sohrab, Zal, Simorgh, Rakhsh and Esfandyar," Zarean said.

Organized by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Niavaran Cultural and Historical Complex, the Iranian Art Week in the UAE was held from November 29 to December 5, 2010, presenting various types of artworks as well as Persian music concerts and theater performances.

... Payvand News - 12/05/10 ... --

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