9 May 2013

Surprise turn of events in Hungary

After an incredibly inspiring six-week European Workshop tour of Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Hungary, my final workshop on this leg of the tour was giving a workshop for Napsugár Puppet Theatre in Békéscsaba, southern Hungary last night.

After a wonderfully energetic beginning with dance and Brain Gym, followed by a guided visualisation, we started our 'Paper Meditation', where each participant received a large sheet of brown paper on their bodies, as they lie back and relax on the floor. The participants are instructed to keep their eyes closed and explore the paper, in their own time, using all their senses, apart from sight. Some begin to crinkle the paper, others wrap it around their heads and bodies, while some begin to dance with their paper. The exercise relies entirely on self-discovery and as the are working in a dark space, nothing they do can be observed by anyone.

During the sequence I heard a strange whispering in the darkness. I asked the participants to kindly not speak, but rather work alone in the darkness. At the end of the sequence, when the participants were giving their interpretations and feedback, a woman stood up and accused me of hypnotising the participants and calling up he occult. I was, of course, shocked. Another woman started shouting in Hungarian that this was the work of the devil and without any further notice, five of the group jumped up, claiming to be Hungarian Baptist Church members and shouted that I had no right telling anyone to release their fear and relax, as this was strictly in the hands of Christ. They promptly walked out.

This was the most curious and bizarre reaction to any of the more than twenty days of workshops I'd given anywhere  in Europe. Although the rest of the session was a resounding success, creating some of the most brilliant improvisation sequences I've seen thus far, this rather odd reaction left me with the strangest feeling that this world is really made up of some 'really curious beings'.

Now as I bid Europe farewell, for at least another few months, I fly off to Jakarta, Indonesia for the final leg of my exciting and stimulating workshop tour!


Créaturiste said...
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Ludovic Pujol said...

This people seem very aware of the world where puppetry is rooted... but they also have strict rules about it! It is somehow interesting that this happened only in Hungary which I believe is very recently undergoing consequent changes in its political context - unfortunately in a sort of backward way. I hope the best to puppeteers, artists and other people with free minds who live in this beautiful country. Farewell to you. Your work is very inspiring (and to me).