La MaMa Blogs: 6 Questions: Denise Greber

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

6 Questions: Denise Greber

Denise Greber is the curator of the biennial La MaMa Puppet Series.  The 2015 edition is taking over all the La MaMa spaces in November and we got to ask Denise 6 Questions about herself, the festival and working at La MaMa:

1. How do you go about choosing shows for the La MaMa Puppet Series?
Working at La MaMa has introduced me to a treasure trove of artists, so a big part of choosing is done by keeping mental notes: remembering the different people I have meet over the years and the new artists I meet on a daily basis. I also ask knowledgeable puppet colleagues if they saw any interesting shows or any new artists that they have on their radar. In addition to this I travel when I can to other festivals and try to see as much as I can here in the city.

2. What makes a good puppet performance?
What makes for any good performance? It is subjective and depends on the tastes of the people who watch it, we like what moves us I suppose and what moves us is individual.

3. What is your favorite part of curating the La MaMa Puppet Series? 
Meeting and interacting closely with the artists that are invited to perform, working hard to make it all go as smoothly as possible and seeing the shows work in space and time, as I imagined they would be.

4. La MaMa has a long history of puppet performance. Has puppetry changed over the years?
I’m not sure; it is such an old art form.Some things stay the same and some things evolve with the times and modernize. I guess robotics and technology has enhanced some artist’s performances and changed it in some way. I also think that more puppet artists are merging with other disciplines, a mixing of media.

5. What performances (puppet or otherwise) have personally inspired you?
I always say Pina Bausch.I was introduced to her work when I was 19 and was inspired. Whimsical beauty, all encompassing grandeur, irony and humanity all wrapped together. Currently I am enthralled by James Thierrée, Charlie Chaplin’s grandson, for pretty much the same reasons. 

6. What does working at La MaMa mean to you?
It means a lot to me, I have been here for 16 years and can not imagine not being here, so much of who I am and how I see the world is because of my time at La MaMa. Ellen Stewart was and still is an inspiration to me as a human being and an artist. I remember many times thinking why is she doing it that way, it doesn’t make sense and now as the years pass and we learn more about life, you start to see things in a broader sense and some of the things she did now make sense. She always said you should never stop wanting to learn and that is something to live by.

La MaMa presents
curated by Denise Greber
featuring Heather Henson/Ibex Puppetry, Tom Lee & Koryu Nishikawa V, Théâtre d’un Jour, Liz Hara & Spencer Lott, Maiko Kikuchi and Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company

November 5 - 29, 2015

All Venues @ La MaMa

Tickets: $20 - $25 Adults; $15 - $20 Students/Seniors; a handful of $10 tickets still available for some performances.

Puppet Packages: 2, 3 and 5-Show Packages available

For Info, Tickets and Packages: CLICK HERE

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