by Ellen DeYoung, Program Associate at Arts Midwest
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Red Wing, MN – Manual Cinema describes itself as “a performance collective, design studio, and film/video production company.” This daring and unique form of performance is unusual in mainstream art, so it is especially rare for a small community to participate in such an event. However, the Sheldon Theatre of Performing Arts in Red Wing, Minnesota, had the opportunity to experience the Manual Cinema in October as part of the Arts Midwest Touring Fund.
The Sheldon Theatre hosted a Manual Cinema work called “Momentos Mori,” which combines puppetry, overhead projectors, cameras, and screens. Red Wing High School continued its partnership with the theatre by participating in a matinee and post-show discussion, and the theatre held a separate performance for the general public. One audience member noted, “I had no idea that it would be so fascinating to watch all the pieces at the same time…it was a masterpiece of choreography.” After both performances, the audiences were given the opportunity to explore the mechanics of the production. They were even invited on stage to try out the puppets and projectors, while the performers demonstrated the inner workings of their creations and answered questions.