Shadow theatre "Karangiozis"

The shadow theatre "Karangiozis" is the most representative art form in the historyof Modern Greece. Though its appeal is nowadays much diminished, it continues to exist and is still a great favourite, especiall„ with child audiences. It isbecause "Karangiozis" has withstood the test of time and because of its influence on children that we see it not only as a spectacle-entertainment, but also as an educative tool, a different kind of learning "game".The creation of a children's branch ot the shadow theatre provides a golden opportunity for the development of long-lasting and far-reaching contactbetween the museum and the young public on a stable basis. The exchange of stimuli fosters the establishing of a two-way relationship of communication."Karangiozis" both stirs children to action and promotes their creativity. Its rich and ever renewable repertoire brings them in contact with tradition, through the magic of the theatre. At the same time, the "berdes" (screen) opens a large window on reality and how to face it. Moreover, the way in which the scenery and characters are juxtaposed underlines the relationship-conflict between dreams and reality. Behind the"berdes" the child finds its natural milieu (for in shadow theatre the distinction between space and time is, by definition, minimal). There he discovers theel ements of folk comedy, with which "Karangiozis" tries to portray the essence of life. He lives in the same rhythms and expresseshimself with originality: he paints, finds his own way of imitating, creates witty and spontaneous dialogues. Not only is he inspired, he is able to pass on hisown messages, to direct and sing. He gains self-confidence as he gives life to the figures through his manipulation of them, he plays and improvises introducing new slements of his own drawn on events ot the present day. He creates upon folk roots his own stories, his own characters, discovers his ownpace. He mingles for himself the elements of tradition with those of his era.
K. Kanellopoulos

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