Carpetbag Brigade from Colombia

February 19, 2016  •  2 minute read

The Evolving Acrostilt Tradition

“Callings” addresses climate change metaphorically and visually by invoking archetypes from the sea. A captain’s ghost and an ancient siren seduce and liberate the sailors of commerce, awakening them into the recognition that the sea is a living being. Carpetbag Brigade’s highly physical state-of-the-art acrobatic stilt-walking performance transcends language through intense physical expression. Mixing the genres of butoh, contact improvisation and physical theater, it operates as a wonderful vehicle to cross cultures and create connections with audiences from a different language, country and culture.

Carpetbag Brigade performing in Manizales
photo by: Ivonne Garavito Trejo

Teatro Taller de Colombia, the country’s oldest and most prominent street theater company, through their work of the last 40 plus years, laid the foundation for a rich stilt-walking and street theater environment throughout the country. After the invitation and support from NPN to come to Manizales was confirmed, Teatro Taller de Colombia helped to organize and support presentations of “Callings” at their Al Aire Puro Street Theater Festival in Bogota as well as organize presentations in Medellin through Tenarco (Teatro Nacional Artistico Colombia) and in Santa Marta through Festival Internacional de Caribe.

The field of interaction and support opened up by Teatro Taller de Colombia enabled Carpetbag Brigade to also spend a week in Bogota teaching and sharing their acrostilt vocabulary. A young street theater company, Gota del Mercurio (Drop of Mercury) took master classes from Carpetbag Brigade and were inspired to plan a visit in the future to participate in Carpetbag Brigade’s Global Stilt Congress event in Arizona, which brings together acrostilt practitioners from around the world to exchange techniques and deepen their craft.

Carpetbag Brigade received a FY16 PAP Creative Exchange subsidy.

Funding for the Performing Americas Program is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation  and, for Miami Dade County artists and arts organizations, the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.