White gloves emerge from behind a curtain, reaching towards an audience cloaked in darkness. The absence of color makes light a protagonist in a show of theatrical hyper-surrealism, for Mummenschanz are the “musicians of silence” – a phrase coined by Floriana Frassetto of this Swiss troupe.
Founded in 1972 by Bernie Schürch, Andres Bossard and Floriana Frassetto, Mummenschanz, took its name from German for “mummery” and with masks, gloves and domestic accessories, synchronize their performance to..silence!
Mummenschanz has made several appearances on the Muppet Show. “When we first started to work together, the name was “Games of Fools and of Masks” but that never worked very well,” remarked Frassetto in a recent interview. “We are not dancers or mimes, in fact, we owe much of what we do to clowns.”
Although the Mummenschanz show may be whimsical, it is also a parody of the human condition: our search for the child within and a need to engage with our emotions. Even though life is rarely black and white, or this troupe, it is. And then there’s the color of the objects which transforms the stage into a playpen of the iconic, the visual language of unspoken theatre.
Mummenschanz will perform on three consecutive nights at the Colón Theatre starting August 4th. The performance begins at 7:30 pm and tickets can either be purchased online at tuboleta.com or directly at the theatre’s box office.
Colon Theatre. Calle 10 No.5-32.
The National Museum turned 192 years last month and to celebrate this almost-two century long achievement, brought out a traditional birthday cake and treated guests to a celebration which included guided tours of what was once the prison of Cundinamarca, a botanical garden and after it was established by Congress on July 28th, 1823, the country’s National Museum. The Museo Nacional is one of the oldest museums in the Americas and has housed many of the most culturally-important artifacts of the nation, including paintings, written documents, digital files and radio archives. Its mission remains to preserve and disseminate the cultural values of the nation.
The once penitentiary, designed by architect Thomas Reed in the 1850s and built during the 1870s, operated for 72 years. In 1946, prisoners were transferred to the new Picota jail and the government allocated the building as a museum. It was restored under architects Vengoechea and Hernando Vargas Rubiano, and inaugurated on May 2, 1948. The government declared the Museum a National Monument on August 11, 1975.
Besides playing a pitoval role in preserving the nation’s most culturally-sensitive artifacts, the museum hosts throughout the year major exhibitions on Colombian art and retrospectives dedicated to a specific artist or art movement. The permanent collection covers more than 3000 years of history; from pre-Hispanic pottery and gold to colonial furniture, military hardware from the Independence, miniature paintings from the Republican era, and permanently-expanding acquitions which are displayed on three floors and in temporary exhibition rooms.
The National Museum also counts with a Juan Valdéz outdoor café, gift shop for buying that necessary Colombian souvenirs and a restaurant run by Chef Eduardo Martinéz whose dishes are inspired in the gastronomy from the Pacific regions of Colombia. There are activities and culturally-focused events for children and a permanent repertoire of free concerts to be taken fully-advantage of, especially when looking for that much-needed respite from the noise and bustle of Bogotá.
National Museum. Cra 7 No.28-66.