Six years later, International Puppet Biennial returns to Évora

The International Puppet Biennial of Évora (BIME) returns this year, six years after the last edition, “invading” the Alentejo city from 4 to 9 June, with 25 companies from 12 countries.

The event, sponsored by the Dramatic Center of Évora (Cendrev), in partnership with the chamber and supported by the Ministry of Culture, includes a total of 70 shows, distributed by 11 spaces in the city of Évora, the organization said today.

“The BIME is kept in the memory of many people who lived and participated in this biennial. It is a particular moment in the cultural life of the city,” said Cusa, the director of Cendrev, José Russo.

So, he continued, “when people know that there will be BIME this year and that is coming to this event with this dynamic around the dolls will be a great joy for everyone.

BIME, a puppet festival started in 1987, was held for the last time in 2013 and a new edition was scheduled for 2015, which was postponed to the following year and then cancelled due to the “lack of community funds” for funding.

The 2017 edition was also cancelled, with Cendrev invoking at the time the same reason, the lack of funding and the impossibility of running the contest for Community support.

According to José Russo, this year the return of BIME was possible thanks to the financing “directly provided by the Ministry of Culture” after a meeting with Minister Graça Fonseca and by the Câmara de Évora, to which also support from the Regional Directorate of Culture of Alentejo and Tourism of Alentejo and Ribatejo.

We have a budget around 130 to 140 thousand euros, which is below what used to be the biennial, but it is a challenge that we have accepted,” he said.

Cendrev has not yet revealed the entire program of the show, which hosts the Santo Aleixo Dolls, the traditional Alentejo puppets owned and operated by “home” actors, but has already “raised the veil” over some details of the program.

We are announcing 25 companies with a total of 90 artists,” said José Russo, indicating that puppets come from “12 countries,” including Portugal.

Puppeteers come from Brazil, Mozambique, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Peru, Argentina and China.

Throughout the six days of animation, “the dynamics of the Biennale” will be resumed, with puppet shows, for various types of audiences and all ages, “in many stages throughout the city“, such as Teatro Garcia de Resende or in parks and gardens.

José Russo also admitted that the return of BIME may be positive for the candidacy of Évora as the European Capital of Culture in 2027.

Évora has this condition that few cities have. There are booty and heritage around the puppet known worldwide“, he recalled, arguing that “resuming the dynamics of BIME can be a very important contribution” to the candidacy, as well as the realization of an “old idea“, the creation in the city of “a European puppet centre“.

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