Brazilian puppeteer, Álvaro Apocalypse dedicated his whole life to artistic creation and especially distinguished himself in puppet theatre. He studied visual arts at the Escola Guignard (Guignard School) in Belo Horizonte, affiliated since 1989 with Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais (UEMG, University of the State of Minas Gerais), and law at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, Federal University of Minas Gerais). As a visual artist, he received numerous awards.
But it is as a creator of puppets and as the director of the company Giramundo that he gained international recognition. In 1959, invited to give classes at the Escola de Belas Artes (School of Fine Arts) of the Faculty of Architecture, he launched into an uninterrupted university career that lasted right up to his death. His teaching extended into animation notably at the technology workshop of the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM) in Charleville-Mézières, France, and at various Brazilian institutes.
It was in 1970 that he plunged into the arena of puppet theatre, by creating, with the help of his spouse, Terezinha Veloso, and with Maria do Carmo Vivacqua Martins (Madu), the company Giramundo. Their very first show was A Bela Adormecida (Sleeping Beauty, 1971). His death at the age of sixty-six put to rest more than thirty years of continued theatrical creativity. His last work was the conception of “Mundo Giramundo” (Giramundo World), a retrospective exposition of the entire ensemble of the company’s works. It was his belief that the shows were, for the most part, the final result of a focused research, which led to national cultural values being reaffirmed.
Álvaro Apocalypse created hundreds of puppets and as a researcher he wrote Dramaturgia para a nova forma da marionete (Dramaturgy for a New Form of Puppet, 2000), published by the Escola das Artes da Marionete (EAM, School of Puppetry Arts) of Belo Horizonte. For his work as the head of Giramundo, he received the highest award of Brazilian theatre, the Molière Prize, as well as the APCA (Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte) Award, and the Mambembe Trophy, among others.
- Apocalypse, Alvaro. Dramaturgia para a nova forma da marionette [Dramaturgy for a New Form of Puppet]. Belo Horizonte: Escola das Artes da Marionete/EAM-Giramundo, 2000.