Brazilian puppetry theatre, an institution which, in 2005, united a centre of creation and research, a museum and a professional school.
The story of Giramundo begins in 1970 when Álvaro Apocalypse, his spouse Terezinha Veloso, and Maria do Carmo Vivácqua Martins (Madu) decided to work together on the language of puppet theatre and to develop new forms of puppetry for each of the plays that they would create. Thus they have over twenty-five creations and a large resource of figures as each play is staged with different puppets.
Since 1977, the troupe worked with the Escola de Belas Artes (School of Fine Arts) of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, Federal University of Minas Gerais), where they devoted their energy towards plastic and technical research of puppet fabrication, experimenting with theatrical language, and researching the history of animation theatre. Giramundo offers workshops, classes, conferences and demonstrations, thus helping in the diffusion, dissemination and preservation of the art of puppetry in all its varied forms.
After separating from the School of Fine Arts, Giramundo was set up in the district (neighbourhood) of Floresta in Belo Horizonte in a theatre with a hundred and twenty seats. Spread over three floors, its museum houses eight hundred puppets, maquettes (sculpture models) and projects of technical construction, drawings, sketches, photographs and audio documents. Its work culminated in the creation of the Escola das Artes da Marionete – Escola Giramundo (EAM, School of Puppetry Arts), the first training school for puppeteers in Brazil. This institution also holds courses in the interior of the State of Minas Gerais, in addition to participating actively in cultural festivals.
The vast repertoire of Giramundo for adults and children includes the noteworthy Cobra Norato (1979), one of its most appreciated and awarded shows, As Relações naturais (Natural Relations, 1983), and Carnaval dos animais (Carnival of the Animals, 1993).
Since 2000, Giramundo has been experimenting with multi-media productions combining puppets, actors, dancers and masked performers, and utilizing electronic technology. The most recent is Aventuras de Alice no País das Maravilhas (Alice in Wonderland, 2013). The company recently created some stop motion films: Metas do Millenio (Goals of the Millenium); Minisérie Mitologia (Mythology Miniseries) for TV Globo; and Teatro do Mundo (Theatre of the World).
- Giramundo. Giramundo, teatro de bonecos; teatro, sonho & poesia [Giramundo, Puppet Theatre; Theatre, Dream & Poetry]. Belo Horizonte: Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, [n.d.].