Colombian puppet theatre created in 1976 in Bogotá by brothers César and Iván Alvárez. These two actor-puppeteers founded their troupe, La Libélula Dorada (The Golden Dragonfly), while still students at the Escuela Nacional de Títeres y Pedagogía Artística (National School of Puppetry and Art Education). Since then they have become renowned professionals at both national and international levels. They use diverse techniques and practise different genres: glove puppets, rod puppets, marottes, mixed techniques, black light, Muppet-inspired puppets, masks, object theatre, street theatre. The troupe produces shows for both children and adults.

During several tours of Latin America and Europe, the troupe has performed in festivals, including: the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (World Puppet Theatre Festival) of Charleville-Mézières, France (1982); the VII Festival Internacional de Teatro de Manizales (Manizales International Theatre Festival), Colombia (1988); the XVIII Festival Internacional Cervantino International, Mexico (1990); and the Primer Festival de Teatro Infantil (First Children’s Theatre Festival) in Medellín, Colombia (1991).

Notable among their productions are: Prestame tu sombrero (Lend Me Your Hat, 1976), La rebelión de los títeres y los héroes que vencierón todo menos el miedo (The Revolt of the Puppets and the Heroes Who Triumphed Over All Except Fear, 1978), El dulce encanto de la isla Acracia (The Sweet Charm of Acracia Island, 1979), Madre no hay sino una (One Has But One Mother, 1980), Pequeña ópera rock para dos anfibios (Little Rock Opera for Two Amphibians, 1983), Los espíritos lúdicos (The Playful Spirits, 1986), Ese chivo es puro cuento (1990).

For television they wrote and staged: El Rincón de la Fantasia (Fantasy Corner, 1983), a hundred episode series; Los mensajeros del sol (Messengers of the Sun), a special ecological television programme for Andean countries; Un día en vida de la Libélula Dorada (A Day in the Life of the Libélula Dorada), a special programme for Colombian television on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the troupe (1986); and in a joint venture with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá, Pequeños cuentos de Ana Magdalena Bach (The Chronicles of Anna Magdalena Bach, 1985).

In 1991, Libélula Dorada created issue No. 1, Manos Aladas, of the journal Revista Quiropterus dedicated to puppet theatre in Colombia and the world. The same year, the company received the Ollantay prize awarded by the Centro Latinoamericano de Creación e Investigación Teatral (CELCIT, Latin-American Centre for Theatrical Creation and Research), which is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution to the development of children’s theatre in Latin America.

(See Colombia.)