Bolivian troupe of puppeteers. Uma Jalsu was created in 1993 in La Paz by Sergio Ríos Hennings (b.1967 in La Paz) in collaboration with Isabel del Granado (b.1970).
Between 1986 and 1988, Sergio Ríos Hennings was a student of professors Clara Altamirano de González and Jaime Gonzáles Portal; he then joined their company, El Chasky, where he perfected various puppetry techniques. He joined the Taller Nacional de Teatro de Adultos (National Adult Theatre Workshop) under the direction of Maritza Wilde. In 1991, he was appointed director of the Taller Nacional de Teatro de Títeres (National Puppet Theatre Workshop), under the Instituto Boliviano de Cultura, and was instructor from 1986 to 1991 of the Taller Nacional de Muñecos y Objetos Animados (National Workshop of Puppets and Animated Objects), working with children and youth from Bolivian public schools.
Sergio Ríos Hennings is an active member of the Movimiento Cultural Boliviano (Bolivian Cultural Movement) and is involved with the cultural association, Complejo Cultural Laikota, and of the Museo del Niño (Children’s Museum). He is often invited to the United States, as well as to the Netherlands, Mexico, Argentina (to La Plata), always in connection with “the culture of childhood”. He is a puppeteer, director and author, and builds his own puppets and pantins. Since 1998, he has been an active participant of the Círculo de Directores de Teatro Independiente de Bolivia (Circle of Directors of Independent Theatres of Bolivia).
The company Uma Jalsu (“source of water” in the Aymara language) combines actors’ theatre, masks, puppetry, and music. Social issues are taken up in the company’s works, notably in Puño de fuego (Fist of Fire), which was awarded the Peter Travel national prize in 2001.