An evening exploring Don Quijote by Miguel Cervantes at the Instituto Cervantes
What is art? It is the expression of ideas through the use of different and creative mediums. Our life is filled with art and we are surrounded by it. From the way things are constructed to the beauty of a beautifully done essay or drawing, art is everywhere. But what happens when someone tries to be avante-garde and would like to experience art in a different and untraditional way? The result can actually be two things: one of utter disgust or one that truly astounds. Personally I am not a master or knowledgeable enough to really appreciate the finer points of art, but when I watched Bambalina Production’s version of Miguel Cervantes’s epic “Quijote” at the Instituto Cervantes, I was floored.


Don Quijote and his loyal friend, Sancho
To be honest I am not so familiar with Cervantes’s epic, my only encounter was that abridged-required reading version that retold Don Quijote’s incident with the windmill. Other than that I came to Instituto with nothing but apprehension that I wouldn’t understand a single thing (my Spanish is rusty that I only know so very few words). To my surprise, the whole production would be done using puppets and unintelligible words. These were already plus points for me as I sat back and enjoyed the show.


Reenacting scenes beautifully
The imagery produced by the puppeteers and the effective use of sound effects and music heightened my feeling of excitement. The whole experience might have seemed weird at first, but the deft manipulation of puppets and the perfectly choreographed movements was like watching a dance show. There was energy, synergy, and beauty in the art of puppetry, the puppeteers brought life to their works and made them come alive and express Don Quijote in an intimate and personal way.


The end of Don Quijote
So was taking the risk of seeing some new untraditional form of art, worth it? I would have to say yes, I came to Instituto apprehensive and not knowing what to expect. I came to see a puppet show that certainly mystified me but was masterfully and creatively done and expressed. I enjoyed how my senses and my mind were challenged to make head and tails of what was happening. I was very thrilled to partake in this one-of-a-kind and rare production and I hope to seriously catch another one of Bambalina’s productions in the future.

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