Bambalina Teatre Practicable
Bambalina is a puppet company founded in 1981 in Valencia. In the first stage, the core team consisted of Vicent Vila, Jaume Policarpo, and Josep Policarpo. From the beginning, their goal has been to explore new forms of expression in puppet manipulation techniques. During their first decade, they alternated between shows for children and productions aimed at adults. Claroscuro (1982) was one of the first examples of their interest in legitimizing puppets for a more mature audience. This first stage culminated in a commission from the Centre Teatral Escalante, Pinocchio (1989), their most ambitious production up to that point and a definitive step towards professionalization.
In the next stage, starting in 1990, Bambalina established itself in Valencia and new members joined the team. The company experimented, with the collaboration of Valencian directors, and delved into interdisciplinarity, especially in the use of music in their works. The coexistence between manipulators and puppets became a distinctive feature of their shows. This trait was fully realized in Don Quixote (1991), a show that is still active today and has performed almost 400 shows in 40 countries.
Since 2000, Bambalina has embarked on an international projection thanks to agreements with institutions and festivals. Their focus is on theater for adults, where they explore proposals ranging from text-based theater to object and material manipulation. Through collaborations and more experimental works, the company has developed its own artistic style. With the collaboration of the Valencian Institute of Music, they delve into the creation of musical pieces such as The Soldier’s Tale (2003), Cenerentola (2008), or Carmen (2010) by P. Merimée. Works such as Pasionaria (2001) or Federico G. Lorca’s Smile (2004) also stand out for their novel interest in historical characters compared to the dominant trend in previous works, which were inspired by fictional characters from literature. These last mentioned pieces seem decisive in the process of stylization towards object manipulation, which is characteristic of the next stage and has its origins in Kraft (2007), another successful production of the company with significant international projection.
In the current stage, from 2016 to the present, Bambalina has consolidated a new production and management team. The show Kiti Kraft is the flagship of this new stage and won the Max Award for Best Children’s, Youth, and Family Show in 2018.
In their latest stage, they continue with the adaptation of universal classics such as La Celestina (4 Premis Arts Escèniques Valencianes awards: Best Stage Direction, Best Text Adaptation, Best Actress, Best Theater Show). In August 2019, they premiered Hamlet, their first Shakespeare production, at the Sagunt a Escena Festival. Jorge Valle, the only actor on stage, was nominated for Best Actor at the Premis Arts Escèniques Valencianes 2020.
Edipo, a version by Jaume Policarpo, premiered in November 2020 at the Teatre El Musical in Valencia, and in 2023, an expanded version will inaugurate the Sagunt a Escena Festival. Their latest adaptation is the play Curial and Güelfa, premiered in 2023 and presented at the Mostra de Teatre d’Alcoi.
CUCU, premiered in 2021 (Best Show for Children, 2022 (Premis Arts Escèniques Valencianes)
Additionally, they have revived the play Don Quixote on the occasion of the celebration of the company’s 40th anniversary and have presented a concert/show for a family audience with a prominent musical focus, La caja de juguetes (la boîte à joujoux) by Claude Debussy.
With a solid production and a consolidated artistic team, Bambalina looks towards the future with enthusiasm and commitment.