Laura Kibel is an artist from Rome, Italy. Her ‘Teatro Dei Piedi’ (Theatre of the Feet) is unique in many ways. True to her group’s name, Miss Kibel demonstrates a unique style of puppetry, which involved her whole body, but most impressively, her legs and her feet.
Laura Kibel is a multi-faceted artist — a musician, a costume and set designer for theater and cinema, a specialist model-maker, a sound composer, who not only made her puppets and designed her show, but also used her limbs with great skill and agility to display the puppets of her little dramas.
These little dramas appear from animated and brightly colored trunks — all arranged around Miss Kibel, who displayed her virtuosity from the center of the stage. More than being stories, the little situational pieces or rather the protagonists of these pieces — in the form of a variety of puppet-characters are simple, funny, and readily identifiable. The themes range from two men fighting to a man trying quite unsuccessfully to soothe a bawling child. In one of the sketches a group of musicians attempt to play different kinds of music. Clearly meant to showcase Miss Kibel’s skills and dexterity with the puppets fixed on her feet, knees, thighs, the characters emerging from the trunks are simply charming.
There are little surprises hidden away in the costumes of the puppets and in the props that were dramatically revealed at different times in the performance, while a small portable CD player is a key accompaniment to Miss Kibel’s legs and feet acrobatics.
A tad repetitive with the initial ‘wow’ element becoming familiar mid-way, Miss Kibel’s show is nevertheless remarkable. Her legs create magic and an ingenious language of performance.