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Anton ANDERLE - Puppeteer

Anton Anderle (1944) comes from a well known Slovak family of puppeteers. They were puppet theatre actors who used to travel around villages and townships, from region to region in their caravans, and gave great joy to children as well as amusement and enlightenment to adults.

Anton´s grandmother Eva Kouřilová (1880-1969) was the first who started to perform a puppet theatre in the family. She grew up as an orphan in the family of the first Slovak puppeteer Jan Strazan (1856-1939). Thanks to him, she mastered this profession and soon after the World War I, together with her husband Michal-Vaclav Anderle (1878-1935) prepared their first independent performance in 1919. Their four children took up the activity very soon, especially Bohuslav and Jaroslav, who started to spread the fame of the Anderle family. Bohuslav (1913-1976) was endowed with a nice, melodious voice while Jaroslav (1916-1982) was very skilful. And presently, it is the Bohuslav´s son, Anton, who is preserving the family tradition. In Slovakia, he is the only successor to the classical folk puppetry. He can revive his puppets based on the old stories of Don Juan, the false Earl of Belengardo, Janosik, Rinaldo, the inevitable Gasparko with his wife called Zabinka, the village godfathers Skrhola and Trcko and many other puppet theatre heroes. The way he plays is deliberately identical with the old puppeteers in order to preserve the old tradition.

Besides the active performing as a puppeteer, he is also the owner of a unique collection of puppets - marionettes. They come from various folk puppet makers whom he traced to learn about their colourful life. He found the puppets in lofts, cellars or workshops, very often in poor condition, so he had to add a great deal of artistic craftsmanship to his sheer hobby. He also had to repair the damaged parts, chisel the missing ones, restore the puppets movements and sew new clothes for them. Everything has been done with a sense of shape and period accuracy. Thus the unusual collection was born. It consists of nearly 600 puppets of different origin which in fact reflects the tradition of puppetry in Slovakia. He managed to complete particular sets of puppets which were a unique collection of the folk puppeteer. He could play with them his entire repertory - counting up to 40 plays .

With his puppets, he actively plays the whole repertory of the old puppeteers at home and abroad (Austria, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain).

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