Poncili Creacion’s puppetry makes for a surreal Saturday night

Poncili Creación at the Moody Center

Photo by Alese Pickering

A flying piglet, a colossal dragon head fastened to a pink bicycle and a shoe-eating caterpillar were among the fantastic foam-and-fabric creations that interacted with the audience March 23 at the Moody Center for the Arts during an original performance by Poncili Creación.

The Puerto Rican puppetry collective was in residence at Rice in the week leading up to the performance, where a packed crowd spilled out of the gallery’s open doors and outside onto the deck — as did the flying piglet, at one point.

Creating puppets at the Moody Center

Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Working with students and volunteers, Poncili Creación created wearable sculptures on-site at the Moody, inspired by Natasha Bowdoin’s installation “Sideways to the Sun.” The performance took place within the flowery installation as actors and puppeteers manipulated Bowdoin’s giant rolling panels across the gallery floor. The entire performance was accompanied by a jazz band, which improvised the music as the show went along.

Following the performance, the Moody screened “Green Porno,” Isabella Rossellini’s series of humorous short films about animal sexual behavior and mating rituals. And although Poncili Creación’s residency ended that evening, the puppets — created by Rice students from discarded foam and other found objects — will remain. (Video by Brandon Martin)

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.