11.25.2013

the NonchalantDad: Mummenschanz



It appears long before the Blue Man Group - there was Mummenschanz. Founded in Paris in 1972 and consisting of a small group of performers, they used their collective talents as performers and artists to create some very fascinating and timeless routines, as is demonstrated in the video above. Sparing but totally imaginative, they almost easily resemble what many conceptual performers wish they might achieve in the contemporary art world. Unpretentious and often thoughtful, many of their performances unfold with a quiet disjunctive sensibility. I think the best way to describe them is just plain weird - which, of course, I mean as a compliment. Back in the 70's, when I was a child, weirdness was considered an appropriate thing - you might remember that much of what we saw was based on it! Mummenschanz, you might be surprised to know, were quite successful in their earliest days - traveling lots without a doubt, but landing big 'gigs' such as the Muppet Show and eventually a spot on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. To this day, though without their original line up, they still perform and conduct workshops - quietly going about their weird business while the Blue Man Group takes on Las Vegas and the likes! For more info, and possibly to give yourself a totally surrealistic and nostalgic jolt.

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