Since 1999, the innovative French theater company La Machine has designed and forged building-sized mechanical puppets. These fantastical builds have toured across France and beyond, creating larger-than-life performances on the city streets—their stage.
On April 16th and 17th, 2022, the dragon-horse spirit Long Ma Jing Shen woke up in Toulouse, France to an audience of 70,000 to 110,000 people. Long Ma faced La Machine’s Giant Minotaur and spider robotic puppets, as seen in these videos from the event.
Above from La Machine: Long Ma à Toulouse, Le Combat des Titans. Below, Long Ma with wings: Le Pouvoir des ailes, Toulouse. From LaMachine.fr:
“François Delarozière created this extraordinary work, drawing inspiration from the Chinese legend The Godess Nüwa. Nüwa is the creator of mankind. As the climate changes, she worries about the men she has created. She decides to send her emissary, the spirit of the Dragon-Horse, to help them and fix the sky. However, the Giant Spider, instigator of chaos, crosses Long Ma’s path and lays traps that Long Ma will have to evade…”
And for an unedited view of the dragon horse, including its sound effects, watch this Ludovic Chaboud video filmed in 2014 at Les machines de l’île in Nantes:
In case you missed it, watch Le grand éléphant des Machines de l’île à Nantes and Giant Minotaur and spider robotic puppets in Toulouse.
Plus, a few other lovely puppets on TKSST:
• How do war horse puppeteers make their War Horse real?
• Barnaby Dixon’s Raptor Puppet
• How to make puppets with Jim Henson (1969)
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