About Moon Cabaret
'Vaudeville from the 21st century' - Martijn Grootendorst
Moon Cabaret is the theater branch of international artist collective Snowapple, which brings together practitioners from France, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and Scotland.
The company creates work that is immersive and baroque in style, drawing on the traditions of opera, physical theatre and cabaret with a touch of hallucinatory surrealism.
Moon Cabaret has been experimenting with a blend of cinema, music, theatre and puppetry for the past 2 years, presenting work at festivals across Europe and Mexico, including: Festival International des Arts de la Rue d'Aurillac (FR), Festival OFF d’Avignon (FR), Festival Internacional Cervantino (MX), Vondelpark Open Air Theatre (NL) and El Café Berlin (ES). Moon Cabaret recently toured with the Mujeres del Viento Florido in Mexico, a group of women from Oaxaca united to make and share music.
French newspaper La Croix named Mr. Moon one of Festival d’Avignon’s absolute favourite shows. Furthermore, in Avignon, Moon Cabaret collaborated with Evgeni Ibragimov, triple winner of the golden Mask, Russia's most prestigious price for best director - to create a completely new spectacle.
Every year Moon Cabaret is part of the multidisciplinary festival, Jardin Rouge, organized by Snowapple. Read more about the festival here.
'We are King’s Fools, preachers, liers and poets who have seen too much' - Mrs. Moon
Mime / clown / puppeteer
Estrellita (played by Nora from Amsterdam) is a clown who is always wondering which road to take and whether to keep on travelling. She is also the alter ego of The Moon, a mysterious character who is trying to get back in the sky.
Nora studied Visual Arts at (Gerrit Rietveld Academy) as well as mime and physical theater; she also trained as a puppeteer with the Philippe Genty Company (FR). She collaborates with both the Snowapple collective and the Duda Paiva Company (NL).
Mime / clown
Mr. Moon (played by Osito Moro von Ropi) likes to talk about the creation of the world and play a thousand notes per minute on his silver flute. Sometimes he plays with the truth or improvises a song using one of the multiple instruments he likes to use.
A trained mime artist and clown, Osito played in the Mexican ska band 'Los de Abajo' for more than 12 years. He received a Master’s degree at the Utrecht Conservatory of Music. Osito has performed at festivals including Lowlands (NL), Sziget (HN), Glastonbury (UK) and more.
Multi-instrumentalist and women's rights activist
Catalina (played by Cynthia Martinez from Mexico) is a mysterious woman: sometimes she’ll give you a sharp look, sometimes a bright smile; at other times she’ll convey her opinion through her cello or bass guitar.
Cynthia was responsible for Snowapple’s La Llorona project, which reached 100,000 women worldwide; she is now an important activist for women’s rights in Mexico. Cynthia was a member of the band ‘Polka Madre’ for many years, touring with them in Europe and the USA. She also writes music for the theater and the circus.
Singer and Snowapple's artistic leader
Mrs. Moon (Played by Laurien from Amsterdam) is the family’s matriarch and leader, a singer of operatic arias and folk cumbias, and the band’s clarinetist. She strongly believes in the old adage ‘the show must go on’ and encourages the others to follow suit with her sweet smile.
Laurien is the artistic leader of the Snowapple collective. She studied experimental physics at the University of Amsterdam, then opera singing and mime acting in Holland and Los Angeles. Laurien has performed at Eurosonic (NL), Glastonbury (UK) and Vive Latino (MX).
LA DIRECTORA FRANÇOIS
La directora (Eva Schumacher from France) ensures that there is order amid the chaos. She translates (and invents) words for this collective without borders and keeps the creative juices flowing through writing sessions squeezed into train rides.
Eva studied philosophy at University, then physical theater with the Lecoq Pedagogy (BE). She first worked with actors with mental disabilities, and now writes and directs shows with the TSQP company (FR), and the Snowapple collective.
Multi-instrumentalist and inventor
Gunga (from Scotland) scrutinizes the others behind his percussion, and thinks he is the center of the show. He grumbles and growls, not appreciating the liberties that others take with the progress of the show. When he finds himself in the centre of the stage, his seriousness does not fail to make the audience laugh, making it all the more circumspect.
Alan Gunga Purves is not only a percussionist, he is an inventor, creator of most of his instruments. As a long-time partner of the Moon family, he experiments with surreal humor and outstanding virtuosity, giving amazing and captivating concerts.
Dancer and contortionist
Porcelaine (played by Joséphine Terme from France) stretches and twists in all directions to bring the members of the family together. As a new member of the family, she is still learning the rules of the trade and is trying (often without success) to find her place in a well-oiled organization. She sets up, prepares and takes care of all the tasks that fall to the youngest member of the gang, but within her, questions and uncertainties bubble up.
Joséphine combines two disciplines: dance and contortion. She started ballet as a child: she studied contemporary dance in Spain, and trained all around Europe, before opening to circus and contortion training. Next to her performances as part of Moon Cabaret, where she is also experimenting as a puppeteer, Joséphine works with dance companies in Belgium (Sandman) and France (Virgule).
Trombone and sousaphone player
This unpredictable circus regular knows how to make every moment and every piece of music exceptional, carrying Estrellita with one arm while playing the sousaphone with the other. Don't be impressed by his stature, he is actually the most delicate of all.
Arno Bakker (from the Netherlands) is an autodidact musician, theater-maker, songwriter, house builder, chatterbox, festival appearer, rule cousin and cookie gunner. He plays big bells such as trombone and sousaphone, and occasionally makes a throat. He played in the circus, in TV series, in gyms for unwashed children and in the Koninklijke Schouwburg for money. He traveled honking from America to China, from Sweden to South Africa. If you are looking for him, he can be found in the impro-jazz circuit, on the largest pop stages, as well as at the most remote fair.
Elegantly and slightly detached, Bombini (played by Alberto Pérez from Spain) observes the convolutions of our troubadours. Will he intervene? Beneath his gentle, dreamy smile, he hides ambitions that may at some point in the show prove to be... surprising.
“I also used to be very shy but I hated that, so I became quite an extrovert.” Alberto is an entrepreneur, performer, and creator in equal parts. Alberto plays all the brass instruments. He love jamming, arranging, composing, recording, and producing music. Trained as a classical tuba player, he now founded his own music academy in Utrecht, in which he teaches students to be open-minded and to experiment with music.
Brass Player / Arranger
This melancholic and poetic character will touch your soul with his piercing eye. Changing instruments at will, handling brass instruments with incredible skill, he seems to be a Pierrot, a direct descendant of the stars...
Gregg Moore (From California) played in local bands and orchestras and jazz big bands. He concentrates on composing and arranging and his long interest in how music might accompany theater and dance led to an association with the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe and the Festival of Fools in Amsterdam in 1975. Gregg plays a wide variety of musics for theater, circus and dance as well as music directing. He teaches, coordinates community arts initiatives and is a longterm collaborator of Snowapple as arranger and musician.
Mime / clown
Clumsy and acrobatic, Straminsky (played by Santiago Baculima from Ecuador) tries to help as best he can. Unless he is actually trying to steal the public's attention for his very special act that he has been preparing in secret since the Moon family took him in....
Santiago Baculima trained as a theater actor in Brazil with the LUME theatre company and then as a clown with numerous masters in South America, Europe and the United States. He also trained in physical theater at the MAGENIA Studio and in clowning at the Ecole du Samovar in Paris. Santiago uses the language of physical theater, clowning, puppetry and dance in his creations with the companies Teatrovando and Clowndestinos and in the different companies with which he collaborates (DIRTZ theatre, Teatro de las Entranas...).
Legend has it, Mr. Moon has traveled and played every street corner, town square, and theater. We are from the tradition of hucksters, public criers, who are not afraid to go out and find their audience in the most unlikely of places. Accustomed to playing on different continents, we wave our flags and play our instruments to defend our imaginary country, our mixed language and our plural culture. The streets call us and we call the streets, determined to join the public space to show a little disorder, plant the seeds of a fantasy, and a dream of a society where everything and everyone is blended. We created a show totally adaptable to any space we find: an interactive and intimate theatre experience where the audience comes hair-raisingly close to the performers, who will challenge them in any way.
Mr. and Mrs. Moon, Catalina, and Nora on the Moon are the core of this family, they are the ones traveling everywhere, without a choice. But they always welcome new members, foreign cousins, lost sisters and brothers, other troubadours. Mr. Moon can be played with four, five, even ten actors or musicians. We are willing to be flexible and include new members on the road. We already played with circus artists, with a Mexican-Balkan brass band, a Scottish drummer and a Turkish dancer… Who’s next? Who will we meet on the way?
Sometimes the Moon family is invited to stay for a while in a place, square, festival or theater. In that case we can turn the place into Jardin Rouge. A garden where the Moon family are the hosts and we invite other musicians, clowns, performers and artists to play in the garden. Every corner will be filled with poetry....
Do you have a place or space that you'd would like us to fill with poetry for several days? We can bring Jardin Rouge to you....
Jardin Rouge started to grow in De Roode Bioscoop, a tiny little theater in the heart of Amsterdam. Every year Mr. Moon will host several multiple days of events in de Roode bioscoop, presenting extraordinary art(ists) from every corner of the globe.
Mujeres del Viento Florido
Mujeres del Viento Florido join Moon Cabaret in Orchestra and Quartet form- these Oaxacan women, from different towns, unite to make music together and share with others. Mujeres del Viento Florido toured with Moon Cabaret in the fall of 2021.
Casa Snowapple Mx
Casa Snowapple Mx is an International Artistic Residency space designed to develop contemporary cultural projects between local people and the world. Moon Cabaret always stops by on our visits to Mexico!
MR. MOON & TLAZOLTEOTL ORKESTRA
This incredibly virtuous brass balkan tornado was touring with Mr. Moon all over Mexico in October and November 2019.