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Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twelve hundred hand crafted figures

Twelve articulated lorries to transport it all, 30,000 watts of sound and light, six kilometres of electric cable and 3,000kg of glass fibre to tell the simple story of a child born in a stable.

Nativity scenes, Belenes are a traditional part of the Christmas scene. We have a little Belén in our house, the municipal one here in Pinoso will be opened on Christmas Day, just after Midnight Mass, the one in Cartagena mentioned in a previous post (The Goose is getting Fat) was opened last week and today, in Elche, we went to have a look at the version mounted by one of the Savings Banks.

It was extremely good; the figures and backdrops were much more carefully crafted than is usual, each figure made by hand, but they didn't half labour the point. First we had to wait for the one visit every half an hour, then we had to take a seat in front of a screen before somebody, dressed like a bank clerk, raced through her lines with somewhat less modulation in her voice than the speaking clock. Two longish videos next before they finally let us see the real thing. Even then we were held in check for a few minutes as we had to watch a guided sound and light version before we could eventually rest our chins on the guardrail and gawp.

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