Elephant Man

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Tony Raven, May 7, 2006.

  1. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Off to Larndan today with famille to see the Sultan's Elephant. Quite
    the most amazing spectacle we have witnessed, and we've seen a few.
    Seeing the pictures is one thing but up close and personal the puppetry
    really is superb and the scale massive. The effort and energy the
    puppeters have to put into making the legs walk is phenomenal - runnning
    and then jumping on the ropes to lift the legs for each step. A-mazing!
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4981728.stm

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
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  2. vernon levy

    vernon levy Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Off to Larndan today with famille to see the Sultan's Elephant. Quite the
    > most amazing spectacle we have witnessed, and we've seen a few. Seeing the
    > pictures is one thing but up close and personal the puppetry really is
    > superb and the scale massive. The effort and energy the puppeters have to
    > put into making the legs walk is phenomenal - runnning and then jumping on
    > the ropes to lift the legs for each step. A-mazing!
    > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4981728.stm
    >

    I'd have loved to have seen it. I saw a similar spectacle in Lisbon in Expo
    '98. There was a street procession of the most amazing contraptions powered
    by a mixture of human, electric motors and petrol engines. It was truly a
    jaw dropping event rivalled by the working models from Leonardo da Vinci's
    Leicester Codex and some wrapped buildings by the same artists who wrapped
    the Reichstag.

    It's the intergration of humans into such huge devices that I think is
    inspiring.
     
  3. Tom Anderson

    Tom Anderson Guest

    On Sun, 7 May 2006, Tony Raven wrote:

    > Off to Larndan today with famille to see the Sultan's Elephant. Quite
    > the most amazing spectacle we have witnessed, and we've seen a few.
    > Seeing the pictures is one thing but up close and personal the puppetry
    > really is superb and the scale massive.


    Agreed. I nipped down to have a butcher's today, and it really was
    impressive. More giant robot animals on the streets, i say!

    > The effort and energy the puppeters have to put into making the legs
    > walk is phenomenal - runnning and then jumping on the ropes to lift the
    > legs for each step.


    Really? It looked to me like it was all power-worked. It does take a lot
    of work to drive, though - i counted eight crew, who i think were a
    captain on top, presumably coordinating everything, three trunksmen at the
    front, controlling the various motions of the trunk, a leg driver on a
    seat hanging off the side next to each leg, and a tail-end charlie,
    working the tail. The tail bloke was doing it with a sheaf of ropes;
    everyone else had levers. The guys at the front had particularly massive
    arrays of them, reminding me of a pipe organ; the trunk swung from side to
    side and flexed independently at each joint, opened and closed its
    nostrils, made trumpeting sounds, and sprayed water, so there must have
    been quite a bit to control. Oh, and there was a transvestite with a
    telescope and a troupe of dancing girls on top.

    So, was there a team of leg-lifting rope-pullers i missed? Surely there's
    a fansite somewhere on the internet where all the juicy technical details
    are laid bare ...

    tom

    --
    Mathematics is the door and the key to the sciences. -- Roger Bacon
     
  4. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Sun, 07 May 2006 19:51:05 +0100, Tom Anderson wrote:


    >
    > So, was there a team of leg-lifting rope-pullers i missed? Surely there's
    > a fansite somewhere on the internet where all the juicy technical details
    > are laid bare ...


    I think Tony is talking about the little girl. There didn't seem to be any
    mechanical aids there - just a troupe of puppeteers with ropes.
    Then again, I qualify 'little' as I saw here scooter and it was twelve
    feet tall!

    I went yesterday, to see the elephant in Trafalgar Square,
    and today to see the little girl depart in her time-travelling space
    rocket. The elephant was very sad.
    Strangely though, he fuelled the rocket through his trunk.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Tom Anderson wrote:
    > On Sun, 7 May 2006, Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > Really? It looked to me like it was all power-worked. It does take a lot
    > of work to drive, though - i counted eight crew, who i think were a
    > captain on top, presumably coordinating everything, three trunksmen at the
    > front, controlling the various motions of the trunk, a leg driver on a
    > seat hanging off the side next to each leg, and a tail-end charlie,
    > working the tail. The tail bloke was doing it with a sheaf of ropes;
    > everyone else had levers. The guys at the front had particularly massive
    > arrays of them, reminding me of a pipe organ; the trunk swung from side to
    > side and flexed independently at each joint, opened and closed its
    > nostrils, made trumpeting sounds, and sprayed water, so there must have
    > been quite a bit to control. Oh, and there was a transvestite with a
    > telescope and a troupe of dancing girls on top.
    >
    > So, was there a team of leg-lifting rope-pullers i missed? Surely there's
    > a fansite somewhere on the internet where all the juicy technical details
    > are laid bare ...
    >
    > tom


    I think there's some confusion between the elephant and the girl.

    Saw the show today (fantastic!) and the elephant looked mechanical,
    whereas the girls legs were controlled by a group of very energetic
    puppeteers, working in rotation.

    I've uploaded a brief video clip here :
    http://www.zen67719.zen.co.uk/GirlWalking.mpg

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     
  6. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Tom Anderson wrote:
    >
    > So, was there a team of leg-lifting rope-pullers i missed? Surely
    > there's a fansite somewhere on the internet where all the juicy
    > technical details are laid bare ...
    >


    The leg pullers were on the 30ft high girl, not the elephant which, as
    you say, was all hydraulically powered.


    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  7. davek

    davek Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > Off to Larndan today with famille to see the Sultan's Elephant. Quite
    > the most amazing spectacle we have witnessed, and we've seen a few.


    Agreed. I went along on Friday on my way back to Victoria and got there
    just as the elephant was setting off on its "sightseeing" trip. It was
    breathtaking - literally, as in I went dizzy and nearly fell over! If I
    hadn't been spending all weekend on my bike I would have made the trip
    to see it again. It's definitely the kind of spectacle that would be
    worth travelling for.

    d.
     
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