Emilia Stubbs Grigoriou and Horizon Puppet Theatre director Maddie Slabacu with a couple of their stars.
ONE of Sydney's most experienced puppeteers and her young team, based at Wiley Park, will be travelling to Russia later this year to represent Australia and perform their ancient art.
The Horizon Theatre Company have been selected to compete in the highly prestigious World Puppet Carnival in Yekaterinburg during August. Most of the team selected are from the Canterbury Bankstown area, including Emilia Stubbs-Grigoriou (Canterbury), Benjamin Kuryo (Bass Hill), Stathis Messaris (Mt Lewis) and Maddy Slabacu (Lakemba).
Ms Slabacu, who learnt her art in her homeland of Romania, has 40 years of experience in puppetry, and is the director of the Horizon Theatre Company's troupe travelling to Russia.
"This is one of the most exciting puppetry events in the world," Ms Slabacu said.
"We are really looking forward to competing in the event and bringing our show to the rest of the world."
Ms Slabacu says the troupe specialises in Bunraku puppet theatre, which originated in Japan during the 17th century, but will feature a truly Australian flavour in Russia. The puppets have no strings and are operated from behind.
The NIDA teacher says the art of puppetry has had its ups and downs in popularity.
"Interest in the art-form is growing again, which I am very pleased to see," she said.
The Horizon Theatre Company's puppet theatre at Wiley Park has operated for over 20 years, and is one of the last remaining in the state.
The Horizon Theatre Company will need to raise about $12,000 for each of the five artists travelling to Russia for the event. Canterbury Bankstown Council has donated $3,000 to the company to assist in the costs.