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L'Illusion, Théâtre de marionnettes was founded in Montreal in 1979 by Claire Voisard and Petr Baran. Both were trained in Prague, a crucible for the art of puppetry: Petr Baran is originally from the Czech Republic, and Claire Voisard lived there from 1972 to 1977 during her studies at Charles University. Voisard had been introduced to puppetry by Micheline Legendre, and had worked for her company, Les Marionnettes de Montréal. L'Illusion's productions often combine elements of traditional or classical theatre – characters, types of puppet, text – with contemporary techniques and stagecraft. In addition to their creations, Voisard and Baran undertook research on the tradition of the limberjack or jig doll of Quebec: research which led to an important exhibition on this traditional puppet in the early 1980s. Claire Voisard also serves with UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette), and was a member of its Executive Committee from 1996 to 2004. She is now the sole director of L'Illusion, which by 2007 had presented some 30 productions across Canada, the United States and Europe. In 1996, L'Illusion transformed its atelier into a small performance space: the Studio-théâtre de L'Illusion.
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