This Friday marks the 41st annual Village Halloween Parade here in Manhattan. Parade Director Jeanne Fleming was kind enough to let me come photograph the development of this year's famed Giant Puppet float at their Hudson River Valley barn workshop in Rokeby. A 16 year tradition for husband and wife design team Alex Kahan & Sophia Michahelles, this year's float is inspired by Heironymous Bosch's timeless altarpiece, 'Garden of Earthly Delights'. Here are some images from their development process and dress rehearsal over the last few weeks. Jeanne, Alex, Sophia and their merry band of volunteers are a wonderfully spirited group of people and the work is glorious. I hope you can make it out to see it in person.
Enjoy the photos.
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1. Husband and wife design team Alex Kahan & Sophia Michahelles.
2. The float workshop at Rokeby, NY.
3. Heironymous Bosch's, 'Garden of Earthly Delights', posted beside sketches for the snake creature suit.
4. Volunteer cutting the frame for the snake suit head piece.
5. Co-Designer Alex Kahan providing instructions to volunteers on next steps for the snake suit construction.
6. Sketches for the winged puppet.
7. Volunteer electrician wiring the LED lights to illuminate the winged puppet.
8. Head piece for winged puppet.
9. Co-Designer Sophia Michahelles giving instructions to volunteers on constructing the paper mache blossoms.
10. Volunteer making the paper mache blossoms.
11. Paper mache blossoms hanging to dry.
12. Sketches for tree float centerpiece.
13. Volunteer gluing card-board bark on to the tree skin.
14. Volunteer painting the tree bark.
15. Volunteer hoisting the tree skin into place.
16. Co-Designer Alex Kahn supervising his tree float centerpiece as it comes to life for the dress rehearsal.
17. Co-Designer Alex Kahn and volunteers attach one of three articulating tree branches to the float.
18. Volunteers test out the mobility of the tree float centerpiece at the dress rehearsal.
19. Parade Director/Producer Jeanne Fleming supervising the dress rehearsal.
20. The snake suit comes to life at the dress rehearsal.
21. Co-Designer Alex Kahn and volunteer testing the articulation of the winged puppet at the dress rehearsal.
22. Co-Designer Alex Kahn testing the LED lights on the winged puppet at the dress rehearsal.
23. Testing the illuminated paper mache blossoms at the dress rehearsal.
24. Testing the illuminated winged puppets at the dress rehearsal.