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The Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe

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Based in Nantes, France, the street theatre company Royal de Luxe performs around the world, primarily using gigantic, elaborate marionettes to tell stories that take place over several days and wind through entire cities. Puppeteers maneuver the huge marionettes -- some as tall as 12 meters (40 ft) -- through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way. Gathered here are images of several recent Royal de Luxe performances, from Belgium, Mexico, Germany, Chile, and England. [38 photos]

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A giant marionette, operated by performers, walks in Berlin, Germany, on October 2, 2009. The French marionette street theatre company Royal de Luxe gave open air performances around the Day of German Unity in Berlin. The artists used the giant puppets to tell the story of separation and recovery to commemorate the fall of Berlin Wall 20 years earlier. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
A giant marionette, operated by performers, walks in Berlin, Germany, on October 2, 2009. The French marionette street theatre company Royal de Luxe gave open air performances around the Day of German Unity in Berlin. The artists used the giant puppets to tell the story of separation and recovery to commemorate the fall of Berlin Wall 20 years earlier. (Carsten Koall/Getty Images)
In the finale of the Sea Odyssey, the giant deep sea diver, the little giant girl and her dog Xolo sail along the River Mersey through pyrotechnic smoke watched by thousands of people on April 22, 2012 in Liverpool, England. Over the last three days French street theatre company Royal De Luxe performed Sea Odyssey with the giants coming to life telling a love story inspired by a letter written by a young girl to her father who worked as a steward on the Titanic. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
Hundreds of people watch a giant mechanical elephant walk down the Mall in London in an outdoor performance of "The Sultan's Elephant" by Royal de Luxe, on May 5, 2006. The story told of a Sultan who dreamed about a little girl and traveled in his elephant time-machine in search of her. (AP Photo/Sang Tan) #
A giant deep sea diver puppet, part of a street theatre production entitled "Sea Odyssey", walks through the streets in Liverpool, England, on April 20, 2012. Two puppets, a man and a girl, his niece, roamed through the city's streets looking for each other during the three day production. The free event, organized by French company Royal de Luxe was one of a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant deep sea diver marionette makes its way through crowds near Brandenburg Gate with the help of performers from Royal de Luxe in Berlin, Germany, on October 3, 2009. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
A giant girl starts to move during the second day of a street performance in Berlin, on October 2, 2009. The four-day street performance was based on a fairy tale called The Giants by French street arts company Royal de Luxe and marked the 19th anniversary of the formal re-unification of Germany. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz) #
Sunlight hits the face of the little giantess during the performance of "Sea Odyssey" by Royal de Luxe in Liverpool, on April 20, 2012. Original here. (CC BY SA Flickr user sw77) #
A giant dog puppet, part of "Sea Odyssey", takes a walk through Stanley Park in Liverpool, on April 20, 2012. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images) #
A little girl rides the giant pet dog of the Little Girl Giant marionette as it makes its way through the streets of Liverpool during the Titanic Sea Odyssey puppet spectacular on April 20, 2012 in Liverpool. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
Members of Royal De Luxe lift a 9.5-meter-tall giant puppet from the river Spree in Berlin, on October 3, 2009. On the occasion of German Unification Day, the street theater group performed their play with two giant marionettes. (AP Photo/Maya Hitij) #
The giant sea diver walks in front of the Reichtsag building during the third day of a street theatre performance in Berlin, on October 3, 2009. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
A giant girl marionette is led through the streets of Berlin, on October 2, 2009. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz) #
Members of Royal De Luxe perform with a 7.5-meter-tall giantess marionette in Berlin, on October 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Maya Hitij) #
The Little Girl Giant makes her way through the streets of Liverpool as part of the Titanic Sea Odyssey puppet spectacular on April 20, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
The big giant and small giant meet in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, on October 3, 2009, as part of a performance for German Unification Day. (AP Photo/Maya Hitij) #
People touch and photograph a giant marionette of a dog during the first day of a street theatre in Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 26, 2010. The three-day performance by Royal de Luxe called "The Mexican Giant, the dog Xolo and the Little Indian Girl," is based on a mural by late Mexican artist Diego Rivera. (Reuters/Alejandro Acosta) #
The giant girl marionette sleeps in a deckchair as a bonfire burns during a performance in Berlin, on October 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Maya Hitij) #
The Sultan's Elephant, an 11 meter-high mechanical elephant, and a giant marionette of a little girl, part of an outdoor theatre production by Royal de Luxe in Antwerp, on July 7, 2006. (Dirk Waem/AFP/Getty Images) #
The Little Giantess is dressed in front of Berlin's City hall on October 2, 2009 on the first day of the giant's appearance in the German capital. (David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images) #
Puppeteers operate the Little Giantess during "Sea Odyssey", moving through Stanley Park in Liverpool, on April 20, 2012. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant puppet of a diver makes its way in downtown Santiago, Chile as part of a performance by Royal de Luxe, on January 31, 2010. (Reuters/Ivan Alvarado) #
People watch from windows as a giant deep sea diver puppet, part of "Sea Odyssey", walks through the streets in Liverpool, on April 20, 2012. (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images) #
Members of Royal De Luxe operate the Little Giantess as she is given a shower in Santiago, Chile, on January 29, 2010, as part of an ongoing month-long international theater festival happening in Santiago. (AP Photo/Jorge Sanchez) #
The Little Giantess has a shower in front of Berlin's City Hall, on October 2, 2009. (David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images) #
Royal de Luxe performers take the Little Giantess through Bebel Platz square during the second day of a street theatre in Berlin, on October 2, 2009. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz) #
An artist works on the head of a giant figure during the third day of a street theatre performance in Berlin, on October 3, 2009. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz) #
A giant deep sea diver marionette is walked through the crowd during a performance in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, on October 3, 2009. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
A giant mechanical elephant approaches Picadilly Circus on May 6, 2006 in central London. Royal De Luxe was giving a performance on the streets of London featuring a 42-ton mechanical elephant, a time-travelling Sultan, a huge little girl and a crashing space ship. (Jim Dyson/Getty Images) #
The Big Giant and Little Giantess lie together in a ship on the river Spree in Berlin, on October 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) #
The Little Giantess makes her way through crowds of spectators in Berlin's streets on October 2, 2009. (David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images) #
Wearing an aviator's cap and goggles, the Little Giantess of the French theatre company Royal de Luxe makes her way down Berlin's Friedrichstrasse past Franzoesische Strasse subway station on October 2, 2009. (David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images) #
People gaze at a giant marionette being moved during the second day of a street theatre in Guadalajara, Mexico, on November 27, 2010. (Reuters/Alejandro Acosta) #
Artists of Royal de Luxe perform with a giant mechanical marionette dog in Nantes, western France, on May 27, 2011, in the new spectacle titled "El Xolo". (Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images) #
A little girl pats the giant pet dog of the Little Girl Giant Marionette as it makes its way through the streets of Liverpool during the Titanic Sea Odyssey puppet spectacular on April 20, 2012. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
The Little Giantess rides through Berlin, on October 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) #
The hand of the Little Giantess, as she sleeps in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, on October 4, 2009. (David Gannon/AFP/Getty Images) #
The Sultan's Elephant moves along Piccadilly on the final day of a street performance in London, on May 7, 2006. (Reuters/Stephen Hird) #
The Big Giant and Little Giantess, after having finally reunited, rest together in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on October 3, 2009, in honor of German Unification Day. (AP Photo/Maya Hitij) #

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