Fusion puppet show to showcase Indo-German cultures

When twines meet

Fusion puppet show to showcase Indo-German cultures

Bengalureans will be able to savour a sensorial delight on May 13 when two puppets come to life. Mr Potato, a puppet from Berlin, Germany will sing with its Indian counterpart, who also happens to be a danseuse.

This fusion puppet show is the brainchild of Anupama Hoskere, the founder of ‘Dhaatu’, an organisation that promotes traditional art forms, and Paul Affeld, a German puppeteer. The show will begin with solo performances by both puppets, followed by a traditional dance performance.

This is to represent the interface between the animate and the inanimate. One will also see a blend of German music and traditional Indian dance through the German puppet and its Indian counterpart. It will culminate in a humorous improv act between the German and Indian puppets. “The rest is a surprise,” laughs Hoskere.

She says, “We chose to work together because we wanted to present the elements of music and dance. In many ways, we are representing our ancient land and culture and Paul is bringing his influences from Berlin. The show is also a testament to the exquisiteness of the East and the West.”

Affeld is also a musician and looks to find the common ground between puppetry, theatre, dance and music. He is here for a residency at the Goethe Institut.

He says, “Puppeteers work differently from actors. One can go into a different body and transform their character in puppetry. In India, puppetry is always linked to a traditional background or mythological stories. Puppeteers weave stories around ancient India, Gods and Goddesses. In Germany, puppetry is treated as a subtext of theatre itself and there are a lot of acting schools which teach the art. There are a lot of people in Germany who are influenced by puppetry and do it there for a living. However, it is difficult for people to accept puppeteers and there is still some prejudice against this art form. Many people still say that puppets are meant for children.” Affeld makes his own figurines, starting from the cast to finally adorning them. “It is always interesting for me to see how we are always transforming over time. Puppetry helps us bring out our personalities in simple, subtle ways.”

Hoskere compares puppetry and other traditional art forms to sunlight, a force that is constant and one which sustains life. The fusion puppet show will take place on May 13, 7 pm, at Numa, Church Street.  

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