A slice of the fusion feast

Puppet show

A slice of the fusion feast

German puppeteer Paul Affeld and Anupama Hoskere, founder of Dhaatu, presented a fusion puppet show at Numa recently.

   The show had an interesting mix of both cultures where tuxedoed puppets shared the stage with ones wearing brightly coloured Indian attire and proved to be a complete entertainer for both adults and children alike.

The puppet show started with a traditional lamp lighting ceremony where performers asked for the audience’s blessings. The show started with Mr Potato, from Germany, holding an interactive session with the audience, interspersed with sing-along songs and questions.

   After that, his Indian counterparts dazzled everyone with their stunning saris, glittering ornaments and detailed hair embellishments, the main focus of the show being to showcase the different types of hair ornaments in India. A unique aspect of the show was the inculcation of live dance by Prakruti Hoskere.  She enacted the part of a lady helping a queen put on her ornaments, the only difference being that the queen was a puppet. With person and puppet complementing each other’s dance steps, the piece was the highlight of the show. There was also a court dancer, a Yakshagana dancer, a fortune teller and many others, each marionette being a masterpiece of craftsmanship.

In today’s world characterised by haste and dominated by social media, such shows come as a welcome relief. Says Anupama Hoskere, “puppetry has bonding, which is missing in the social media. There is a human element, there is storytelling and there is entertainment. And the happiness you get by being part of something like this is not comparable to anything else.”

Anupama underlines the fact that Indians are not very aware about such art forms, which are not as mainstream as music and dance. “But there is a rise in the interest levels among the public nowadays, after a long phase of stagnancy for our arts.” Commenting on her collaboration with Paul and the fusion of 2 very different cultures for such a show, she says “It was easy for both for  us to work together since we had the passion.” Now a resident at Jagriti, Paul’s impressions about the city range from ‘too much traffic’ to ‘likeable people, even though they are a bit conservative sometimes.’  The founder developer of the band ‘Puppetmastaz’says “I love puppetry because it’s intuitive. I don’t need to programme anything.”

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