International puppet festival from Jan 3 to 5

International puppet festival from Jan 3 to 5

The sixth edition of the event will feature artistes from five countries

Anupama Hoskere

The Dhaatu Puppet Theatre will conduct the sixth edition of the International Puppet Festival 2020 from January 3 to 5, at JSS Auditorium, Jayanagar.

The three-day long festival will bring together hundreds of artistes from five countries, namely India, Egypt, Italy and Myanmar. Various forms of puppetry including string puppetry and shadow puppetry will be showcased during the festival. The event will also present neon ultraviolet light puppetry, a modern style of the art form.

The festival will kickstart with a puppet parade from the Dhaatu Puppet bus stop on KR Road to JSS Auditorium, Jayanagar. Each state and country participating in the festival will be present at the parade with their respective puppets. This will be followed by an inaugural string puppet show. Besides acts by artistes across the country, performances by Italian troop ‘Compagnia Nia La Fabiola’, Egyptian troop ‘El-Zaytoona’ and ‘Myanmar Marionette Theatre’ from Mandalay, Myanmar, will also form part of the show.

A puppet workshop by Italian artist Gian Carlo will be held on January 2. A conference on the different styles of puppet control systems such as the Karnataka Yakshagana, Italian String, Myanmar String, which represents the stories of the land, will be held on January 3.

Explaining the uniqueness of the festival, Anupama Hoskere, the director of Dhaatu says, “This puppet festival is one of its kind, as it is the only one in the country where a private organisation encourages traditional puppeteers to showcase their talent. Puppet festivals are hard to come by and we attempt to present all genres, and artistes from all parts of the world unite to perform. Also, they are offering it for free to the audience.”

Stressing upon the importance of puppetry as an art form, she says that being a lively mode of storytelling, the form reflects the development and sophistication of a culture. In this virtual world, this is a touch of reality, she says. “While ten years ago, the art form was on the verge of fading away, things are changing now. Despite being an ancient art form, its relevance in today’s world can not be ignored,” she says.