City to host its first puppet theatre festival, Times of India, Jan 31, 2012

GURGAON: In what’s going to be a first for the city, a puppet theatre festival will be held at the Epicentre, Gurgaon, starting February 1. Organized by the Ishara puppet theatre group, every show will tell a story that the audience from all walks of life can connect to. Apart from the puppet shows, films will be screened at the venue and workshops and exhibitions will also be held. Tickets for all the shows at the Epicentre have been priced at Rs 250 and would be available at the venue.

The puppet theatre will be held between February 1 and February 5 and again from February 13 to February 15. From the traditional rod and string puppets to contemporary dolls depicting epic stories, the puppet festival will see dancers, actors and puppeteers from all across the world coming together on one platform to put together some memorable performances. The performers will include artists from countries like USA, Germany, IranTaiwanAfghanistanIsrael, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria and Ireland, apart from India. The first show to be held at the festival is known as Hamara circus that will be performed by the Kuch Kuch puppet theatre group from India. The 40-minute show is being directed and designed by Mohhamed Shameem. It will be a silent performance where the story – of a boy’s journey in search of some flowers, meant to be a gift for a friend – will be depicted through several non-verbal performances put up with the help of rods, puppets and other props.

Dadi Pudumjee, founder of Ishara Puppet Theatre trust, and a pioneer of modern puppetry in India said, “Puppet shows are unique ways to convey strong human emotions, stories and messages which have a lasting impact on our minds.” Pudumjee has been honoured with Padamshri award and is also the first non-European president of Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA), the worldwide puppetry organization. He has travelled widely to perform in many countries including UK, USA, Russia, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Sweden, Spain etc.

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