IT’S FRIDAY: Paper figures tell a story that’s only for the grown-ups at Ishara International Puppet Festival, Mail Online India

9th Feb’2012

Israel is definitely all over the place. It’s present even at the Ishara International Puppet Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and so are Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland and Italy, showing that the art can’t be written off yet.

Puppetry is taking on forms that don’t fit into our conventional notions of the art and nowhere is it more evident than in Paper Cut, a visual spectacle created and performed by the muchtravelled Israeli artiste Yael Rasooly.

The person-andpaper theatre harks back to the black-and-white heyday of Hollywood.

A lonely and dull secretary daydreams she is a glamorous star of the 1940s as she goes through the black-andwhite pictures from the old film magazines that she stocks up.

‘I have been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and his movies,’ Rasooly said, defining her style.

‘The romance, intrigue and obsession of the character are inspired by my life. All individuals have two sides – one is the reality they are in and the other is their fantasy world.’

Rasooly transports us into the 1940s with her attire, humour, the Casablanca songs and Hollywood dialogues combined with brilliant lighting techniques.

The paper cuts she deftly uses are in black-andwhite too. And that’s not all. She even manages to hum a Big B number from Silsila – it has been knitted into the storyline exclusively for the Indian audience.

Rasooly, a Jerusalem resident, and Paper Cut have travelled extensively around the world, but nowhere has she had children in the audience.

She likes to think that it is because ‘their parents couldn’t find baby-sitters’.

The truth, though, is that we still view puppetry as a performance art meant only to amuse our little ones.

The next show of Paper Cut is on February 13 at Epicentre, Apparel House, Sector-44, Gurgaon; 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the auditorium counter. The festival will be on till Wednesday, February 15.

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