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Belagal Veeranna to perform in Germany

Staff Correspondent
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He will present a puppet show on ‘Sita apaharana'

A file picture of Belagal Veeranna's puppet show on Kittur Rani Chennamma.
A file picture of Belagal Veeranna's puppet show on Kittur Rani Chennamma.

After impressing the people of Switzerland in 2008, Belagal Veeranna, a well-known practitioner of shadow leather puppetry, is all set to enthral Germans.

Mr. Veeranna, who is also a well-known theatre personality and founder of Sri Ramanjaneya Togalu Bombe Mela, Bellary, has been invited to give a shadow leather puppet show on “Sita apaharana” episode of the Ramayana in Germany, where this art is almost unknown. His show is being organised by Linden-Museum Stuttgart as part of its anniversary exhibition, “World views - looking beyond the cultural horizon”.

Indes. de. Castro, director of the museum, in his letter inviting Mr. Veeranna to perform in Germany, has stated that the unique art of Indian shadow play is almost unknown to Germany. The museum owns a large collection of Indian shadow puppets by Fredrich Seltmann, well-known German Indologist, and some of these puppets will be presented for the first time at the exhibition.

To keep the art alive, Mr. Veeranna has also been using it for highlighting social causes. “Bapu Katha” was the first puppet show to be produced by him. The story of Bapu revolves around the life and the freedom movement launched by him against the British. With the help of his friends and well-wishers, including Y. Raghavendra Rao, writer, and V.T. Kale, well-known artist in Sandur, he got the script and sketches prepared for the puppet show.

He has used his puppetry to highlight various government welfare programmes. A notable feature of the trust he has founded is that all his family members, who are artistes, are involved in shadow leather puppetry. He will present his shows on October 8 and 9 at the Linden Museum. There will be shows at the German Indian Society on October 10, in Koln on October 15 and in Mainz on October 16.

Mr. Veeranna, along with his wife Mahalingamma, sons and relatives, including Mahesh, Mallikarjun, Prakash, Hanumatha, Eriswamy and Honnurswamy, will leave for Frankfurt on October 7.

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