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Puppets give life to Biblical tales

Special Correspondent
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Storytelling:Biblical characters come to life during a shadow puppet theatre demonstration at Kottayam on Thursday.
Storytelling:Biblical characters come to life during a shadow puppet theatre demonstration at Kottayam on Thursday.

Shadow puppet theatre, one of the oldest forms of audio-visual media, which has the epics, folk tales and fables as staples, will now have Biblical stories as its theme.

According to Ramachandra Pulavar, a leading exponent of shadow puppet theatre in the State, his team, Thavalappara Naadan Kala Sanghom, has given shape to characters from the Bible in leather to present the biblical stories through the medium of puppet theatre. The puppeteer was in the town to present the art form to the students of Lourdes Public School. During the lecture-cum-demonstration, episodes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and also the Bible, came to life as live shadows on a white cloth tied across the dais.

The puppet theatre in India, which finds references in the epics, is considered among the oldest in the world. The ‘Thol Pavakkoothu’, the shadow puppet theatre in Kerala, is now confined to Palakkad and Thrissur and is mostly presented as temple rituals. Taking the art form out of the temples precincts, Ramachandra Pulavar and his son, Rajeev, introduced nearly 175 cut-out puppets to the young generation.

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