To create public awareness about the multi-faceted traditions and techniques of puppetry, the tenth edition of Ishara International Puppet Theatre will be held at India Habitat Centre here beginning February 3.
Founded in 1986 by Dadi Pudumjee, the contemporary puppet theatre collaborates with dancers, actors and puppeteers to create a new and contemporary language for theatre in India and abroad.
The shows include traditional rod-and-string puppets, visual stories and epics. This year the festival seeks to spread the magic of puppetry with groups and artistes performing from the US, Australia, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Iran, Taiwan, Afghanistan, Israel, Ireland and of course the host country.
Hilary Chaplain of the US will perform in “A Life in her Day” on February 3. The one-woman show has been described as a hilarious and rib-tickling by critics. Chaplain will clown around and transform ordinary items like a lamp post and paper towels into human objects. It is Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball's slapstick and tragic comedy rolled into one.
Dadi Pudumjee's “Sanjay and his Master” to be performed on February 4 is about a young man who leaves home and becomes a musician in Varanasi under court-musician Ananda. He falls in love with his teacher's daughter, Nandita, and then the King decides he needs only one musician in his court. So Sanjay and his master have to compete in a concert. An Indo-German puppet-music-theatre-project, it will help children appreciate classical Indian music.
Iran's “The Earth and the Universe” to be held on February 5 is about seven stories of life, faith, freedom, miracles, biblical characters.
Afghanistan's “Bozak-e-Chini” to be performed on February 7 is an ancient children's fairy tale about a goat and her three kids who live in a jungle. One day she has to leave her kids alone. Before leaving she warns them of the dangers of opening the door for strangers. Despite her warnings, a greedy wolf that joins forces with a cunning fox, jackal and raven, manages to trick the three little kids and captures them for dinner.
Israel's “Paper Cut” on February 8 is an award-winning one-woman performance that brings the classical black-and-white cinema of Hollywood back to life. A lonely and dull secretary daydreams she is a glamorous 1940s movie star while going through the black-and-white photos from old film magazines.
The puppet festival will be held till February 13. It will also be held at Epicentre in Gurgaon from February 1 to 15.