14th edition of Ishara International Puppet Festival begins Friday

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) With new and exciting performances from India and across the world, the 14th edition of the Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival will begin here on Friday. The ten-day-long festival will bring together the modern and traditional forms of puppetry, ranging from rod to string puppets to mixed performances with dance, theatre, music and more.

Organised by the The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, this year the participating countries will be Egypt, Iran, USA, Afghanistan, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland apart from India.

Among the international participants, audience can look forward to spell binding performances like ‘Variety’ from Sweden .It is for the first time that Europe’s specialist in Bunraku, master puppeteer Thomas Lundqvist is bringing the most popular puppet show to India. From the world’s first fire breathing puppet to dancing skeletons, it is expected to be one of the funniest vaudevillian acts ever conceived for the small stage.

In the other international productions, children will have fun time meeting a host of characters they know and love – from Little Red Riding Hood, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Little Miss Muffet, Old McDonald, Barnaby the Dog and even Mary Had a Little Lamb. ‘In the Little Red Red Hood and Other Rhymes’, from the US directed by Paul Mesner, the spunky heroine Little Red uses her self-defence moves to teach big bad Wolf a lesson he’ll never forget!

Petrushka, by Moscow Puppet Theatre will bring back the slapstick tradition of Punch and Judy, Russia’s most famous and oldest puppet tale to life in its rib-tickling performance. The 45-minute-long musical and visual delight promises the young audience to transport to the colourful and cheerful atmosphere of a traditional Russian fair.

Performed by ‘Teatro Verde’ from Italy, ‘Bravo, Bravissimo’ is sure to enthrall children with most famous children’s fairytales and well loved classical Italian Operas. Get ready to be amazed as the puppets and dolls sing and dance —just the way real singers would.

Iran puppet group IMA tries to convey the message of water conservation through its production ‘Water and Others’. In this fun-filled adventure, Mr Foot is looking a drop of water for his precious flowerpot, but there’s none to be found due to a drought. Everybody’s fighting over a water bottle, but little do they know it’s really empty. Just as Foot is desperate for water to save his flowers, a miracle happens.

India’s Katkatha Puppet Theatre will be presenting ‘Dinosaur’ using mediums of puppets, masks, objects, actors and dance. The non- verbal show, where puppets are human size or bigger, tell the story of a T Rex egg that gets separated from the next. In this show, the baby dinosaur that hatches does not know he is a T Rex. He starts to desperately look for his mother.

The other Indian production would be by Dadi D. Pudumjee, founder of the Ishara Puppet Theatre. The production ‘Images of Truth’, a groundbreaking and inspiring masterpiece is returning to the Indian stage after almost a decade. Choreographed to music from across the world, it’s a non verbal, musical adaption on Mahatma Gandhi. The production gives insight into Gandhi’s early life to his spiritual discovery of the universal message of Satyagraha and non-violent protest.

The Ishara International Puppet Festival will be held from February 5-14 at 7.30 pm at India Habitat Centre and Epicentre, Sector 44, Gurgaon. Tickets are available on www.kyazoonga.com. The Chandigarh leg of the festival will be held at Tagore Theatre.

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