• Puppetry has been a rich source of entertainment for generations, but today it is categorised as a dying art. However, children and their parents in Chandigarh have been thronging in their hundreds annually to watch international puppetry at the Tagore Theatre for the last five years. The four-day 6th International Puppet Festival, featuring one puppetry company each from Italy, Brazil, Argentina and India, is getting underway from February 25. Every day the 45-50 minute show will start at 6:30 p.m. Entry is free and unrestricted for all age groups. Anyone, and everyone, is invited.

Sharing the programme with media persons on Thursday, Tagore Theatre Director Kuldeep Sharma said the festival is jointly organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chandigarh Administration, and the Tagore Theatre Society in collaboration with
Delhi-based Ishara Puppet Theatre, which has been making efforts for the last 16 years to keep the art alive. The trust has been organising its annual International Puppet Theatre Festival in Delhi, where puppetry companies from across the world have been participating. Chandigarh has been selecting a few of these shows through the Trust and these have been very popular with the children and their parents, Sharma added.

Photo By : Life In Chandigarh

He informed that a morning show on each day of the festival has been reserved for students of government schools, especially in the labour colonies and villages, who may not even have visited the Tagore Theatre ever. The Social Welfare Department of the Chandigarh Administration is also extended an invitation every year to bring children from shelters run by it like the Snehalya so that they get thoroughly entertained.

A local puppetry group ‘Putul’ will also organise a puppetry workshop for the benefit of children in the compound of the Tagore Theatre every evening of the festival. A display of big puppets in the open will also be part of the workshop.

Programme :

Date – 25th February

ITALY

Hanging by a Thread

Performed by: Di Filippo Marionette

Directed by: Remo Di Filippo

Language: Musical

Duration: 45 minutes

Suitable: For All Ages

Number of Artists – 2

A marionette puppet show full of simplicity and poetry, it takes you in, moves you and lets you have fun. The many marionettes tell their own stories, are alive and emote. Sometimes profound, the show is also playful, enchanting, magical and perfect for the child inside all of us.

The show received First Place at the Kleinkunst Festival in Usedom, Germany 2017. The show has performed in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, France, Holland, Germany, Argentina, the United States, Peru, Greece, Romania, Portugal, Hungary and Australia. 450 performances and counting!

Date – 26th February

BRAZIL

Dust Circus

Performed by: Circo Teatro Boneco

Directed by: Caio Stalai

Language: English

Duration: 50 minutes

Suitable: For all ages

Number of Artists – 2

Dust Circus is a spectacle that mixes the language of the circus, theatre and puppet. In a poetic and entertaining way the play tells the history of the circus through the memories of an Old master. His character is the narrator of the story who relives his past as a circus master through his co-actor, clown manipulator who breathes life into the character of Old Master shrouded under the Dust cloth. Once brought to life, he takes the audience through a nostalgic journey touching upon his experiences in different countries such as India and China comprising of varied elements of show business such as fire capoeira dancers, ballerinas, musicians, and the most valuable, the public or the audience.

Date – 27th February

ARGENTINA

A Button in My Head

Performed by: Arriba las Hu! Manos

Directed by: Laura Soledad Mac Laughlin

Language: English

Duration: 45 minutes

Suitable: For all ages

Number of Artists – 3

In the Dance of Creation, Hands give birth to the first puppet of the story: Clott. One of the hands is green, it moves like a snake and it does not want Clott to live, so it breaks the head of the newborn into two. Since that day, a red button holds Clott’s broken head together, but that makes him feel different from the others. His sister Juana and his best friend Luchito, bother him. He only finds solace in his Grandfather’s company. Clott wishes to be normal, without the button. On his part, Green Hand will do anything to unbutton and finally destroy Clott. How will Green Hand carry out his devious plans? Will Clott’s head get unbuttoned? Watch to find out.

Date – 28th February

INDIA

Me & Baba

Performed by: Moving Sutra Arts

Directed by: Shamsul

Language: Non-verbal, Musical

Duration: 45 minutes

Suitable: For All Ages

Number of Artists - 5

A moving tale of friendship between an old Man (Baba) and a Dog. A story of true love, loyalty, hope, trust and bonding. “Get ready for a journey on a roller coaster of emotions with me and Baba, woof woof!!”

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