Photo courtesy of the artist.
Supported with the help of
Dr. Shatarupa Bhattacharya
Folk Puppetry in West Bengal is called Putul Naach : Putul is a word that describes both a doll and a puppet in Bengali while Naach means Dance. There are references to puppetry in the medieval folk ballads of undivided Bengal. Traditional forms of puppetry found in West Bengal are rod (Dang), glove (Beni or Bene) and string (Taar or Shuto). Both rod and glove puppets are indigenous to Bengal while string puppetry was an import.
The theatre group that I am a part of is Sundarban Puppet Theatre Group, and I have been practising puppetry for the last 11 years. I have experience working with different kinds of puppetry - Rod puppet, Shadow Puppet, String Puppet, and Gloves Puppet. I have learnt puppetry from Suresh Dutta, who was awarded the Padmashri in 2009 and founded Calcutta Puppet Theatre. I have had the opportunity of showing my puppetry skills in various parts of the country. I have also conducted puppetry workshops in schools and colleges like the Birla School. Apart from that, my puppetry work has been shown on Doordarshan TV and have collaborated with numerous Bangla theatre groups. For the last one year, I have been getting trained on Hand Shadowgraphy under Drew Colby from London. I was fortunate enough to perform Shadow Puppetry at the Sangeet Natak Academy in New Delhi.
During the 2 hour session, participating artists will:
- Get introduced to some of the insights from the art form, & its tradition, and the creative practice of the key artist
- Get introduced to some of the insights from the art form & its tradition
- Interact with activities around some key elements of the art form
- View a performance demonstration by the artist