Guwahati: A five-day long Puppetry Festival ‘Putul Parampara – India Puppetry Festival is organised by ’The Sangeet Natak Akademi, in Agartala from,Thursday, the capital city of Tripura to showcase the significance of the country’s traditional folk culture.
Puppet troupes from New Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha besides Tripura took part in the carnival, inaugurated by renowned puppetry artiste and Padmashree award winner Suresh Dutta in Agartala on Thursday evening.
Expressing his views about the festival, a senior official of Sangeet Natak Akademi stated that the ‘Putul Parampara’ is a series focusing on developing the classics of puppetry into the northeastern region. The official further mentioned that the Academy aims at presenting all forms of puppetry – String, Rod, Glove, Bunraku and Shadow puppetry during the five-day long festival.
Eleven states of the country have about 18 living puppet traditions at a time when puppetry is being considered a dying art. The festival would showcase both contemporary and traditional performance, the official added.
The Akademi, India’s national academy under the Ministry of Culture for music, dance and drama, so far organised similar puppet show in Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Puppet dance, popularly known as ‘Putula Nach’, was once the most popular form of entertainment, especially for children, but the folk-culture has struggled against the onslaught of modern popular culture.
For many years now, people in the northeastern states have been able to enjoy the ancient art form of puppetry due to the tireless efforts of the puppet artists of the northeastern states. The puppet artists of the region have been making lots of efforts to keep alive the traditional folk culture.
“Stories of Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore and other renowned novelists are being portrayed through the Puppet dance or ‘Putula Nach’,” Tripura Puppet Theatre Director Prabhitangshu Das
Sangeet Natak Academy under its scheme of preservation and promotion of puppetry training programmes have orginised in string puppets of Orissa, Rod puppets of West Bengal, Shadow puppets of Karnataka and Kerala. The Akademi's Museum over the years has acquired a large number of puppets from different parts of the country. Sponsoring performances by traditional puppeteers is also supported under the scheme.
Sangeet Natak Akademi sponsor shows of traditional puppetry in rural and semi-urban areas.