There will be plenty of music and dance, but no words. And that is OK, feels Korean puppeteers Kyu Mi Ko and Bongsuk Kim, because emotions really don’t need a vocabulary. Their puppet company, Manetsangsahwa, is debuting Puppet Fantasy, Hooray in the city—a show that seeks to recreate the emotions and beauty associated with Korean culture—as part of The Little Festival. “It is a series of interconnected scenes, each represented by a different puppet, and we will be using traditional techniques to tell our tales,” explains Kim, who directed the one-hour performance.
Written by Kyu Mi Ko, the 10 stories will use puppetry, traditional dance, music and mime. “Manet refers to mime and Sangsahwa to puppet shows. We use puppets made of natural, organic materials and in each scene we will use a different technique, like the marionette style or the bunraku (a Japanese style),” she says.
With sets that incorporate drawings of plums, orchids, chrysanthemums and bamboo, the puppeteers will take centrestage with over 10 puppets—from little ones to life-sized ones. “The stories will explore joy, sadness, love and excitement, universal emotions we can all connect with. Some of the highlights are the Butterfly Homage—showing the advent of spring, which stands for hope and optimism—and Puppet Salpuri—a traditional dance performed to turn grief into joy, that has been recreated with puppetry,” says Rathi Jafer, director of Inko Centre, who brought down the artistes. “You can also see contemporary snapshots, like a grandfather’s hilarious attempt at hip-hop and a little puppet’s arirang (Korean folk song),” she adds. Each of the stories will be preceded by a short description, which will be projected on to the backdrop.
According to Kim, puppetry is a powerful art form. “It is rich with imagination and is a wonderful medium to connect with the audience, especially children. In fact, Manetsangsahwa is developing educational training programmes for kids,” he informs. With plans to take the show to Bengaluru next, he adds that this is also a great opportunity to introduce Korean culture to the country.
Tomorrow, at 6 pm, at the Museum Theatre. Rs 200. Details: indianstage.in
Surya Praphulla Kumar