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Ranga Shankara shines the spotlight on puppetry

Taking kids to the dramatic world of puppetry and masks is Ranga Shankara with the yearly AHA! International Theatre for Children Festival. Seeking to revive the art of puppetry, starting this Sunday, the week-long festival will see eight plays being performed, with themes ranging from emotion to imagination. “The idea is to stage shows that build kids up, make them think and ask questions,” shares S Surendranath, artistic director, Ranga Shankara.
Making their way here are troupes from Italy, Sri Lanka and South Korea, apart from Indian groups from around the country. Srilankan author Sybil Wettasinghe’s Umbrella Thief is one play to watch out for. Staged by the Srilankan troupe Power Of Play, the plot revolves around disappearing umbrellas. An interactive production, spectators are expected to bring their own umbrellas and join protagonist Kiri Mama’s pursuit of the umbrella thief.
Manetsangsahwa from South Korea will stage Puppet Fantasy, Hooray!, while from Italy, Cantieri Teatrali Koreja presents Plastic Gardens, another interactive production. This one seeks to transport you to the world of aliens, samurais, fairies and angels — through plastic and everyday objects.
Also on the cards is a yakshagana performance, a traditional dance drama discipline from the Malenadu region of Karnataka and a kattaikkuttu production, a dance drama form from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. While the yakshagana, Vali Moksha, will trace Rama’s slaying of Vali, the kattaikuttu, Draupadi Kuravanchi, deals with Draupadi and Krishna’s plan to eliminate the Pandavas. “The two Indian art forms will be showcased by farmer’s children from Udupi and Kanchipuram, from Yakshagana Kendra and Kattaikkuttu Young Professionals Company, respectively,” Surendranath says.
Weekdays at 7.30 pm and weekends (3.30 pm and 7.30 pm). At JP Nagar. Tickets (`200) upwards on bookmyshow.com
—RR

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