Kerala Shadow Puppets to French Theatre

Sep 01, 2015
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Ms.Helene Lamarche, a young artist from France, visited Kerala and stayed here for a month with traditional shadow puppeteer Ramachandra Pulavar from Kunathara (Palakkad Dt) in order to study and understand the tradition shadow puppet theatre of Kerala and the art of making of puppets. 

Ms.Helene Lamarche, a young artist from France, visited Kerala and stayed here for a month with traditional shadow puppeteer Ramachandra Pulavar from Kunathara (Palakkad Dt) in order to study and understand the tradition shadow puppet theatre of Kerala and the art of making of puppets.

Helene is already working in the field of contemporary puppet theatre. Three years ago she visited Cambodia to learn traditional shadow puppetry. She came to know about shadow puppeteer Ramachandra Pulavar through National Sangeeth Nataka Academi, an autonomous institution to promote the arts and artists of India, NewDelhi. With an aim to learn the traditional puppeteering and its making, Helene visited Kunathara and stayed with Pulavar and family for almost a month in August. Presently, she is preparing for a puppet show in France.  With the help of Pulavar and family, she made some puppets in traditional Kerala style for this show.

“We are making some 11 puppets for a production in French, all by following the traditional norms of puppet making in Kerala. The story is Arabian, which took place in ancient India with a mix of culture like Chinese, Persian etc. So, many more puppets to make in different style for the final production” – says Helen about her present activities.

According to Ramachandra Pulavar, “We could also learn some modern techniques in puppeteering from her as during a show in Kerala, for the first time we used low watt electric lights, instead of traditional oil lamps. This method is much suitable if we play in an air- conditioned theatre”.  

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