Indian Puppets: Great Stories and Dancing Dolls
Curated by Kathy Foley, professor of Theater Arts
Porter College Faculty Gallery at UC Santa Cruz
October 3 - Nov. 17, 2018
Reception: October 3, 5-7pm
Lecture Event: Oct. 17 5pm
This special exhibition will celebrate the ways puppetry has been used as a storytelling tool in India for more than a thousand years.
Epic stories in Indian and areas affected by Indian culture share the great epic via storytelling, picture scrolls, puppets and dance dramas. While the means can be simple (a singer with a scroll)—the stories are large and encompass cultural ideas of the regions. Hear of the diverse uses of the stories and figures in the gallery from entertaining the deities to presenting contemporary social justice or TV educational programming. From Bollywood Shakespeare to Ramayana performances for the Goddess—Indian puppetry is a diverse art that touches on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Religious conflicts in contemporary India, and ideas about the essence of art.
Kathy Foley is a professor of Theatre Arts at UCSC and President of UNIMA-USA (the US branch of the International society of puppetry Arts).
Karen Smith is a Vice-President of UNIMA-International and editor of the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts (online in three languages). She worked as a puppeteer with Dadi Pudumjee (Ishara Puppet Trust) and Ranjana Pandey who produced educational puppetry for Indian TV.
10 AM—“What’s the Story” students from Theatre Arts 161 share their own version of stories (in the Porter Faculty Gallery)
11:40 AM—Media Theatre, "Politics and Puppets”, Media Theatre 110 (representatives of Bread and Puppet Circus on the use of puppetry to make political statements)
2 PM—Indonesian Dance and Music, Students of TA 22 use puppets, masks, dance and music to share some of the stories represented in the Indian puppet exhibit (Porter College, Outside the Hitchcock Lounge, Inside if raining)
3 PM— Bread and Puppet Circus Performance, by the Porter Wave Sculpture (if rain in the Theatre Arts Center Experimental Theatre)
Detail from image above: Puran Bhatt, master Rajasthani puppeteer and recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Puppetry in 2003, manipulating his kathputli behrupia puppet, for the opening act by The Ishara Puppet Theatre at the Sangeet Natak Akademi Festival (New Delhi).
Sponsored by James L. Gunderson and Valerie J. Boom.