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Pudumjee returns to Pune with his puppets after 10 years

Dadi Pudumjee will stage his show, Apple and Orange in the city

pune Updated: Dec 07, 2017 18:07 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Dadi Pudumjee,Puppets,Ishara Puppet Theatre
Dadi Pudumjee — in association with the Poona Music Society — is bringing his show, Apples and Oranges to Pune

Popular puppet theatre director Dadi Pudumjee has been relentlessly working in the field of puppet theatre for more than three decades. Though he formed Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust 30 years ago, his association with puppet theatre dates back to 1967. This week, Pudumjee — in association with the Poona Music Society — is bringing his show, Apples and Oranges, in the city.

Pudumjee, who is happy and excited to perform in Pune after a long gap, says, “We have performed Apples and Oranges in Pune before along with our other show, Anokhe Vastra, but it was a (private show), as we performed in Pune University. I am from Pune, and it’s been a long wait to get back to the city and perform here.”

Talking about Apples and Oranges, Pudumjee says, “It is a fun show with three clowns and a few puppets made for Ishara’s international puppet festival this year. The name comes from the fact that apples and oranges are very different and you cannot compare the two. Similarly, human beings are very different too and there is no point in comparing one with the other.”

Pudumjee is confident about the current scenario of puppet theatre in our country. “If you focus on your goal, you will achieve it. We have good traditional puppet theatre in Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The traditional puppeteers are mainly based in the interiors and their acts are mostly about the epics, gathas and folk tales.”

But the younger generation of puppeteers are working on new puppet techniques and themes, says Pudumjee, adding, “The modern puppeteers are more urban-based and hence their themes are what affects them. They come from a background of theatre, arts, etc. and not from a family or generation of puppeteers.” In his productions, the puppet theatre director uses puppets, masks, actors, movement and visual theatre to tell a story.

Pudumjee adds that we need more group interactions among puppet theatre artistes to grow collectively. “To some extent, this has been done by the Sangeet Natak Akademi (New Delhi), but we still need more workshops, programmes and trainings, as there are a lot of young people interested in the art,” says the puppeteer.

The team is currently working on the 16th Ishara International Puppet Festival to be held next year. They are working on a new production, based on a children’s book written by Chatura Rao.

Where: Mazda Hall, Dastur Primary School, Pune Camp

When: December 9

Timing: From 7pm.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 18:06 IST