1. Dhaatu has been organising puppet festivals since 2009. Bangalore had not witnessed a puppet festival for 21 years before that. Can you start by painting us a panoramic landscape of Puppetry as an art form in Bangalore? How was is it even before you started Panchalikas till how is it today?
2. On the similar lines – You have taught and presented your puppetry work in France, Belgium, China and also in many parts of India – What are your observations in various places. What is the state of it? Is there any pattern which you discovered w.r.t type of puppets (string, rod etc…), government support for this art form, type of stories being told, innovation due to technology or any other insights?
3. I know we can’t and we shouldn’t compare art forms. But just for understanding, what are the advantage of Puppetry in comparison with Human theatre? I did one episode with Dadi Padumjee and he said, “puppets make the messenger opaque; there by purely focussing on the message without any prejudices about the actor” – On the same lines, what has been your observations.
4. If I am not wrong, your effort is more towards educating children this wonderful art form. What are the efforts Dhaatu has taken to make it relevant to younger generation w.r.t Story, Music, Styles of puppets, dialogues and more…?
5. Every art form which has begun in India or has originated in India starts off with mythological stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. From Dadasaheb Phalke’s Kaliya Mardan to Girish Karnad’s Yayati. Even you have performed stories of physically challenged child and a single mother in Ashtavakra and many more. Why Puppetry being such a ancient and old art form of India telling the same stories of values and morals in this day and age?
6. With Puppetry, what worries you every night when you go to bed and what gives you hope to face the new day with enthusiasm?
Anupama Hoskere is the founder of Dhaatu, a non-profit organization that seeks to introduce our children our traditional wisdom and tales through puppetry. She did her Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore with a Master’s degree from California State Univ, Long Beach. She is also a performing Bharathanatyam artist and currently a member of the Karnataka Sangeeta Nrutya Academy. Anupama scripts, creates the puppets and directs her puppet shows.