Ishara, a four-day international puppet festival, celebrates the art form in its many dimensions. Performers come from across India as well as Brazil, Iceland and Ireland to tell magical stories. The 17th edition of the festival opened in Delhi and four shows are travelling to Chandigarh. It is the seventh edition of the festival in the city.
Orobory, by the XPTO Group from Brazil, is inspired by the Orboro, the legendary snake that devours its own tail, forming a circle. The performance, through music, marotte and objects, is a comment on the cyclic character of the human existence. Intimate and dreamlike, this is a mystical experience that promises to interest children and adults.
Shravan Kumar, performed by Billu Ram Bhat Puppet Group from Rajasthan, is drawn from a character in the Ramayana. While taking his blind and old parents on a pilgrimage through the holy Hindu shrines, he is mistaken for a boar by Rama’s father. After fatally shooting Shravan with an arrow, the king apologises to his parents.
A collection of witty and emotionally charged original vignettes, Metamorphosis from Iceland, is performed by the World of Puppets. Intricate marionettes, rod puppets and colourful characters come to life. From soul-stirring music to an array of puppets and objects, you discover the fact that nothing in life is ever what it seems, for it does not matter what we see, but how we see it.
The Legend of Lowry Lynch by Your Man’s Puppets from Ireland, is based on an Irish myth and takes the audience to a beautiful city ruled by the vain King Lowry Lynch. The king has his hair cut and styled once a year, after which the poor barber is punished, lest he revels a dark secret of the King. All barbers have fled the city, except for one young fellow named Seamus. Will he be able to save himself and make the king his friend? With sophisticated puppetry, bright sets, joyful music, the performers talk of an important lesson of how to stand up to bullies and the real meaning of friendship.
The festival is on at Tagore Theatre till February 7, 6.30 pm. Entry is free.