Puppetry, masks, objects, actors, and dance combine in this stylized interpretation of Rashna Imhaslya’s book “The Psychology of Love – Wisdom of Indian Mythology.”
Ishara Puppet Theatre is one of India’s leading creative puppet theatres, working with a core group of puppeteers, actors, artists and dancers. Ishara is a catalyst in promoting puppetry and its application in education and entertainment in India. Both traditional and modern puppetry techniques and skills are encouraged, through its programmes of performances, workshops, awareness programmes. Ishara has been working with marginalised groups of young persons in the field of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse through its partnership with UNESCO and EU in the last five years.
Dadi Pudumjee is the artistic director and managing trustee of The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust. The Trust also organizes the hugely acclaimed annual Ishara International Puppet Festival in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Pune amongst other cities. Dadi has been awarded the prestigious Padmashri by President of India 2011and the Sangeet Natak Akademi- National Award for his contribution to puppetry.
In the last few years my work has been influenced by dance and movement theatre. Two decades ago collaboration with the noted modern dancer Astad Deboo laid the seed for this progression.
Transposition is based on the original story from the Vetalpanchvinasati (The Vikram Vetal stories) and The Transposed Heads by Thomas Mann. Our version is based on author and clinical psychologist Rashna Imhasly Gandhyas interpretation- from her book The Psychology of Love; Wisdom of Indian Mythologya.
Rashna interprets the story which seeks a synthesis between the world and the spirit, between life and death. It is about the understanding and insight of the human heart. How can one arrive at a perception of peace and feel the joy of cessation from conflict unless one has the Maya-image (illusionary image) to give one an understanding of it?Ã¢â‚¬ Contradictions, dualities and archetypes, have been presented between the stylised puppets and their inner voice the dancers, these often switch roles in the show, and each deals with the self and the outer world according to the norms of society but experience a reversal in their feelings.
Nanda and Shridamanas friendship is based on their diversity both fall in love with Sita and each cannot do without the other. They lose their heads in the abandoned madness of spring when the God Kamdev shoots his arrow.The goddess Kali represents the cycle of life that we need to go through our experiences and come to terms with ourselves; only if we belong to ourselves can we even try and belong to someone else! Torso puppet figures strapped to the puppeteera’s body move with the dancers creating a choreography, which plays between the illusory and the real.
The fusion of the puppeteers and dancers in this non-verbal performance interspersed by poems from Rumi and others is highlighted by a dramatic score specially composed by Sawan Dutta incorporating both classical and contemporary music, with digital animation sequences by Vishal Daar.