Day 5 : SPIC MACAY – 27th National Convention, 2012 @ NITK Surathkal, Karnataka

The Guru Shishya duo at its best - Madhavi and Arushi Mudgals
The Guru Shishya duo at its best – Madhavi and Arushi Mudgals

As the day 6 is the D-day for the presentation of the intensives, momentum gathered in all the 29 intensives, practicing and polishing was the norm of the day. On the crafts front, they were heading to creating at least a couple of pieces each to show off on the stage. It was also interesting to see about a dozen youth from Pakistan joining along with their professors from Beacon university for arts, and enjoying dancing in kathakali, bharatanatyam, singing carnatic classical music etc.

It was interesting and coincidental to have the day full of DUOs – Looked like the TWOgether day at the 27th convention :

a. Qawwali by Warshi brothers (Nazeer & Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi)
b. Odissi by Guru Sishys Duo – Mudgals – Madhavi and Arushi
c. Carnatic Violin by Express Mysore brothers – Shri Mysore Nagaraj and Dr. Manjunath

kindly visit the SPIC MACAY NATCON daily reports on SPIC MACAY Natcon Stage

Thousands of captures of SPIC MACAY conventions, see on my Flickr collections
Like my Facebook – Photo and Visual Arts Page

Next posting tomorrow… Love. Sreeni

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Day 4 : SPIC MACAY – 27th National Convention, 2012 @ NITK Surathkal, Karnataka

Intensives : Kathakali by Kalamandalam, Kerala
Intensives : Kathakali by Kalamandalam, Kerala

For details on the intensives, morning yoga, Dr. Rajam and TN Seshagopalan’s performances, kindly visit the SPIC MACAY daily reports on SPIC MACAY Natcon Stage

Thousands of captures of SPIC MACAY conventions, see on my Flickr collections
Like my Facebook – Photo and Visual Arts Page

Next posting tomorrow… Love. Sreeni

Play of light and shadow— Shadow puppetry festival at Imaging Asia

Written by Indira Ganesh

Whosoever thought of shadow puppets as boring and clichéd movements of leather figurines against an illuminated backdrop would have been so jolted out of their complacence on seeing the Hunan shadow puppet show from China at Kamani Auditorium. What transpired during the show was sheer magic with expert hand movements and excellent team co-ordination.

Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


Seven short stories were shown with an unmistakable Pan Asian flavour with a vibrant sound track supporting the stories. They looked like any good animation movie on the television replete with humor and valuable hidden messages. It was heartening to see that the children really enjoyed the show and the adults chorused along with them in their laughter. The back drops were beautiful and the scenery changed with every story. It took the team a few minutes to change the settings, making transition between narratives almost seamless. The stories largely used animal characters like the Indian Panchatantra and Jataka tales. Unfortunately some stereotypes prevailed like the fox being wily and untruthful, the black crow as someone stupid, the fat characters were all lazy, etc.

But these small elements apart, the show was engaging and entertaining. They relied on pre-recorded music instead of dialogues giving them a very universal appeal. The performing team however added their own sound effects to weave their magic. Unlike in other parts of the world, all the shadow puppets were not made of leather and hide. Some of them were made of polymers as well. There were contraptions to make the eyes and jaws move making the puppets quite life like. They had multiple joints which made them have supple graceful movements unlike other puppets of this genre. Multiple puppets were used for the same character to show transition. Size of the characters were altered to give a perception of distance and depth.

Hunan puppet and shadow group from china


All in all, one was suffused with a wonderful feeling of having been through a good story telling session. What happened onstage looked like a finely orchestrated show and was quite riveting. But then there is always a curious somebody who is more intrigued by how it was being put together. Remember the boys from kindergarden who would take every toy apart? After a grueling motivational interaction with students for almost five hours, Sreeni managed to find the energy to play peeping Tom. He went backstage to catch the frenetic activity of the puppeteers. He observed how more than three pairs of hands at times co-ordinated a single seamless movement on screen.

The barometer for measuring any good show with mallika is to see how badly my lap aches after the show. With all her squeals and jumping, I almost needed painkillers. After the show, she was adamant on meeting the team. The Puppeteers who hardly spoke a word of English had no problems connecting with the two children who ventured back stage after the show. They were very patient with the two children, urging them to try the puppets and encouraging them when they got a movement right. After all, so many things are so very universal like the joy of a tale well told and love for the little ones.

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