National Museum holds puppetry workshop amid landmark exhibition

New Delhi, May 6: Facilitating the new generation to get a first-hand feel of the human body and its dynamics, National Museum organised a puppetry workshop for children over the weekend on the sidelines of a landmark exhibition which is drawing increased footfalls.

It organised a Puppet Performance Workshop for children around the ongoing “The Body in Indian Art” exhibition, besides a valedictory function of the second batch of Yuva Saathis volunteer guides.

The workshop then gave the cue for the celebration of another youth-centric programme, as National Museum held a convocation ceremony for 40 students who recently completed a training programme called ‘Yuva Saathi’ for volunteer guides.

Dr Venu V, who gave away the certificates to the winners of the second batch of the three-month course, said the museum would soon launch more such training programmes, typically training college students. “The plan is to increase the number of volunteer guides (meant to guide school groups) to 200,” he revealed.

As for the puppetry workshop, 25 children were led by noted puppeteer and theatre-person Anurupa Roy of Katkatha, a 1998-initiated organisation functioning in the capital. It was themed on ‘Exploring the Human Body’ in tune with ‘The Body in Indian Art’ exhibition.

Art historian Naman P Ahuja, who has curated the eleven-week show slated to conclude on June 7, gave a lecture on Saturday evening on ‘Rapture’ – a key theme in the eight-gallery exhibition.

The participants at the puppetry workshop were initially taken a round of the exhibition, following which they did several arts exercises. These were followed by theatre games on the five senses and the ways of movements of the human body.

The sessions led the children to make the simple Bunraku puppets, using paper and tapes. While teaching them about the techniques to play them, the children were also given an idea about the science behind the body movements and the construct of human bodies.

The workshop ended with a small presentation by Roy and her team of puppeteers on a play titled ‘About Ram’. The show featured a puppet of Hanuman and Ram dancing Chhau from West Bengal.

Roy, while expressing happiness over a multi-disciplinary approach the National Museum was taking in understanding art, said it was important to know a bit of dance and music to know puppetry better. “It is wonderful that performing and fine arts are coming together to complement each other at National Museum,” she added.

Dr Venu said the museum would organise this month-end a similar puppet-movement-mime workshop for adults – also as part of the ongoing exhibition. (ANI)