It was an evening dedicated to different forms of Indian dance – classical, contemporary, cosmic, folk, Tollywood; you name it. But what sets this show apart is that instead of professional dancers, it featured an array of life-size puppets dancing like pros on stage.
Entitled “Lasya-Tandava – The Shape of Dance”, the show, conceptualized and created by French puppeteer Sabrina Arusam, showed the versatility of this endangered art form and wowed audiences by presenting a visual treat unique. With 10 160cm puppets, three big-headed variations and 15 masks operated by a team of puppeteers led by Sabrina, the 45-minute presentation featured a mix of Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Perini, Nataraja cosmic dance, folk dances, modern choreography on Telugu and Bollywood songs and more.
Sabrina and her team deployed a range of puppet techniques that included puppets, body and shadow puppets, puppet masks, rod puppets, and the Japanese Bunraku puppet theater, to create a visual performance that a captivated the audience. Each dance form was introduced with a voiceover and appropriate music, and featured a
variety of puppets made from an array of materials such as leather, rods, thermocol and fabric, among others.
âPuppets are a great tool for showcasing different art forms. I have always wanted to use unique techniques such as shadow, movement and various patterns with puppets and have been practicing these skills for a long time. I am extremely happy to be able to present my art here in Hyderabad, âsays Sabrina, who first arrived in India in 2011 and attended a kathputli workshop in Rajasthan. âIndia is a land of various art forms.
No matter where you come from, Indians always encourage artists and that’s what inspires us to perform here. It makes me very happy to see the audience applauding for our performances, âshe adds. The highlight of the show was a section where body puppets that looked like popular movie stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone danced to hit hits and left audiences begging for more.
The auditorium erupted when a puppet resembling Telangana’s chief minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, delivered a speech addressing the crowd. A host of dignitaries and popular names such as Telangana Government Advisor KV Ramana Chary, Director, Department of Language and Culture, Telangana Government Hari Krishna Mamidi, Actor and Playwright Tanikella Bharani, Consulate Officials French in Hyderabad and Bengaluru among others honored the performance.