Gunduraju & Anurupa Roy

Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet designer and director of the puppet theater. Puppeteer Anurupa Roy views puppetry as...

When Puppets speak

The oldest puppets in the world are either from India or China. India is exceptional in that we have 17 living traditional forms, the earliest dating back a few thousand years. These forms are rooted in rich and diverse narrative versions of the epics and the Puranas or folk tales, except for Katputli from Rajasthan which has no religious or ritual undertones.

Gunduraju, master puppeteer of Togalu Gombeyatta (Karnataka), is a 9th Generation exponent of this form. Actively engaged in sharing his form and collaborating with performance-makers in India and internationally, one of his recent collaborations has been with puppeteer Anurupa Roy. Says Anurupa, "I have learnt from him to immerse with the narrative and context. That to be an artist means to understand that the artist is not the form, but only a part of it - the form existed much before us and will continue much after us. This humility is essential to become a conduit for the narrative, let it flow through you."

We are delighted to invite puppeteer collaborators Gunduraju - master puppeteer - and Anurupa Roy - puppeteer, designer, director - to Mumbai Local, to take us through the fascinating leather shadow puppet form of Togalu Gombeyatta, and their recent collaborative work on the Mahabharat. While they open up the world of shadow puppetry to us, we will also get a glimpse into the powerful ways artists can collaborate across urban-rural, language and culture to create works of immense depth and beauty.

Expect to enjoy the puppets in performance. Expect to see how the craft of puppet making is deeply influenced by the narrative that drives the form. And expect to marvel at the rich, complex and personalized epic worlds that master puppeteers like Gunduraju carry with them and generously give to us.

We look forward to seeing you at this Mumbai Local.

For those of you who absolutely cannot make it to the venue, we will be live on Facebook for you.
Join us on our page at 5 pm on Saturday, 28 April.

@ MCubed Library, Bandra (W) - 1st Sat, 5 pm
@ Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E) - 2nd Sun, 5 pm
@ Kitab Khana, Fort - 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm

Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppet designer and director of the puppet theater. Puppeteer Anurupa Roy views puppetry as not "manipulating dolls with strings" but an amalgam of plastic and performing arts where sculptures, masks, figures, materials, found objects and narratives come together with music, movement, physicality and theater to create the theater where humans and puppets are co actors. She started at her group Katkatha in 1998 which was registered as the Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust 2006. She has directed over 15 shows for children and adults ranging from the Ramayana and Mahabharata to Shakespearean comedy to the Humayun-nama. The puppets used by the group range from 3 inches to forty feet. The shows have toured across Europe, Japan and South Asia. A major aspect of her work is using puppets for psycho-social interventions in conflict areas like Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Manipur to Juvenile Remand homes. She has worked with youth and women across the country using puppets to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and gender issues. She is a recipient of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar ine Puppetry(2006). She has been a visiting faculty at the University of California Los Angeles an Artists in Residence at Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council.

Master Puppeteer, Gunduraju is the 9th generation of the leather shadow puppet form called Togalu Gombeyata from Karnataka. He is from Hasan, and one of the few in his community still practicing this form.

Venues Dates Time
12-100 yrs
1 hr , 30 min
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.