Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Odisha (Orissa)


Puppet Play

This is one of the most ancient forms of folk art. The skilful movement of the inanimate puppets in the hands of the artistes holds the audience's attention. Like actors and actresses of flesh and blood, the puppets look lively. In this play in order to hide the secrets and tricks of the play, only one curtain is hung up and another one is propped up from the ground.

Behind these two curtains the artists perform their manipulations. They send out the actors and  actresses of the play through the dividing line. The puppets are made of wood and carved and painted by village carpenters. Only four persons are required to stage a puppet play, namely, Sutradhara, two singers and the drummer. The dialogue of the puppet play is really very interesting. In the beginning the drummer sits in front of the stage and beats the drum. This is an invitation to people to witness the performance. When the people have gathered in large number, the performance begins. The woman recites the dialogue of the queen or the attendant. She sits behind the screen. But this is not the case with the male singer who sits outside the stage. He recites for the King, Minister, Police officer or Messenger. Each of them sings about twenty-five to thirty songs a night. Two people memorise the entire play.