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Indian Shadow Theater Puppet Forum

October 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Rahul_traditionalpuppet manipulation

Ballard Institute Director John Bell will moderate a conversation with puppeteer Rahul Koonathara and puppetry scholars Dr. Claudia Orenstein and Dr. Matthew Cohen on Indian shadow puppetry. Rahul Koonathara is a UConn graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, and a 12th-generation puppeteer in the Pulavar family of Tholpavakoothu shadow performers in Kerala, India. Dr. Claudia Orenstein is a professor of theater at Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center whose work focuses on performing object theater and puppetry forms in India and Japan. Dr. Matthew Cohen is Professor in the UConn Puppet Arts Program, and a scholar-practitioner specializing in global traditions of puppet theater, Indonesian performing arts, intercultural and transnational performance, and cultural heritage. Koonathara, Orenstein, and Cohen will discuss the spectacular South Indian shadow puppet traditions of Tolu Bommalatta and Tholpavakoothu, as well as recent innovations reflecting the changing nature of the form, all of which can be seen in the current Ballard Institute exhibit Tradition and Revolution in Indian Shadow Puppetry. The exhibition will be on display through Dec.17, 2023. To learn more about this forum, visit bimp.uconn.edu/2023/09/06/indian-shadow-forum.

Admission to this event is free (donations greatly appreciated!), and refreshments will be served. This forum will also be broadcast via Ballard Institute Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute).


Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
1 Royce Circle
Mansfield, CT United States
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