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Opening of “Tradition and Revolution in Indian Shadow Puppetry” with performance and workshop

August 4, 2023 @ 4:30 pm - August 5, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on August 5, 2023 at 10:00 am

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present the grand opening of its new exhibition Tradition and Revolution in Indian Shadow Puppetry on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, with refreshments served at 4:30 p.m. and an in-person exhibition tour at 5 p.m. by curator Rahul Koonathara and Ballard Institute director Dr. John Bell, which will also be streamed on Ballard Institute’s Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/).

Tradition and Revolution in Indian Shadow Puppetry, curated by puppeteer and University of Connecticut graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Rahul Koonathara, celebrates the spectacular South Indian shadow puppet traditions of Tolu Bommalatta and Tholpavakoothu, as well as recent innovations reflecting the changing nature of the form. For over thirteen generations Indian puppeteers have performed myths, customs, and rituals based on two Hindu epics, The Ramayana and The Mahābhārata. In recent years new variations in design, construction, and content have re-shaped traditional performances, which in many cases have shifted from temple performances to secular locales and included new subjects such as the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, and the animal characters of the Panchatantra, as well as contemporary social and political themes. The exhibition will be on display through Dec.17, 2023. For more information, please visit: bimp.uconn.edu/2023/07/12/tradition-and-revolution/.

The 5 p.m. exhibition tour on Aug. 4 will be followed at 6 p.m. by a free 45-minute long performance of Tholpava Koothu: The Shadow Puppet Play of Kerala by Padmashri Ramachandra Pulavar and his son Rahul Koonathara. Seating is limited; reservations are required: bimp.ticketleap.com/tholpavakoothu.

On Sat., Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Padmashri Ramachandra Pulavar and Rahul Koonathara will lead a day-long workshop on shadow puppet design, carving, and manipulation. Reservations required: bimp.ticketleap.com/indian-shadow-workshop/.


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