Express press service
Karna, Kanchana, Minoo, Chinna and a parakeet were the focus of everyone at Phoenix MarketCity on Friday night. As the puppets, carried by French performers on their backs, paraded around the vast arena, the audience studied their every move. Children cheered each time the massive creations said “hello”.
One of the cheeky male puppets even handed out a flower to a young woman in the audience. As the show began to unfold, it seemed that Karna, a majestic man, and Kanchana, a spirit woman, were the parents of Chinna, a young boy.
The central character, however, was Minoo, an animal-headed girl and Chinna’s friend. Will the single family accept their son’s eccentric friend? The audience wondered, as the parakeet waited with cards containing an answer to the fate of the family. Masked Indian drummers set the tone for this hour-long live drama with their kicking feet on the thudumbu.
The street parade and theatrical performance, A Twist of Fate, was organized as part of the 4th edition of Bonjour India Festival 2022, which celebrates 75 years of Indian independence in addition to 75 years of Indian-Indian diplomatic relations. French.
The festival is organized by the Embassy of France and its cultural service, the French Institute in India, the network of Alliances Françaises and the Consulates of France, alongside other partners.
“Our show is about accepting differences and embracing everyone in one big giant family. You can see how different each of our puppet characters are from the other. It shows the diversity of the world,” the voices expressed. artists of grown-ups. (the big people).
The Paris-based cultural society uses giant sculptures and folk art for its new productions. Pointing to the huge papier-mâché and spring-loaded sculptures they handcrafted, one member said, “We were supposed to stage A Twist of Fate in March 2020. Preparatory work to create the sculptures has begun. in Pondicherry during workshops with French and Indian theater students. We then left for Paris due to the confinement.”
The show, which premiered in Delhi last week, will now perform around the world.
True to the spirit of the festival, the show fostered a spirit of understanding between French artists and Thudumbu artists as well. Antony Arul Prakash, one of the thudumbu performers in the Koothu-P-Pattarai Theater Troupe, said, “We were told about this show just two days ago and we only practiced with the Les Grandes Hommes troupe that on the morning of We put on the masks that we use for Mirudham, one of our next plays, while drumming, to add an extra element to A Twist of Fate.
Although it was a difficult experience to do masked performances alongside veterans, the magnanimity French artists showed in merging their style of performance with that of theater practitioners was truly welcoming, he said. .
Speaking about the Bonjour India 2022 festival which offers 120 events in 19 Indian cities until May, Eric Perrotel, French Language Cooperation Attaché, L’Institut français en Inde, shared, “We hope the festival will offer the public a experience that combines the art and cultural forms of French-speaking countries and India. For example, one of our events is a play which is a Tamil adaptation of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. These events are the gift of the Francophonie to India.
And what better way to understand the richness of the history and heritage of countries than through cultural activities, summarized Bruno Plasse, Executive Director, Alliance Française.
(To access the program of Bonjour India Festival 2022, go to: www.ifindia.in. The events are free)