Story line : Amar Singh Rathor is a folk epic that has survived the centuries, often told by the Bhat, the kathputli puppeteers of Rajasthan. The eponymous hero is a 17th century Rajput warrior from Nagour who served under a Mughal emperor, usually identified as either Akbar or Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. The performance is divided into many episodes in the saga.
Genre : Kathputli is a string puppet theatre, native to Rajasthan and is the most popular form of Indian puppetry. The art of Rajasthani puppetry (also called Kathputli) originated a thousand years ago when the Bhat community began to practice this art. Patronised by many ruling families in the state, it soon grew into a major art form of the region. Historically, these puppets were not only a source of entertainment, but also provided moral and social education. These puppet shows made people aware of the social problems that everybody was facing and also showed ways of solving them.
Technique: String Marionettes
Running time: 30 minutes
Sunday, August 14: Parc Beaubien d’Outremont (In case of rain, the show will take place in the Pavillon Saint-Viateur, 532, avenue Bloomfield Outremont H2V 3R9)
Monday, August 15: Parc Toussaint-Louverture, Habitations Jeanne-Mance
As part of the Amar Singh Rathor show : Screening of the documentary My Gypsy Colony by Martine Palmer and Stéphane Subiela (France) on Monday, August 15 at 5 p.m. at Centre Culturel Intergénérationnel d’Outremont. A poignant account of the last moments of magic Kathputli Colony. For more information
Kathputli Theatre: The Kathputli puppetry tradition is over a thousand years old and is native to the Rajasthan region in India. Kathputli (or “dancing wood doll”) is the most popular form of Indian puppetry. The Bhat community developed the art form and passed it down from generation to generation. At first only performed for Rajasthani Kings and nobles, the form soon became the principal artistic discipline of the entire region. The puppets were not only a source of entertainment, but also provided moral and social education about various issues.
Aakaar Puppet Theatre
Aakaar Puppet Theatre was established in 1988 by Puran Bhat, in the Kathputli colony in New Delhi, where all the members of the company still live and work. At first a traditional Rajasthani string marionette company, Aakaar Puppet Theatre now also borrows from other, more contemporary techniques. The company develops and promotes traditional Indian Kathputli puppetry (string marionettes) in India and abroad, and works with many Indian and international artists: puppeteers, musicians, actors and dancers. A wide variety of puppets, masks and other performing objects are used to tell both traditional and folk tales, as well as new stories dealing with social and educational themes.
Puran Bhat is a master puppeteer born in Rajasthan in a family of the puppeteer caste and has practiced Kathputli puppetry since his early childhood. Now Director of the Aakaar Puppet Theater, he performs this authentic and traditional puppetry across India but also around the world. Puran Bhat is all at once a creator, a stage director and an open-minded puppeteer that has enriched the art of Kathputli. He also works with a number of Indian puppet theatre companies, including the Ishara Puppet Theater (Daddi Pudumjee). Artistic ambassador for this ancient art both in India and abroad, he teaches manipulation techniques for this specific string marionette and trains many artists. In 2003, Puran Bhat received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for puppetry.
Puppets and Performance: Puran Bhat
Musicians : Akshay Bhat, Guddi Bhat, Pawan
Les dimanches et lundis de Casteliers are presented thanks to the support of the districts of Outremont and Ville-Marie.