Agartala: At a time when puppetry is being considered a dying art, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has organised a five-day long 'Putul Parampara -- India Puppetry Festival', to showcase the significance of the country's traditional folk culture.
Puppet troupes from New Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha besides Tripura took part in the carnival, inaugurated by renowned puppetry artiste and Padmashree award winner Suresh Dutta here on Thursday evening.
A senior official of Sangeet Natak Akademi said that the "Putul Parampara" is a series focusing on developing the classics of puppetry into the northeastern region.
"The Academy aims at presenting all forms of puppetry -- String, Rod, Glove, Banraku and Shadow puppetry during the five-day long festival. Eleven states of India have about 18 living puppet traditions. The festival would showcase both contemporary and traditional performance," the official said.
The Akademi, India's national academy under the Ministry of Culture for music, dance and drama, so far organised 'Putul Parampara' in Assam (2011), Meghalaya (2014), Sikkim (2016) and Arunachal Pradesh (2016).
Puppet dance, popularly known as 'Putula Nach', was once the most popular form of entertainment, especially for children, but the folk-culture has struggled against the onslaught of modern popular culture.
For many years now, people in the northeastern states have been able to enjoy the ancient art form of puppetry due to the tireless efforts of the puppet artists of the northeastern states. The puppet artists of the region have been making lots of efforts to keep alive the traditional folk culture.
"Stories of Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore and other renowned novelists are being portrayed through the Puppet dance or 'Putula Nach'," Tripura Puppet Theatre Director Prabhitangshu Das told IANS.