Anupama and Vidyashankar Hoskere
Anupama & Vidyashankar passionately believe in the traditional wisdoms offered by Indian Culture. As an effort to pass on the values of life received by their generation to today’s youngsters, they started using the holidays during the Navarathri festival to display and depict stories from the Raamaayana, Mahaabhaaratha, Bhaagavatha and other Puraanas and also about temples and the diverse culture of India, a decade ago.
Over time this took the shape of an organization called Dhaatu.
At Dhaatu, they hope to fill a gap between what today’s young parents know implicitly and what they are able to actively teach their kids. They aim to present it to the children in a way that they can enjoy it, cherish it and thereby gain an experience and an introduction into India’s traditional wisdoms – in the hope that this will prove to be a valuable space in their consciousness to which they can return to at any time of their lives, when they feel the need for it.
Anupama Hoskere is a master puppeteer and the Founder-Director of the Dhaatu Puppet Theater, Bengaluru, India. She is the recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. She has wide experience in every facet of the composite art form of puppetry. A careful and detailed study of the Natyashastra provided Anupama much impetus to expand the intricacies and intellectual merit of her productions. Anupama received the Senior Research Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture which gave her an opportunity to redesign the old puppet theater into a more complex layered theater - combining dance, theater and puppetry into one Broadway scale performance of about 80 minutes. Anupama is also the Festival Director of the Dhaatu International Puppet Festival – an annual festival in Bengaluru. Dhaatu has, over time, developed to become India’s first puppetry brand name that catapulted puppetry into being recognized as a respected and classical art form of India.
Anupama has trained under Guru.M.R. Ranganatha Rao in Traditional Puppetry of Karnataka as well as under Miroslav Trejtnar of Czech Republic in Marionette Construction & Design. She is also trained in Bharatanatyam under late Guru Narmada and Late Sri V.S. Koushik. She holds two Masters's degrees in Engineering - MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cal State University, Long Beach, California and ME in Communication Engineering.
Anupama is a member of the Central Advisory Board on Culture (CABC) and has been appointed as one of the 9 advisors to the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. She is also currently a member of the Advisory Board of Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Puppetry Cell, the board of Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai as well as the committee of the Karnataka Bayalata Akademi.
Anupama is committed to preserving, nurturing, and spreading the positive and celebrating aspects of Bharata’s ancient heritage, traditions and culture through puppetry. All the work done by her is a concentrated effort towards this.
Vidyashankar Hoskere is one of the founder Directors of Dhaatu. Vidyashankar has been a scriptwriter and artist of the Dhaatu Puppet Theater. He has funded and mentored the Epic Classes, Puppet Festivals and Doll displays at Dhaatu since its beginnings. He is an amateur cartoonist and does clay modeling. He has received formal training in the art of wood carving of puppets from Miroslav Trejtnar, a Czech master.
Spirituality has been his innate driving force and he has explored his innermost depths and discovered with the grace of his spiritual master, many truths about life and living. His views obtain their robustness from unique personal insights drawn out of the depths of his own understanding. The intensity of his experiences is reflected in his writings and lectures. Having studied and lived both in India and in the US, he blends traditional wisdom effortlessly with science and contemporary language, and the result is a literature that is at once clear and simple, powerful and direct. His literary expressions and eloquent expositions are refreshing and original, and stand-alone based on his unique and uncommon vision, rarely referring to other texts.
Vidyashankar Hoskere is the Managing Partner, Turnkey Construction Engineers, Bangalore, India. Mr. Hoskere possesses over twenty-five years of experience in the management, analysis, design, review and construction of a variety of significant projects both in the US and in India. He has extensive experience in project team leadership on a variety of engineering projects including structures in steel, reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete and timber. He has special expertise and experience in seismic hazard evaluation and mitigation methods, including specialized technologies such as seismic base isolation and energy dissipation and has designed isolation systems for landmark projects in the Southern California region. He has also to his credit the design of Asia’s tallest Water Tower at 90m. height above ground as part of the Acoustic Suppression System designed for the second launch pad at Sriharikota.
Smt. Shanta & Sri HK Nanjundaswamy
Sri Sampath Kumar
Secretary, Dhaatu International Puppet Festival
Smt. Radha Sampath
Treasurer, Dhaatu International Puppet Festival
THE PEOPLE BEHIND DHAATU
Prakruti Hoskere & Kaushik Sampath
Puppeteer, Bharatanatyam Artiste, Architect
NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory
Puppeteer, Bharatanatyam Artiste, Designer & Trustee, Dhaatu
Puppeteer, Carnatic Vocalist, Bharatanatyam Dancer & Engineer
Puppeteer, Pottery Artiste