The Dhaatu Puppet Festival
In 2009, Dhaatu began organizing puppetry festivals, inviting artists from all over India with the aim of bringing focus on the art form of puppetry. In 2015, the festival went international and became popular as the Dhaatu International Puppet Festival. Being a constant event on the first weekend of the calendar year, the Dhaatu International Puppet Festival (DIPF) is a much sought after event by the enlightened public of Bengaluru. DIPF works with state and central government nodal agencies of culture and also independently invites artists from all over India and the world. This festival is celebrated for over a week every year and has become a melting pot for the art form of puppetry, also including a scholastic conference and publication which is received well in literary and artistic circles all over the world. Renowned national and international scholars and puppetry artists have graced the conference accompanying the festival. Through conferences and publications, Dhaatu also strives to document the history and the classical knowledge base which enables puppetry to obtain its deserving place as a mainstream art form.
As a part of the festival, a puppet parade is taken out on the streets of Bengaluru which is covered extensively by TV, radio and news media bringing the art form of puppetry to the center stage of the popular psyche. The main aim of the parade is to bring awareness to the public at large. Anupama Hoskere has also curated several gallery exhibitions of her puppet creations in Bengaluru as part of the festival which have also been received well.
DIPF has seen participation from various countries including the Italy, Russia, United States of America, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Indonesia. Within the country, it has had puppet performances of artistes from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkand, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Delhi and UP. The festival invites, hosts and arranges performances of several artists from all over the world every year in the vibrant city of Bengaluru heralding the new year through a puppetful celebration India’s ancient heritage. As every year goes by puppet artists from various parts of the world are vying to come and showcase their art at this hugely popular festival and international art platform.
Received by standing ovations, the shows are a testimony to the magnificence of the art form of puppetry to the main stage of universal enjoyment drawing eager urban audiences in large numbers.