Why UNIMA (India) chose to run a Foundation Course for Puppeteers
UNIMA India has been working on a pedagogy for puppeteers in India since 2014. In the past short courses have been offered from time to time, sporadic workshops have been organised in the past. But there has been no consistent pedagogic systems that have evolved. This has meant that there is no serious training for those interested in becoming puppeteers.Most professional puppeteers in the country are either from the traditional forms and have trained within their family. The non traditional puppeteers have mostly trained abroad. Puppeteers intern with each other to learn. The traditional puppeteer still has her/his catchment audience, namely the various village circuits their ancestors performed in, or for a traditional patron like the temple.
However, audiences have changed and markets for puppetry are fast changing. Non-traditional puppeteers have been creating their own markets. Development communication is a major new market for puppeteers across India.
The government is the new patron and official culture policy has had a serious impact on the form but the lack of discourse has led to a lack of proper overview of the Puppetry scene in the country.
For Puppetry to flourish, a professional training for puppeteers was deemed important.A training which will provide traditional puppeteers a bridge to new narratives and contemporary idioms, and build a cadre of well trained puppeteers who can satisfy the expectations of a changing audience.
Download a copy of the Foundation Course Handbook here.
Below is a video from our Foundation Course:
Final productions of Foundation Course students: