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Accepted Paper:

Puppet in the city (Delhi): aesthetic and semiotic experiments in new spaces  
Manpreet Kaur (Columbia University)

Paper short abstract:

Through a dialogue with puppetry (via references to puppet plays etc.), I will explore the conceptual possibilities and experimental usages in new spaces that have given puppet theatre new, different valences.

Paper long abstract:

Transformation - the primary, necessary quality of a form that persists with passage of time and its ever-changing folk - takes on a new valence when the shift is both spatial and temporal, as can be seen in the case of contemporary puppetry in the cityscape. This shift is characterized by new spatial-performative dimensions because at times of the absence of clear, physical roots in the new context, and at others, due to the nature of the craft itself.

The contextual move leads the form to take several trajectories in this 'new' space - 'pre-modern' to the 'avant-garde', from ritual to entertainment, et al. Keeping these in mind, I would like to look at the figure of the puppet as it progresses into the modern experiment in the context of Indian theatre history, and I wish to look at the city of Delhi as the new space.

Panel W119
Indiascapes: reflections of contemporary India
  Session 1