Curating a small wonder with dance, drama and puppetry

This year the workshops explore storytelling through dance, physical acting, Korean shadow puppetry, and Korean sounds and rhythms. With productions like The Garage Gang, Hansel and Gretel in Taka Din, and The Story of the Lake.
Curating a small wonder with dance, drama and puppetry

CHENNAI: The Little Theatre is organising the 11th edition of its annual theatrical festival, The Little Festival. The programme will include a lineup of workshops, panel discussions and plays specially curated for audiences from age 7–15, exposing them to many forms of art and culture from around the world. This year the workshops explore storytelling through dance, physical acting, Korean shadow puppetry, and Korean sounds and rhythms. With productions like The Garage Gang, Hansel and Gretel in Taka Din, and The Story of the Lake.

Talking to DT Next, about how two forms of art – dance and storytelling go hand in hand, Anu Bhaskaran, says, “Bharatanatyam on its own conveys a story. Lakshmy and I chose contemporary stories and attempted to narrate the story through dance. The course is curated in such a way that someone who has no prior knowledge of Bharatanatyam will also be able to pick it up and follow.”

She says that despite Bharatanatyam being a rigid dance form, the workshop will work towards finding the right balance while telling a story to create a flow while using the body as a medium. “We start off with trying to mimic animals and learn the vocabulary of the dance form. Covering the basics of both forms is the way forward. I’m hoping for people to be intrigued enough by the dance form that they join the classes,” she chuckles.

Krishnakumar B (KK), who played supporting roles in films like Soorarai Pottru and Maaran, is a theatre and film actor, playwright, and director. His love and passion for theatre is what drove him to introduce theatre to children and youngsters. KK who is conducting a workshop and also directed The Garage Gang, says, “The play is a comedy show which revolves around a grandfather and a little girl.

“The main theme of the play is exploring a child’s imagination and how it needs to be protected as we grow into adulthood. Often, I’m told this show seems like it’s only for kids; to them I say, when we can enjoy Tom and Jerry even now, it means there is a child in every single one of us.

Talking about the workshop, KK says that he hopes to introduce the children to the basics of theatre and its techniques and to lose their inhibitions to communicate better. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the audience has to say about our play and how they react to our interactive elements since we always break the fourth wall,” he says.

Acknowledging the craze for all things Korean, Rathi Jafer, director Indo-Korean cultural and information centre who is organising the Korean shadow puppetry workshop says, “The affinity has always been there. It just spiked during the lockdown when people began consuming Korean media even more. This workshop is perfect for people who want to explore Korean culture. We have South Korean actors from a theatre troupe who will conduct the workshop.” The Little Festival is also having a panel discussion on the topic ‘The importance of arts post Covid’. The event which begins on July 1 ends on July 9. Tickets are available on www.thelittletheatreindia.com

(L-R) Rathi Jafer and Krishnakumar B
(L-R) Rathi Jafer and Krishnakumar B

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