Kathputli Dance

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      Kathputli Dance - Rajasthan


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Kathputli Dance

Introduction of Kathputli Dance

"Kathputli", the word itself brings to front the colorful images of Rajasthan and its folklores. Rajasthan Kathputli dance is famous all over the world and is well known as Puppetry dance. It is the old tradition of stories from mythology and story of the past are told through puppets in Rajasthan. String puppetry is very much prominent puppetry of Rajasthan.

Kathputli Dance means the dances of puppets. The puppets in Rajasthan are one of the most vital sources of amusement in the state. It is an ancient and popular form of folk entertainment in Rajasthan and Kathputli dance is considered as the most expressive of all theatrical forms.

Performance of Kathputli Dance

Rajasthan Kathputli Dance is performed during fairs and festive occasions. For a performance, a small stage is set where the puppeteers would show puppetry and narrate the stories. Music or ballads form an integral part of Kathputli Rajasthan as the entire performance is based on the ballad. Sometimes, the puppeteer accompanies the ballads with various sound effects to  give the show a greater impact.

These Puppet dances are based on well-known legends and are performed by skillful puppeteers. Displaying his skill in making the puppets’ act and dance, the puppeteer is accompanied by a woman, usually his wife, who plays the dholak, or drum and sings the narrative song. For the performance, a small stage is set where puppeteers show puppetry and narrate the story. During Kathputli dance, tales of romance and courage are told with movements of string puppets. In the performance, music or narrative song plays a vital role as the whole presentation is based upon the narrative song. Sometimes, the puppeteer makes use of a variety of sound effects to accomplish the reality impact and to give a quality entertainment. The puppeteer shows all his skills and talent to make puppets dance on his tunes. It recounts historic stories, replay tales of love, and include high-pitched sound as the puppet twirl and move excitedly at the time of performance. . In ancient days, puppeteers were known to travel across vast regions through a variety of villages in order to amuse people The puppet shows also tackle some problems like the poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, dowry system, women's empowerment, and cleanliness. Thus these shows used to spread awareness about the social problems and the ways to overcome them.

Evolution of Kathputli Dance

Kathputli Dance or Rajasthani puppetry art is known to be introduced a thousand years ago. At that time this art was practiced by the Bhat society. After them this art was also practicised by dominant families in the state and it became well-known in the region. At that time these puppets were not only a basis of entertainment, but also provide moral and social education. Different shows explain different problems like the dowry system, women’s empowerment, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, and cleanliness and these shows help people to aware of the social problems that everybody was facing and also these shows also showed them the ways about how to solve these problems.

Elements of Kathputli

Kathputli word is the combination of two Rajasthani language words Kath which means wood and Putli which means puppet. Kathputli means a puppet which is made completely from wood which are covered with cotton cloth and joined with a metal wire which acts as a string (long fiber). Being a string puppet, it is controlled by a single string that passes from the top of the puppet over the puppeteers. Puppeteer show his ability with strings like swordsmanship, dancing, horse riding, juggling and acrobatics. Animal puppets are also used for the shows like camels and horses but only their necks would be movable.

                   Kathputli Dance of Rajasthan                     Kathputli Dance of Rajasthan
                        Kathputli Dance of Rajasthan                                 Kathputli Puppets
                                 Rajasthani Puppets                                Kathputli Group

Kathputli Dance

Rajasthani Puppet Kathputli


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