Shri Dattatreya Aralikatte
Shri Dattatreya Aralikatte , the master puppeteer, is the disciple of Shri M.R.Ranganath Rao, a national Awardee, a well-known name in the field of puppetry and Shri Ranga Mahaguru, founder of Astanga Yoga Vijnana Mandira. He was born in a family of the traditional background, for well - known freedom fighter Aralikatte Rama Rao and Lalitha Rama Rao.
Putthali Kalaranga founded by Datta , has carved out a niche for itself in the world in puppetry in India. Datta was chosen by the Karnataka Janapada and yakshagana Academy for 1996. He has also been honoured by directorate of state educational research and treaning for " Puppetry as an educational aid". He has participated in several puppet festivals and seminars in India and abroad. The prestigious center for cultural research and treaning " teacher award " for 1996 has been a feather in his cap. His name is included in world puppeteer's encyclopedia.
Karnataka, in the south India, is a land known for its rich cultural heritage and folk traditions. Karnataka is probably the only state in India where the three major puppets forms like String, Rod and Leather have been equally popular among the people. Thes art forms owe their existence to the " temple based puppet theater " which flourished for centuries in the state.
Putthali kalaranga is a troupe
of youngsters which has specialised in rod puppetry. The wooden puppets
used by the troupe are one of the tallest of their kind. each puppet is 3 to 3 1/2 feet. In height and weigth around 8 kgs. The puppets are known for their beauty, tradional embellishments, myriad colours and rich ornamentation. They have made a mark in the Puppet world by their sheen, sparle and style.
of the tall and puppets is an arduous task. The manipulator hangs the puppet
from his head with the help of strings and givens them motion by jerking
the rods. For this reason, these puppets are also referred to as "
Putthali kalaranga has evolved a unique style of puppetry which has come to be recognised as the Mudrika School of Puppetry.
Mudrika Style : Datta's puppet shows
are on temple-based and of mudrika style. Mudrika means
" Mudra " or impression of god, culture and tradition. Mudra aims at preserving for the future generation, the philosophy of life, the philosophy of culture and tradition. Mudra symbolised the Union of god. This philosophy is stressed in Mudrika style puppet theatre.
Natya Shastra is an epic which deals
with dance and drama. Abhinaya ( acting, expression and mouvement ) is important
here. Voachikabhinaya ( facial expression ), Aangikabhinaya ( body expression
) together constitute Abhinaya. This aspect receives more importance in
the mudrika style puppet theatre. This style leaves a lasting impress on
the minds and the hearts of the audience about Indian culture.
The costume designs for the puppets is done keeping in view the essential
features of Indian culture. Hence Indian dance, music and literature are
an integral part of Mudrika school. The songs are based on Karnatik classical
Putthali : Putthali in sanskrit means the pupet used for the performance. Manipulation of the intricate web of strings anables the movement of the puppet.
Sutradhara : The protagonist of the show who introduces the story and the characters to the audience and also performs rituals before and after the show. Some times, he narrates the story. The concept of " Sutradhara " is a gift given by the puppet theatre to Indian theatre.