The usage of Kerala’s conventional puppetry in a music video by director Emcy Joseph throws open a world of potentialities for the artwork type
Kochi’s metro practice gliding over tracks, a site visitors sign, the Biennale, a Royal Enfield motorbike or for that matter a soccer match don’t function in Tholpavakoothu, a type of shadow puppetry historically carried out in Kerala temples. Director and advert filmmaker Emcy Joseph made an uncommon resolution when he selected to make use of Kerala’s artwork type in his music video, ‘Mindi Meettam’. The video is receiving rave opinions for its crossover enchantment.
Conventionally Tholapavakoothu makes use of leather-based puppets to inform tales from the Kamba Ramayana.
“COVID-19 protocols place restrictions on filming with one having to work with a diminished crew. It made me consider options,” says Joseph of utilizing the medium. With this video the director of the Malayalam movie Vikruthi turns singer and composer. That is his maiden track professionally and the lyrics are by Shahul Mezhathur.
The track required extra folks to speak a way camaraderie regardless of all that’s being missed because of the pandemic — busy roads, folks, the sights and sounds. “I needed a medium that might categorical motion, present issues that transfer,” he says, disclosing that he did toy with the thought of utilizing sand artwork and determined in opposition to it due to its managed actions.
He zeroed in on Kerala’s shadow puppetry and its practitioners in Kerala at Tholpavakoothu Kalakendram, Palakkad. “It was a brand new, trendy expertise for us as properly,” says Rajeev Pulavar, a member of the workforce of puppeteers who collaborated with Joseph. Utilizing the shape in a music video got here with its set of challenges: the primary was if it might be finished. Particularly with its references to modernity, soccer gamers and their actions have been a problem, Rajeev confesses.
Joseph concurs, “The first concern, on each side, was ‘will it work?’” The idea demanded a wholly totally different set of not solely puppets but in addition a brand new repertoire of actions. Rajeev agrees, “Every minute motion needed to be proven. We have been making changes at the same time as filming was on.”
Since making puppets out of leather-based takes time, cut-outs of the metro practice, soccer, gamers and cell phone have been fabricated out of thick paper and board. “We used leather-based for a number of, and at the moment are changing extra from this into leather-based to make use of it for different tasks,” Rajeev says.
The filming was finished at Palakkad, on the Tholapovakoothu Kala Kendram’s theatre over the course of 24 hours, with seven puppeteers working in tandem. The whole course of — from making puppets to the ultimate video — took a month. The time Joseph spent on the undertaking helped him perceive the potential of the medium and the scope of puppetry.
A New telling
- Rajeev Pulavar hails from a household of practitioners of the artwork type, within the custom for the final 13 generations. His father, Kalashree Ramachandra Pulavar, a Sangeet Natak Akademi award-winning artist led the workforce. His grandfather, additionally a Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner, KL Krishnan Kutty Pulavar launched the capsule type of tholpavakoothu for the stage, encapsulating the 10-hour lengthy performances to smaller codecs of an hour or an hour-and-a-half for stage.
- “Though the artwork type has moved out of temples and is carried out on levels, being utilized in a music video was a brand new experiment. It has been tailored to inform secular tales, theatre and for Authorities consciousness campaigns resembling COVID-19 and ‘Break the Chain’,” says Rajeev.
With post-pandemic restrictions, content material creators are looking out for different and conventional artwork types resembling this. Joseph feels it is a viable possibility. “The usage of conventional artwork types works on two ranges — it might generate employment for the practitioners and the price could be low-cost. In regular circumstances the artwork is confined to temple festivals, with many of the income coming from there. What a few state of affairs like now? You possibly can create genuine animation utilizing puppetry,” Joseph provides.
Says Rajeev, “So long as puppetry was seen as a conventional, narrative-based artwork type, folks noticed restricted potential. However this video has modified the notion. Individuals see it as an efficient medium of visible communication.”