Life of Gautama Buddha
in Devasthanakala
Paper cutting art
Shiva in
Devasthanakala Paper cutting art
Gitagovinda in Devasthanakala
Paper cutting art
Mahabharat in Devasthanakala Paper cutting art Durga in Devasthanakala Paper cutting art Krishna in
Devasthanakala Paper cutting art
Ragamala in
Paper cutting art

Paper cutting demonstrations by Prabal Pramanik

Puppetry by Prabal Pramanik

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Gitagovinda in Devasthanakala
Paper cutting art

Life of Gautama Buddha in Devasthanakala Paper cutting art

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Prabal Pramanik specializes on puppetry also.

He specially holds shadow puppet shows. He has been holding such shows since his boyhood and since then has held many shows in India and aborad.
He has held shadow puppet festivals lasting several days too. At Alliance Francaise, Chandigarh, he organized a shadow puppet festival hosted by Alliance France Chandigarh.
The show featured different short puppet plays on mythological, folk and contemporary themes.
At Bhamlada village he organized a shadow puppet show festival for nine days featuring "Ramayana". The puppet shows are presented with special effects and sounds.
The puppetry of Prabal Pramanik is innovative and often brings in the element of modern theatre in this traditional art sphere.
Ustad Prabal Pramanik himself makes all the puppets. "Ramayana" show required more than one hundred and fifty puppets.
The shadow puppet shows of Prabal Pramanik have been audiences in India and abroad and have been acclaimed by the press too.
The themes of shadow puppet shows organized by Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik.

(a) Folk themes presenting folk tales from India and France.

(b) Mythological themes from the Mythology of India.

(1) Durga

(2) Radhakrishna

(3) Birth of Krishna

(4) Shiva

(c) Contemporary puppet dramas of psychological significance. The dramas are written and directed by Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik.

(d) Themes on Buddha’s life. This is a very special theme and has been presented at Mahabodhi Mahavihara temple committee premises at Bodh Gaya with great success.




Introducing the art of puppetry to
a part of northern India

Puppetry has been a traditional form of art combining performing and visual forms in many areas of Indian subcontinent. This form of art has diversified presentations in different regions but for some reason or other, puppetry did not develop or become a part of social life in Northern India.
People from northern India are aware of the art of puppetry from travelling puppeteers from other parts of India who may perform in northern India on rare occasions.
Yet, the systematic and regular exposure to puppetry, that is necessary to make this enchanting form of art popular has never been a feature in the cultural scenario of Punjab, Himachal or Jammu and Kashmir.
Though puppetry is a traditional form of art that may have existed since Paleolithic times, it has a new and vital importance in the age of information technology.
This ancient mass media form of puppetry has become a favourite way of presentations in the area of information technology.
The creative aspects of puppetry matches perfectly with modern technology to produce wonderful shows that are vastly popular in various TV. channels and also in the internet.
Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik, and artist from Bengal has been conducting puppet shows in northern India for quite a few years to create an awareness about this charming form of art.
Prabal Pramanik’s puppet theatre has been to different areas in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh to stage puppet shows on various subjects ranging from traditional to modern.
Bhamlada, a village in the border of Punjab and Himachal has become a centre of creative activities programmed by "Prabal Pramaniks Academy of Arts, and puppetry is a major form of creative presentation here.
Through different shows that includes puppetry, a consolidated art world is developing rapidly here as the result of the positive efforts of "Prabal Pramanik’s Academy of Arts." Since Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik practices Devasthanakala paper cutting art as well as many other forms of art, most of the puppet presentations by him in this area are made with paper cutting art forms.
Moreover, before the paper puppet shows, Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik gives live demonstrations of his paper cutting art.
After the shadow puppet shows, Prabal Pramanik allows the village people to handle some of the puppets to give the spectators "a feel" of the puppet operation. This creates a better interest in the show.
From the ancient times, puppetry developed with its folk base amongst common rural people. Ustad Kalakar Prabal Pramanik has held many shows in sophisticated places in India and abroad, yet puppet performances in the rural area are given special importance for his puppetry programmes.
Bhamlada, his adopted area of work is a rural area where Prabal Pramanik and his team is conducting a practical experiment in social awareness in cultural aspects.
Regular puppet shows are held at Bhamlada and near about places, initiating the local people in the joys of the world of puppetry. The shows are presented generally at local temples with light and sound effects.
The folk appeal of puppetry allows the interested rural spectators to appreciate the puppet shows in heartfelt manner.
Prabal Pramanik has experienced that folk appeal of puppet shows extend beyond the barrier of social hypocrisy of sophisticated urban societies, creating a wider base for the artistic enjoyment of this form of art.
Indeed, there is a lot of difference between the art conscious society of eastern India and the society of northern India when the dimensional level of mass appeal is concerned.
Establishing a tradition of art in any area is not easy, yet the magic of puppetry and the live demonstration of the art that creates the puppets have the potential to unveil a new horizon in the cultural panorama of northern India.

by Prabal Pramanik


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