The puppet and its theatre

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Fans of dance and theatre were treated to Krafff, a 35-minute fluid and energetic blend of contemporary dance and puppetry this weekend. The performance took place at Ranga Shankara, an auditorium in the heart of the city.

Krafff, an interesting showcase of dance, theatre and puppetry from France, is a group of five young artists. The piece began with the dancers spreading out paper rolls on the floor, folding, refolding, intertwining, crumpling, knotting and tying – all in graceful movements to create a puppet which instantly came to life with 4 performers manoeuvring it.


The first vignette involved slow gentle movements where craft paper was shaped into a paper figurine, which then transformed into a realistic character. He begins to discover himself – his arms, his legs and the rest of his new body and then moves on to discover movements and limitations. With unfeigned curiosity, he watches and mimics every move of the 5th artist. While the 4 puppeteers synchronized movements to make the puppet communicate and dance, the young dancer moved on stage daintily illustrating quick but soft contemporary dance movements.

In the final vignette, the puppet portrays amazing grace, power, lightness and flexibility, and both the puppet and the dancer move in harmony and finesse. The casual yet elegant contact between the 2 characters accompanied by the soothing music, utterly charmed the audience, especially the children present.

Krafff is a collaboration between artistic director Johanny Bert and choreographer Yan Raballand. Bert was inspired by The puppet and its theatre, an essay by German poet and dramatist Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811). He further drew inspiration from his love for the colour of craft paper and the sound it made when crumpled. Its interesting use and throw quality inspired him to create this piece with Raballand in 2007. The piece has been improvised since then and been performed over 230 times all over the world. Without a single word of dialogue, this piece portrays an interactive and harmonious story between the artists, the puppet and the audience. Through the universal language of dance, Krafff reaches out to everyone.

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...