The Four-day International Puppet Festival kicked off at the Rafi Peer Cultural Complex, Raiwind Road, amidst a lot of colour, music, balloons and a mascot parade.
Usman Pirzada and Saadan Pirzada jointly inaugurated the festival by letting go a bunch of balloons in air amidst energetic dhol beats.
Usman Pirzada said the Rafi Peer Theatre, like previous years, had once again brought a variety of puppetry performances from within the country and abroad to the festival.
Hundreds of children from various private schools attended the inauguration ceremony of the festival. They looked excited to see different kinds of puppets and thoroughly enjoyed performances.
The festival which is a prominent feature of Lahore’s cultural calendar has two foreign participants – from Germany and France – this year.
German puppeteer Mirjam Ellembroek told Dawn that she studied in Germany and did her graduation in contemporary puppetry. “It’s my first visit to Pakistan. Food and people are so nice here, I really love to eat local dish daal”, she said.
The German Puppetry performance titled Little Letters was superb. The artiste wore a two-sided mask, playing a king with one and a princess with the other. The performance has been brought to the festival by Annemarie Schimmel Haus.
The Alliance Francaise de Lahore, in Collaboration with the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, will present on Friday (today) the French performance titled Slow and Steady Wins the Race, featuring artistes Laurent Decol, Valerie Décol from France and Yamina Peerzada from Pakistan.
The carnival offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy contemporary and traditional puppet shows. It also provides the artists with an opportunity to watch, learn and get inspired from each other and develop their skills and techniques.
The groups performing during the festival are Rafi Peer, Alhamra, Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Asghar Bahawalpuri and folk puppet theatre.
It also features magic and juggling performances, a folk music concert, Muppets parade/dance, Yamina Peerzada puppet-making workshop and story-telling for children. The festival’s timings are from 10am to 6pm. It’s a ticketed festival charging Rs200 per person.
Originally published in Dawn, January 19th, 2018