If you think puppets are among children, think again! Puppetry is a popular form of performance in almost every country of the world. Did you know, puppet show seem to have existed in almost all civilisation since times unknown? Be it the popular traditional English puppet show, Punch and Judy, or the Bunraku of Japan, or the Marionette of Italy, or the famous Rajasthani puppets of India, performances with colourful puppets are among the most favourite forms of storytelling.


Theatre is an art that involves live performances, and in most cases, the enactment of a story. The ancient Greeks were the first theatre - goers. They gathered in hundreds and sat on hillsides to watch tragedies and comedies unfold before them on the stage. Greek theatres were bowl - shaped arenas, surrounding a circular stage. The Romans built stone theatres that could seat 40,000 spectators. William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of the world.


Ballet is a graceful performing art where music and dance combine to create an unspoken language. Dancers use their body movements to tell a story. It was developed as an art form in the 1600s in France. Even today, ballet terminology is firmly rooted in the French language. Spectacular costumes and stage scenery are essential elements of ballet. Many early ballets combined dancing with opera or scenes from a play. Some of the most famous ballet companies of the world are the Royal Ballet of England, the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and the New York City Ballet. Swan Lake and the The Nutcracker are some of the most famous ballets.


Mime is the art of portraying a character or a story solely by body movement, or realistic and symbolic gestures. In India, there are ancient treaties that refer to similar drama forms. Bharatanatyam is said to have originated from one such drama form. In the theatre of China and Japan too, mime became an integral part of major dramatic genres. In Italy, the presentation of mimes was a traditional feature at the annual Floralia festival. The Commedia dell'Arte, a performing art form which developed in Italy in the 16th century is also rooted in mime. These art form have influenced the cultural history of the world for ages. One of the most famous mime artists is Charlie Chaplin whose success as a comedian has made him the star of silent movies.


The season of merrymaking held three days before the period of fasting, or Lent is referred to as a carnival. In earlier times, Rome was the centre of carnival activity. Today, carnival is a huge outdoor parade comprising dancers, entertainers, and marching bands. In the United States, the most popular carnival celebration takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana. In Italy, Venice has become a gathering place for traditional costumes carnival revellers. The most famous modern carnival is perhaps the one in Rio de Janeiro.



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