Tholu Bommalatta

Tholu Bommalatta

Tholu Bommalatta is the Telugu shadow theatre tradition of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and parts of Karnataka.

“Tholu bommalatta” literally means the dance (atta) of the leather (tholu) puppets (bommalu). Among the many traditions, tholu bommalatta puppets are definitely most known for their large size. Tholu bommalatta performances present epic stories based on the Ramayana and to a lesser extent the Mahabarata and some Vaishnava texts. The performances includes comedy skits and is accompanied by live music. On stage the puppets appear behind a white curtain, and the audience sees their coloured shadows, not the actual puppets, enlivened by a light source. Tholu bommalatta includes many different arts: such as painting, engraving, music, dance, acting, and storytelling.

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