Dattatreya Aralikatte

Born on 22 February 1953 in Aralikatte village of the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka, A.R. Dattatreya obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degrees from Mysore University, and Master of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Bangalore University. He learned puppetry under his Guru Ranganatha Rao. He has worked with playwrights and senior theatre persons like Parvatha Vani and Dr B.S. Narayana Rao both in Kannada and Sanskrit languages. As he excelled in the field of theatre, he got inspired to write his own plays focusing on current social problems, and including mythological characters. He has highlighted problems such as pollution, deforestation, and adulteration in his plays. Shri Dattatreya established his own puppet theatre called ‘Putthali Kalaranga’, evolving a new style in the field of puppet theatre called ‘Mudrika Style’. He has participated in several puppet festivals and seminars in India and abroad. His puppets weigh around 8 to 10 kg, ornamented with traditional sarees. For his services to the art of puppetry, Shri Dattatreya has been bestowed with several awards including the Karnataka Janapadha Yakshagana Academy Award. He has also been honoured by the Directorate of State Educational Research & Training for using the Puppetry as an Educational Aid. The prestigious Centre for Cultural Research and Training bestowed the Teachers Award for 1996, and the best teacher award for 2004 was given to him by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Shri A.R. Dattatreya receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to the art of puppetry of Karnataka.