Thursday, March 25, 2010

World Theatre Day – Message from Judi Dench*

118781-Judi_Dench_large “World Theatre Day is an opportunity to celebrate Theatre in all its myriad forms. Theatre is a source of entertainment and inspiration and has the ability to unify the many diverse cultures and peoples that exist throughout the world. But theatre is more than that and also provides opportunities to educate and inform.
Theatre is performed throughout the world and not always in a traditional theatre setting. Performances can occur in a small village in Africa, next to a mountain in Armenia, on a tiny island in the Pacific. All it needs is a space and an audience. Theatre has the ability to make us smile, to make us cry, but should also make us think and reflect.
Theatre comes about through team work. Actors are the people who are seen, but there is an amazing set of people who are not seen. They are equally as important as the actors and their differing and specialist skills make it possible for a production to take place. They too must share in any triumphs and successes that may hopefully occur.

March 27 is always the official World Theatre Day. In many ways every day should be considered a theatre day, as we have a responsibility to continue the tradition to entertain, to educate and to enlighten our audiences, without whom we couldn’t exist.”

*Note. Judy Dench is one of the finest female actors of Contemporary Britain who had excelled in theatre with her exemplary portrayal of Shakespearean Characters like lady Macbeth, Cleopatra, and in plays like Remembrance of Things Past, etc. She has acted in films and TV also.

My Wishes/Dreams/Expectations…

I wish and salute, one and every one of you who live and work with passion in theatre, a very exciting creative year ahead… As Judy Dench has pointed out, theatre can and should happen anywhere and everywhere, not just in conventional spaces of performances. Let us have the courage to leave the safety of typical performing spaces and to explore new spaces and venues, that will make our work more meaningful.

And in the increased tendency to delve on the emerging technologies that makes theatre less human, and more mechanised where actors become secondary, let us go back to the basics again. Theatre is basically a collective human art, ensemble art, where living actor is  at the centre-stage ably supported by the technicians behind. Let us be one ensemble – a human ensemble- where we can collectively celebrate our success and failure too…

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Dear Chandra Dasan to give us the chance to read this kind of thought about theatre. It reinforces us our engagement is important whatever the place we occupy in theatre.
Best wishes,
Valérie Karyat

Deise Puga said...

Theatre is a place where we can collectively share our laughter, shed our tears and loudly demonstrate our joy or frustration. Theatre has the incredible capacity to be soul healing; it allows both the audience and artist to purge toxins and exorcise collective demons.
I challenge all of us to sustain the complexity of our world; to invite a multitude of diverse voices onto the stage. We must open the doors and windows of our theatres to let the world in. It is a great responsibility; it is a burden and gift.
You are the fabulators….
I wish much sccess for all of you and all of us!!
Thanks so much Chandra Dasan!!

Regards!!

Deise Puga

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Great read Dasan,I agree that Theatre is a place where we can enjoy and epress many things first hand.Good going, keep up the tempo.

ശിവകുമാര്‍ അമ്പലപ്പുഴ said...

all the best ...Dasanjee...

ABOUT ME said...

Great blog Chandra, have been following it for sometime now. I share the euphoric sentiment about the importance of sustaining a vibrant theatre activity. But may I ask how you arrived at the following conclusion -'emerging technologies that makes theatre less human, and more mechanised where actors become secondary, let us go back to the basics again'. Any pieces you saw lately which you may review for this purpose?

Chandradasan said...

Thanks valerie, Deise, and Sapna...
and about the question raised by 'ABOUT ME' I have many productions in mind...It is the new tendancy and fashion of the new genaration theatre at least in India...And i feel technology should be used to suppliment living actors and human exposition of emotions and ideas as the vehicle of theatre...

Chandradasan said...

Thanks valerie, Deise, and Sapna...
and about the question raised by 'ABOUT ME' I have many productions in mind...It is the new tendancy and fashion of the new genaration theatre at least in India...And i feel technology should be used to suppliment living actors and human exposition of emotions and ideas as the vehicle of theatre...

Padu said...

Thanks Chandra Dasan for such a nice message from Judi Dench.Every word is so true and lively.
Wishing you all a very happy Theatre day.
Regards
Padma.

Anonymous said...

I want to add something.
Of course we agree than theatre gives a place to human being... etc...
but about technologies, I think it's just a "media" to express ourself, our deep thought. Of course we agree that it'll never take the place of human being but, on my mind, it's something which is part of our life(because we use it also!) and part of life of new generations. Technologies are not a substitute to actors, it's just like a complement. But where there are actors, there is theatre. where there is only technology, there is not theatre !
I think that the challenge is to find a good way between every generations... Each one can bring something to others.

And the last thing I want to add is that I'm very happy to read an article done by a woman in theatre !
Thank you ChandraDasan,
I write you my thought with a lot of humility and respect for your work.
Love,
Valérie Karyat, France.

Chandradasan said...

Valerie,
I totally agree to what u have said..I am not against technology, projecting footage, vedio, animation, computer etc...I can even understand that it may be an extention of the placards and banners that Brecht used in his time; but i was speaking about the usage, the priority. And of cource the result it created ...And mostly it is used to create a gibbesrish of visual images created to confuse than communicate.
I remember that I had seen a few plays that has creatively used new techonolgies with good result, accentuating the experience of theaatre.

Narippatta Raju - Theatre said...

Chandradasan, Thanks a lot. Best wishes for the theatre day.


{.....Ha Ha Ha.... 'Kalanilayam' started to use technology from years back. Still love to watch Raktarakshas and other gimmicks}

siraj sirajudeen said...

Happy Theatre Day and Best wishes Chandra Dasan. As per your name you are really a "Dasan" for the theatre. "Dasan" means a "man servant","a slave" or "A devotee of the supreme being". Yes of course you are all of these of the theatre. Only a "Dasan" can be a good Writer,Director and an Actor.
A note to ValerieKaryant,France.
Technology and Theatre are two different things. You can create any thing with technology. The Movie "AVATAR" is an example for that. But in Theatres you are live. Your emotions, your thoughts, your dreams, your life everything you see there in live. Go to the reality and see whats happening there and compare my dear.....!!!

Anonymous said...

Sir Siraj Sirajudeen,
I love theatre and present emotion we can feel when we see a performance or when we perfom ourself.
However, I think that technology and theatre are not incompatible. Of course it depends on the use we do with. Sometimes in theatre, music is recorded, but it doesn't remove the beauty or emotion of the actors or scenes. I think it can be the same for another technology.
Moreover I think it would be a mistake to take the spectator as a stupid person introducing technology without depth. But for me it's normal to explore in technologies new ways... sometimes it's a success ...and sometimes no...
Theatre gives the place for search...
Dear Sir Siraj Sirajudeen, for sure I would like to come to see what is happening in the reality of India ! In particular to see one of plays directed by ChandraDasan...

I wish you all the best,
Valérie Karyat, France

AMITESH GROVER said...

the ire that debates such as these - technology vs theatre - throw up many interesting questions (and ill informed opnions/prejudices if I may dare add). Archetypal arguments of pureness/origins/roots often get raised passionately in these simplistically constructed dichotomies (another cousin of which is the east vs. west theatre). Fortunately like all else, the history and the present reality of Performance Art lies entrenched in a complex layering of the relationship artistic practice has had with its time and its viewers. In my little experience, viewers have not bothered to flesh out these stale debates, rather have struggled enthusiastically to come to terms with what-is-it they experienced and why-is-it that it spoke to them, if at all.

Chandradasan said...

Amitesh
I am afraid, I agree with you in the last part of your comment... The part with the if at all (the magic if)it spoke to the audience, they will struggle to come to terms with it...
But look around?
Pity is that it do not speak to/about the audience but creates a sort of soliloquy, that too in gibberish...(visual gibberish too)
and we hail it just since it is new-wave produced by the new whiz-crats....
You can disagree !!!

AMITESH GROVER said...

Dear Chandra,

We are besieged by 'dead-ly' theatre (to borrow Peter Brook's term from the ancient Empty Space), technology or otherwise. The confusion I was intending to sort out was merely this - that new grammmars and contexts do not make art (theatre) better by default (and here you and I agree). Nor may they make it worse. There is a fair presence of theatre (art) that does not work for me even if it succeeds to keep 'technology' at bay. What may be the call of the day is to write about how the new grammar responds to its present day context. How much ever inspiring the stories of the innovative use of projections of a clever German guy may be, today's realities are different, if not more complex. How the new experiments in theatre (a conglomerate art by virtue) have a potential to work and how certainly they mayn't, seems a potent enough essay from a writer your calibre. To make sweeping statements - 'emerging technologies make theatre less human...' without investigations seem all too hurried a thought. Theorise everything new, after all, is a marxist call isnt it?

P.S. Meanwhile, click on my name above (if you havent already). The hyperlink will lead you to my blog. Would love to hear your comments, when you get the time to watch video-excerpts of my past and current work.

ahsaas said...

great inspiring thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ahsaas said...

great and inspiring thoughts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SUNIT SINHA - ACTOR FACTOR said...

Thanks, Chandradasan for this piece.

That's precisely what we at 'Actor Factor' stand for.

I'm feeling kind of reassured.