Sunday, February 10, 2013

National Theatre Festival at Jodhpur Rajasthan

The Rajasthan Sangeet Natak academy is organising a five day National theatre festival at Jodhpur Rajasthan from 11th of February to te 15th, 2013. Plays by eminent directors like Bansi Kaul, Kewal Dhaliwal, KS Rajendran and Usha Ganguli are invited this fest. And the directors are bringing milestone productions in their repertory.The festival takes place at Jai Narayan Vyas Smriti Bhawan, (Town hall Jodhpur) at 7.00 pm. the festival is organised by the initiative taken by Arjun Deo Charan, the chairman of Rajasthan sangeet Natak Akademy, who himself is one of the finest playwrights and directors of Rajasthani Theatre.

11 Feb – Saudagar Directed by Bansi Kaul, based on the Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht- Rang Vidushak Sansthan, Bhopal

saudaRang Vidushak Theatre Group believes in a philosophy of celebrating life and their performances bring an air of festivity, color and laughter.. It laughs at the social system that it is very much a part of, and bring back silenced laughter. Through its performance it becomes the voice of the common man who has a million questions in his mind but is never really able to speak of them.

Saudagar is the adaptation of Exception and the Rule” into the Hindi, which basically depicts how the system in which we live rules in favour of the ‘bigger man’ shrugging off the poor and the deprived. The play throughout speaks metaphorically of how the first world countries have hollowed out the pre-existing societies under the pretence of discovery and modernization.

Saudagar is the story of a rich merchant, who is crossing a desert for an oil contract. He is accompanied by a guide and a porter. As the play proceeds, the class difference between the merchant and his porter unfolds.

"There are three clowns present throughout the play; they are actors as well as the audience at the same time. The play looks at the world through these clowns, who continuously pass comments on the common man's desires and the limitations of the social system that he belongs to," explains Kaul.

The troupe deals with lot of physicality and hence, the play has lot of colours, music, acrobats, painted faces and so on.

12 Feb - Mera Rang De Basanti Chola, - Directed by Kewal Dhaliwal, Manch Rangmanch, Amritsar.

mere rang de basantiThe play is inspired & based on the books written on Shaheed Bhagat Singh by so many eminent writers. like Sh. Davinder Daman, Dh. Gusharan Singh and Sh. Sagar Sarhadi etc.

Bhagat Singh is not just the historic story of the sacrifices of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his friend but it also aims to bring up the past as if event were taking place right in front of our eyes. It talks of the dreams of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his friends. The play reflects the dreams of Shaheed Bhagat Singh merging with the dreams of the other Martyrs of India. It questions the activists and the audience, if we are actually free as our society today is enslaved by the monster of social evils

13 Feb - Auragzeb- Directed By K.S. Rajendran, original text by Indira Parthasarathy-Theatre Workshop, New Delhi

auranWhen Emperor Shahjahan fell ill in 1657, a war of succession broke out among his four sons, Dara Shukoh, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad. The main contenders were Dara and Aurangzeb while Shahjahan’s two daughters Jahanara and Roshanara, supported Dara and Aurangzeb respectively. The Emperor himself lent his support to his eldest son Dara, who alone of the four brothers, was present at Agra and sympathetic to Shahjahan’s dream plan of building a black-marble-mahal for himself on the other side of Yamuna facing Mumtaz’s Tajmahal.

The play selects, telescopes and fuses events to capture the fissures as well as the peaks of a period of history. The war of succession to throne and issues and ideologies that the major players in the drama represent: Shahjahan symbolises a decadent, self-indulgent, romantic astheticism; Aurangzeb articulates and fiercely fights to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state; and Dara projects himself as a philosopher-statesman striving to preserve a pluralist society and nation. Shahjahan dreams about a balck-marble-mahal for himself, Aurangzeb dreams of ‘one nation, one language, one religion’, while Dara fears that Aurangzeb will destroy the precious heritage of Akbar.

The play has as its theme the struggles of mutually contradictory dispositions of the various characters: Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; Dara and Aurangzeb; Jahanara and Roshanara; and finally Aurangzeb versus Aurangzeb. Shahjahan lives in the past, Dara in the future, and Aurangzeb in the present. His loneliness becomes his tragedy. The play ends with him asking himself he question: ‘Am I a devout Muslim or a fanatic?’ He is left awaiting the judgement of history.

14 Feb - Karnnabharam - Design and direction Chandradasan – based on the Sankrit play by Bhasa- Lokadharmi Kochi

karnnabharam (4)This play projects the mortal anguish of a man unsure of his identity. Karnna the protagonist is heroic and heartbroken at the same time as he tries to find his place between the mocking and adulation of social forces on one side and the taunting challenges of fate on the other.

The treatment of the play reaches beyond caricature of farce into a realm that transcends the space and time and gets related to the social realities of today. Karnna lingers in one’s consciousness as the symbol of Universal man in search of his own self and the ultimate dilemma of existence.

This production synthesizes traditional forms, like Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Kalarippayattu, Padayani, Sopanasageetham etc., to form a modern theatrical idiom in harmony with the cultural heritage of the land. This is the result of the search for an indigenous Indian Theatre. The style of acting, movement pattern and choreography, music and costumes are thus, modern and at the same time traditional. A unique lighting is used to add to the theatrical ecstasy. It is an actor’s play which breaks away from set patterns

15 Feb - Rudali- Directed By Usha Ganguly based on the story by Mahaswethadevi-, Rangkarmi Sansthan, Kolkata.

rud1The story of Rudali is set in South Bihar, depicting the struggle of a lone woman, Sanichari in a community of landless peasants. It details the devastating oppression by Rajput landlords, moneylenders, the police and the BDO's (block-development officers) under which the protagonists suffer. Yet it ends with a ray of hope, for someone has enough courage to fight the tide, and unite the tribal Dusaads and Ganjus under one umbrella. Sanichari was never able to shed tears when her own loved ones died is significant, as she always had to struggle frantically to stay alive and keep alive what had remained of her family. By the time she finally develops a business of Funeral Wailing, she has no family left. The irony of her situation strikes her, but she refuses to be the one wallowing in self-pity. With the demand of her service growing, she decides to employ and train women who became prostitutes to survive. Through the process of weathering terrible personal losses and misfortunes, the alchemy of unspeakable sorrow and despair gradually produces in her a positive resolution. Sanichari becomes an icon of empowerment for tribal low-caste women.

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