Sunday, December 29, 2013

International Theatre Festival of Kerala ITFoK-6th Chapter from Jan 27 to Feb 03

itfokThe sixth chapter of the International theatre festival of Kerala is on. Productions from India, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, Srilanka, Norway, Slovakia, Iran, Czech Republic and Israel will be performed at different venues from 27th Jan 2013 to 03rd of Feb. 2013 at Trissur, Kerala. Brief info of the plays performed are given below.


1.The Kitchen/ Roysten Abel 

roysten-abel-the-kitchenThe set becomes the soul, mizhavu, the percussion instrument, the body, and the proscenium, the extended kitchen for a landmark theatrical recipe in his recent work The Kitchen.

The actors, man and woman, stir the payasam in the huge vessels placed before them, meticulously, with long ladles as they work up the steam, gazing at each other. Their shoulders move in the rhythm off the mizhavu’s in the ensemble. “I wanted to move away from the text and experience theatre as a ritual. The idea is to arrive at some light, to realise the basic trajectory in theatre.” He adds, “I am not bound by the thought of performing natak”.

2.Burning Flowers- 7 dreams of a woman/Paweł Szkotak/ indian polish collaboration/TBP/Poland

This indo polish collaborpowelative theatre project will explore the issue of gender, focussing on the problem of violence against women in India and elsewhere. The idea behind this project is to take theatre to people in every walk of life, non theatre goers, and ordinary passers bye; to strike with the art in the street. Indian researchers, dramaturge and performers will collaborate with the cast of Teatr Biuro Podrozy from Poland to create a powerful, expressive and evocative outdoor performance.

28 01 2014

1. C Sharp C Blunt / Sophia Stepf / Finntheatre Kassel Berlin, / Indo-German / 75 min / Solo

C sharpDrawing on a wide range of talent, this devised performance is bound to intrigue as it goes on an exploration of the (un)known. Directed by Sophia Stepf from Berlin, Germany, singer actor MD Pallavi performs in her first ever solo performance, a funny, sarcastic and political rendition of the latest App in the market- The Singer App. - attractive, user-friendly and very efficient; the most downloaded App in 2013. Writers Irawati Karnik and Swar Thounaojam contribute as content writers for the play.

2 Mephisto Waltz / Anton Adassinsky / Germany / Derevo

mephisto1Mephisto Waltz is a gospel of dance, sincere story of person and declaration of love.- “Don’t look around, it’s not yours. Look into yourself. Look in the inmost recesses of your heart...-...maybe it’s my years, maybe it’s the end of Dance Theatre, maybe it’s the madness of a world where people still make wars that divide the Gods...- And you forget that all feelings of the world, and rains, and sounds, and cities, and birds, and people, and stars, and everything.... is YOU. -And really you need nothing - But simply live with a rainbow in your heart.” “Adasinsky (The Art Director) was able to find such a powerful physical equivalent to those incomprehensible images from the poem by Arseny Golenischev-Kutuzov, where the Death simultaneously caresses and buries the ones, that it seems to me even if Mephisto Waltz was only consisting of the very first scene, this chronologically most recent work by DEREVO could hardly be named anything but a masterpiece.”

3. Hum Mukhtara (Hindi) / Usha Ganguli / Rangkarmee, West Bengal / Kolkata / 80 min

mukhtar1This play is based on the life of Mukhtar Mai. It is the true story of Mukhtar, a Pakistani woman who was raped as a punishment for the acts of indiscretion by her brother. Mukhtar fought back by speaking about it, persuading the case with the help of domestic and international media and led to a remarkable change in the feminist movement in Pakistan. In 2002, six men, including the four rapists, were sentenced to death, but later in 2005 Lahore High Court acquitted five of them and reduced the punishment of the sixth man to a life sentence. The play is a close portrayal of Mukhtar’s life and makes us ponder about the increasing number of crimes against women.

4. Beegam Panickar (Malayalam) / Kumara Varma / Fine Arts Consortium of SSUC Theatre Repertory, Kaladi / Kerala / 140 minbegum

Begum Panikkar is a Malayalam adaptation of the reputed Marathi playwright Satish Alekar's well-known play, 'Begum Barve,' that tells the story of a small time actor of 19th century Marathi stage who used to perform female roles. Prof. Ramesh Varma, presents the leading character of Begum Barve or Begum Panikkar, as the Malayalam adaptation transform barve into a Kathakali actor performing female characters


1. Transfiguration / Olivier de Sagazan / France

transfigurationFor more than 20 years, Olivier de Sagazan has Developed a hybrid practice that Integrates paint-ing, photography, sculpture, and performance. In his existential performative series Transfiguration, l which he Began in 2001 Sagazan builds layers of clay and paint onto His own face and body to transform, take apart and disfigure, revealing an animalistic human who is seeking to break away from the physical world. At once disquieting and deeply moving, this new body of work collapses the boundaries between the physical, intellectual, spiritual and animalistic senses. The artist states: "I am interested in seeing to what degree people think its normal, or odd trite, to be alive." Olivier de Sagazan has performed widely in France and Europe, Canada, Brazil, Korea in art galleries, museums, and film festivals. His expressive and inimitable style, it is no wonder to Sagazan's remarkable "body art" work is featured in the non-verbal movie Samsara, the Sequel to Baraka, directed by Ron Fricke.

.2. Irakalodu Mathramalla Samsarikkendathu (Malayalam)/ D. Reghoothaman & M.G. Jyothish / Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, Tvm / Kerala / 120 min 

irakalodu The play ‘Irakalodu Mathramalla Samsarikkendathu’ raised several questions about the status of women in Kerala and the gender divide. Instead of shrill cries of protest or sloganeering, the play, comprising six monologues by six women, highlighted the turmoil and pain, physical and emotional, of women caught on the wrong side of the establishment or society on account of circumstances. Coming from different strata of society and age groups, these women spoke about various issues ranging from infanticide to child marriage and domestic violence but all their narratives underlined their social isolation and alienation from a society that expected them to be fit into a mould made by a patriarchal world.

3. Satyashodhak (Marathi)/ Atul Pethe / Pune Mahanagarpalika Kamgar Union, Pune / 105 min

satyashodhakThis a production based on G P Deshpande’s 1992 play Satyashodhak on the life of the 19th century anti-caste crusader Jyotiba Phule, performed by Dalit and members of the Pune Municipal Safai Karmacharis Union directed by Atul Pethe. This production incorporates folk theatre and “felicity with music” shown by the almost entirely non-professional cast with different voices and instruments used by local communities around Maharashtra these performances challenge the stagnation that afflicts parts of mainstream Marathi theatre, especially its voice – both literal and metaphorical. With the guttural pull of the Marathi intonation, the quality of the singing, the supreme ease with which the actors slid in and out of different roles or the effortless direction, the play mesmerises the viewer. The play ends with the question of caste brought back to the question of class, taking head on the hugely important political question of the relationship between these where caste and class remain mutually reinforcing.

4. Double Act Athava Kunhambuvinte Chanchattam (Malayalam) / Narippatta Raju / Natyasastra Nataka Padana Kendram, Pkd / Kerala / 22 min

double actThe play turns a fresh look into man’s complex psyche while addressing his inherent duality of character, persona, and dilemma through a set of comic intrigues. In Double Act Adhava Kunjambuvinte Chanchattam, the protagonist implodes to form two distinct persons, each representing the duality within him, who break into a heated dispute with each other. The play stages how Kunjambu, the lead character regains his self after an intrepid walk on thin line that called his very sanity into question.

5. Chakka (Malayalam)/ C.R. Rajan, K.B. Hari & Prabalan Veloor / Thrissur Nataka Sangham, Trissur / 65 min

23tvf_chakka_1559283f‘Chakka’, is a satire on ill-effects of globalisation and consumerism, which makes us willing to accept everything marketed from the west and ignore and destroy our traditional products and culture. The play also portrays the threat the market economy poses to our natural resources and culture. Presented in the ‘alley’ theatre form with people sitting two sides of the stage, and revolves around a jackfruit tree and two neighbours.

6.Burning Flowers- 7 dreams of a woman- TBP-Poland (Repeat Show)


1. Transfiguration / Olivier de Sagazan / France (Repeat Show)

2. Della Tua Carne (Dead Man Walking) / Rosanna Cieri & Simona Cieri / Italy / Motus

della2The power of incapables is built on death and extermination. Terror plays its macabre concert with screaming, agony laments, pain shouts. Guilt payment legitimates barbarity. I could not bend your mind, but when everything is over, I will massacre your flesh. On 14 September 2000 the young italian-american Derek Rocco Barnabei is put to death by the tribunal of Virginia that retains him guilty for the homicide of his girl friend Sarah Wisnovsky on September 1993. Derek has been in jail seven years, trying to demonstrate his innocence.«I am innocent... At the end the truth will come out: continue my fight». These are his last words. MOTUS dedicates this performance to Derek an to his strong fight to denounce the atrocity of death penalty

3. Caucasian Chalk Circle / Parakrama Niriella / Srilanka / Janakaraliya

caucasian2Janakaraliya is a multi-ethnic platform to share values, customs, traditions and cultures via drama, irrespective of one's religion, race, language or caste Language is no barrier for the Janakaraliya team. The strong message they communicate to the world through their works is; human beings as one race share more or less same emotion. Thus language automatically becomes a mere means of communication -- They present an adaptation based on Berthold Brecht’s epic text.

4. Open Air Action / Anton Adassinsky / Germany / Derevo

open air actionDEREVO is a physical theatre company founded by Anton Adasinsky in 1988 in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad), Russia, later in Prague, Czech Republic and now based in Dresden, Germany since 1996. The group is famous for open air performances and impromptu improvisations. EREVO's work is noted for its lack of structure and the sudden changes in routines of non-verbal essays on the potential for violence and rebirth when emotions are trapped within the body politic. The performances of DEREVO are alarmingly anarchist and therefore are in refreshing contrast with well calculated chaos we experience in plays of the western groups...


1. Revolutionary Messages / Lars Oyno / Norway / Grusommetens Teater

revolutionary“Revolutionary Messages” refers to the three lectures Antonin Artaud gave at the University of Mexico City on the 26th, 27th and 29th of February 1936, and which were later published with the same title. The performance is inspired by these texts in addition to Artaud’s last writings – collected in 408 sketch books.

2. Della Tua Carne (Dead Man Walking) / Rosanna Cieri & Simona Cieri / Italy / Motus - Repeated show

3. Virasat / Anuradha Kapur / NSD Repertory / New Delhi / 180 min

VIRAASATVirasat written in 1982 by thespian dramatist Mahesh Elkunchwar chronicles the life of the Deshpandes, their graft-ridden meteoric rise and equally inevitable fall to dust. In a set of rafters and pillars around a square cesspool in the middle where action takes place on all sides, spectators — seated as though in the wings — witness fortunes and struggles of the Deshpandes. It is a cyclic saga that moves between many registers, without specific heroes or anti-heroes, to unfold the evolving history of a family. In a sense, the play mirrors social and cultural shifts and mores that mark the 20th century in present-day India.

4. Thiranheduppu / Appunni Sasi / Janam Nathaka Vedi, Kozhikode / Kerala / 45 min / Solo


1. unSeen / Vishnupad Barve / Process Theatre Z / Goa / 55 min / Solo


unSeen is a devised performance based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Letter (Ramabai-er Baktritar Upalakhse) written with reference to a lecture that Pandita Ramabai delivered at Pune, (Maharashtra, India) in 1891 where she asserted that women can do anything that men can, except drinking alcohol.In a thorough interrogation of the great poet’s misconstrued notion of womanhood, the play examines aspects like woman’s self, her body, the male gaze over female body, her biological cycle of life, deification and objectification of women, and her life in the patriarchal order, producing a critique of each simultaneously. The soundscape of unSeen is designed so as to create the household spaces of an Indian woman.

2. Hilum / Patrick Sims / France / The Antliclastes

hilumHilum is a spooky fantasy created by marionette designer and manipulator Patrick Sims of Les Antliaclastes puppet theater. The manipulators dressed and masked in white lace become a part of the surreal world of Hilum as they interact with the puppets in an opium-like dream. Hilum takes place in the basement laundry room of a second-rate Natural History Museum. The cellarage is populated by a host of dubiously adorable urchins who have, for some reason or other, been cut off from the rest of the kingdom of curiosities that has remained ordered upstairs. Washer-women attend to their opus of bleaching laundry; what starts off as mere women’s work and child’s play eventually becomes a downright theatre of cruelty.

3. Epic / Jozef Vlk / Slovakia / Debris Company

epic_7The physical theatre Debris Company is a group that occupies a unique position in the Slovak theatre scene. Their members constantly expand the boundaries of their creativity, poetics and style. Those usually lay in a combination of music, dance, light, stage design and a strong message and what matters even more, on their coordination.The work of Bertolt Brecht –Lehrstücke is the a source of inspiration to the production Epic; a homage to the work of B. Brecht and K. Weill, and at the same time it is a polemic on the purpose and meaning of theatre nowadays. The creators thus go down to the basic question which Brecht would ask himself a long time ago: “What is today's theatre like and what is its social purpose? Is it actually still able to convey social criticism at all? Can it be the voice of an "oppressed" majority against an elitarian minority?”

4 Urvara Sangeetham (Malayalam)/ C.M. Narayanan & Arunlal V / Kala Patasala, Arangottukara, / 80 min

urvarasanThe play is based on a tribal myth that elucidates how the children of primordial mother and father took to farming paddy. The play expounds the vital nexus between humans and mother Earth, and paints a verdurous picture of soil’s abundance and Mother Nature’s bounty.


1. Awkward Happiness or Everything I don’t remember in Meeting You. (Polish, English, French and Slovak) / Dir. Matej Matejka / Poland / Studio Matejka/60 min

awkward-fot-karol-jarek-01The journey of two couples in their struggles to discover happiness. Four different perspectives on the nature of happiness and how to reach it (or not). The performance is a reflection on the futility of happiness, inspired by Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Pascal Bruckner’s Perpetual Euphoria. The seed of the performance began from Studio Matejka’s research on the human body in contemporary performance practices, in residency with the Grotowski Institute, the physical training and exercises were explored through themes and images drawn from the performers’ own inspirations.

2. 2. Hilum / Patrick Sims / France / The Antliclastes- Repeated performance

3. Two Liter Multiply Two Liter Peace / Hamid Reza Azarang / Iran / Rooyak

twolitresbytwolitresIranian dramatist Hamid Azarang won the Best Dramatist Award for his play “Two Liter Multiply Two Liter Peace” in the 30th Fajr International Theater Festival. Best Musician Award also went to Masud Sekhavat dust for the play. Two Liters by Two Liters of Peace, is an abstract treatment of the subject of war inspired by Beckett's and Ionesco's theater of the absurd. On an empty white stage, two couples in dark sunglasses, and miners costumes are moving like robots; each representing a nation, separated by a large, sinuous blue strip sketched on the floor -- the strip evoked a border. Two Liters by Two Liters of Peace was expressing not only war's universal absurdity but also the very immediate fears of its own social context.

4. The Winters Tale / Anirudh Nair & Neel Choudhari / Wide Aisle Productions & The Tadpole Repertory / Haryana / 150 min

wintersThe Winter's Tale is a transcendent work of death and revival, exploring irrational jealousy, the redemptive world of nature, and the magical power of art. Sweeping across two continents and two generations, it is a play of suspicions and secrets, with the mythic beauty of a fairytale. It is a play with song and dance, humour and tragedy, betrayal and redemption. The staging the play is in an outdoor space; the audience will move between locations as the play unfolds against a vivid landscape.


1. S/He is Nancy Joe / Dir. Mirenka Cechova / Czech Republic / Tantehors

nancy This solo ‘physical mime theatre’ is about the transgender experience that capture the deep confusion, shame and isolation of the transgender experience, an experience that sprang from honest origins - Cechova has a transgender sister who used to be her brother and her efforts to reconcile to that. Cechova, delivers this roller coaster of the soul through comic-book projections and a mashed-up dance language that borrows from hip-hop, ballet and the ooze of melted wax, within the confines of tiny black-box space, turning her body, into a battleground of self-identity and societal censure. Visuals that accompany her performance are rough-drawn, often-crude sketches (by fellow Czech artist Milos Mazal, with animation by Tomas Tomsa Legierski), Matous Hekela’s sound composition of warbles and groans is an indistinct landscape of turbulence.

2. The Neighbours Grief is Greener / Emanuella Amichai / Israel / Isreal Visual Theatre/40 min

neighEmanuella Amichai’s ‘The Neighbors’ Grief is Always Greener’ is a dance theater performance in slapstick style with balletically timed precision, and focuses on the relationship between the sexes. It takes place in an archetypal kitchen that is reminiscent of a television studio and alludes to the 1950s, in which four housewifes and one man carry on their daily routine. The Neighbour’s Grief is Greener takes on 1950s and 60s American domesticity as well as stereotypes of gendered behaviour and sexuality, turning them inside out to reveal a much darker place; highlighted with popular music from the era, or snippets of radio advertisements or the sound from a television show or interview.

3. Insurrections ensembles /poetry music / South Africa, India

insurrectionFeaturing poets and ethnomusicologists from India and South Africa. The project sees the rich sounds of the Indian music tradition blend with African instruments accompanying radical poetry from both continents. ? Insurrections, a collection of compositions, is the product of a poetry-music collaboration that addressed the relationship between word, voice, expression and sound around shared social and political concerns between India and South Africa .


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