Saturday, December 23, 2017

Karnnabharam in the National Theatre Festival of Classical Indian Plays at Sangli Maharashtra

A festival of Classical Indian plays will be held at Sangli, Maharashtra from 26th Dec to 30thDec 2017. Five different productions in Hindi, Malayalam, Sanskrit, and Marathi will be staged by groups from Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. The festival takes place in Vishnudas Bhave Natyamandir The festival is organised by NSD New Delhi.
The play Karnnabharam by Lokadharmi will be performed on the 26th Dec
The plays in the festival are
26th Dec - MOHE PIYA (Hindi) by Bhasa – Rangapeed Mumbai - dir. Waman Kendre

Mohe Piya is an adaptation of the play Madhyama Vyayoga by Bhasa deals with the encounter between Ghatolkacha and a family of a Brahmin – father, mother and three sons – passing through a dense forest. Ghatothkach is in search of a human as food for his mother, Hidimba to break her fast. He wants one of the male members of the Brahmin family to offer himself for this purpose. As the eldest son is close to the father and the youngest is dear to the mother, the middle son – Madhyama – offers himself for the food of Hidimba. With the permission of Ghatothkach, Madhyama goes to a nearby river to bathe before his death, but he takes a long time to return. Ghatothkach shouts, “Oh Madhyama ‘and hearing this Bhīma, the Madhyama son of Kunthi and Pandu, appears on the scene. The Brahmin’s middle son is spared. After a fierce contest of prowess between Bhīma and Ghatothkach, Bhīma voluntarily surrenders to him to become the food for Hidimba. On reaching, Hidimba and Bhīma recognise one another. She tells Ghatothkach that Bhīma is his father. Bhasa’s play ends with the happy reunion of the son, the mother and father. Kendre’s play transforms this happy reunion as a point to recreate conflict.
Then the action shifts to the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In a subtle way, the director has shown the Pandavas’ utter indifference towards Ghatothkach; when Ghatothkach is killed, there is no Pandava including his father Bhīma to grieve over his death. Only Hidimba comes, lamenting bitterly. It is a bitter comment on the Pandavas who have used Ghatothkach
Both mother and son question the criminal neglect of Bhīma of Hidimba whom he married with the consent of his mother, Kunthi when the Pandavas were in exile. The conflict ensues between the ethical values of Aryans and non-Aryans through the interactions of a father, mother and son is brought forth effectively.The play brings forth the indifference faced by Hidimba and Ghatolkacha from the Pandavas. Waman Kendre, the director of NSD, recreates and reinterpret the text of Bhasa to reflect and ponder on contemporary reality than recreating the story of the epic as such. It is this contemporary sensibility that attracts and binds the audience to this production.
Stage design, vibrant energetic acting, Music and choreography, and costumes designed with a tribal ethos give this production an artistic totality.
27th Dec - KARNNABHARAM (Malayalam) by Bhasa,– Lokadharmi Kochi - dir. Chandradasan

KARNNABHARAM (The anguish of Karnna), The Malayalam adaptation of the Sanskrit Classic Performed by Lokadharmi Kochi Kerala is based on the translation into Malayalam by Kavalam Narayana Panikkar. The Music is scored by Bijibal, Lighting by Gireesh Menon, and the Design & Direction is done by Chandradasan.
This play has won the prestigious awards for Best play, best stage design & best costume design from Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2008. Also nominated for best Actor, best Ensemble and best Choreography in the festival
The first production was in 1992 and it was performed on many stages. Chandradasan has based the work on the Malayalam translation by veteran theatre person Kavalam Narayana Panikkar. "I think this production of `Karnnabharam' is significant as a contemporary adaptation/trans creation of Bhasa's text at many levels," he says. Chandradasan has used elements of the traditional art forms such as Koodiyattam, Kathakali, Kalaripayattu, Padayani, Sopanasageetham, etc., as part of the search for an indigenous Indian theatre idiom.
Lokadharmi had performed Karnnabharam widely all over in India including Ujjain and Indore (Madhya Pradesh). Jodhpur Rajasthan, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata (Bengal), Kunthapura, Mysore, Bengaluru and Gulbarga, (Karnataka), Jagdalpur (Chatisgad), Cuttack (Orissa), Patna (Bihar), New Delhi, and Kurukshetra (Haryana).
This is the 326th show of the play.
The artists travelling to Sangli to perform the play are Sudheer Babu, VR Selvaraj, Jolly Antony, Zumesh Chittooran, Ajikumar Thiruvankalam, Sanosh Palluruthy, Jebin Jesmes, Girish Menon, Sreedeep KS, Ferha Aziz, Pradeep Srinivasan, Sijin Sukumar, Santhosh Piravam, Sarath VS, Sarath KP, Shaji Joseph, and Chandradasan
28th Dec - SAKUNTALAM (Sanskrit) by Kalidasa, – Sopanam Thiruvananthapuram - dir. Kavalam Narayana Panikkar

This is the adaptation of the epic play by Kalidasa directed by late Kavalam Narayana Panikkar, the master of Indian Theatre who embellished the indigenous system of performance based on the tradition of the land giving new impetus to the enactment of Sanskrit plays.
The play opened with a deer running for her life from a tiger, only to confront Dushyantha, who is there on a hunting trip. The doe makes her way into the hermitage of Sage Kanva. Listening to the advice of young sages there, the king withdraws his arrow. It is there that he hears about Shakuntala, agrees to be their guest and surreptitiously watches Shakuntala watering the garden along with her friends and falls for her.
Kavalam’s version, concludes with portions from act VI of Kalidasa’s original play. The final act, where Dushyantha meets Shakuntala along with his son Bharata and their reunion, is not included in this version.
The original play by Kalidasa itself revolves around this theme and the character of Shakuntala is often considered as a synonym of Nature in all its purity. Thus, Dushyantha, the one who hunts and rule, becomes a representative of mankind, exploiting Nature and forgetting to acknowledge his deeds! It requires a reminder now and then to emphasise that duty and it is there that the play becomes relevant even today.
Gireeshan V. a seasoned actor and this year’s Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner plays the role of King Dushyantha along with the seasoned artists of Sopanam. 
29th Dec - HASYA CHOODAMANI (Hindi) by Mahamati Vatsaraj, – Vihan Bhopal - dir. Sourabh Ananth

This is a comedy, written in the 12th century, in which people were given a message to avoid the hypocrite monks. In the play a monk named Janarashi fools the common people with the teachings of their magic. Rashi comes in a town with his disciples, where he falls in love with a girl named Madan Sundari. To get her, the monk does magic, witchcraft, but in his talisman, Madan writes the name of his mother instead of writing Sundari's name. Because of which Madan gets attracted to his mother's sadhu instead of Sundari, and this is where the comedy drama takes a new turn. 
Bundeli Touch also gets along well with the Hindi language in the play. 
The translation of the drama in Hindi language was done by Sangeeta Gundeka. The drama uses live music, directed by Hemant Devlekar.
30th Dec - EKA GURAKHYACHE MAHAKAVYA (Marathi) by Mayur Deval, – Aneeha Productions Dombivali - dir. Prasad bhide 

This play on the life and creative work of Kalidasa uses dance and music as its idiom of expression.
The story of Kalidasa is a classic in itself - a family classic with wholesome entertainment and education for all. With the romance and tragedy - adults will enjoy the sublime narrative, children who will have a miraculous historical personality which is fun, youth who will take pleasure in telling the world that Kalidasa was not some rishi/muni who lived on a mountain writing in Sanskrit, but a regular guy just like them. The story has a strong cultural basis, the subject constantly marvelled by historians and scholars and a very plausible social phenomenon
The play has been the winner (Best play, writer, director, lights, set, makeup, music, actor, and actress) of Maharashtra Govt's 52nd Haushi Rajya Natya Spardha and a multi nominations achiever at Zee Gaurav Puraskar 2014.
Has also been the achiever of prestigious Ram Ganesh Gadkari Award.