State created exceptional threatre for decades: Ratan Thiyam

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NEW DELHI, January 5 (Manipur Information Centre): The 16 -day long 16th edition of the International Theatre Festival of India- Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2014 kicked off here on Saturday with Kavalam Narayana Panikkar’s Chhaya Shakuntalam, an adaptation play of Mahakavi Kalidasa’s Abhijana Shakuntalam.

Eminent theatre personality Manoj Mitra was the chief guest and eminent scholar and theatre personality Prof Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi was the guest of honour during the inaugural function.

The inauguration was presided over by the well-known theatre director Ratan Thiyam who is also the Chairman of National School of Drama Society.

Ratan Thiyam said, “Seventy one theatrical performances in 17 languages of India from 16 different states covering all major regions of India will present the complex cultural labyrinth of our country in the festival, apart from plays from Israel, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Poland and Germany.”

He further highlighted, “Manipur and Assam are two states that have created theatre of exceptional quality over the past six-decades of post –independence era. To honour the contribution of North-East and create a deeper dialogue with rest of India and the world, a parallel festival of six plays, specially chosen from the Bharat Rang Mahotsav bouquet is being presented in Imphal and Guwahati.” He said that this would encourage the desire of the National School of Drama to work in multi-cultural situation.

Three foreign plays namely “The woman who didn’t want to come down to earth” directed by Gabrielle Nenhans from Israel, “Utsushi” by Ushio Amagatsu from Japan and “Sindu Kirilli” by Buddhika Damayantha from Sri Lanka and three Indian plays namely “Pampa Bharata” by Pramod Shiggaon from Karnataka, “Those who could not hear the music” by Vikram Iyengar from West Bengal and “Tamasha” by Shambhaji Rao Jadhav from Maharashtra will be staged at Shrine Play House in Imphal from January 9 to 14. These plays will also be staged at Rabindra Bhavan in Guwahati from January 11 to 16.

Director of the National School of Drama Prof Waman Kendre stated that next time the selection of the plays for the festival would be done after witnessing the plays so that the best performances would be picked up.

He further expressed that they were planning for more development and to take the Indian theatre to world class under the wisdom of the new chairman of the NSD Society Ratan Thiyam who is a well-known theatre figure in the world.

The festival will also focus on folk theatre performances of India such as Therukoothu, Tamasha, Bhavai, Dashavataar, Sumang Leela, Pandavani, Nautanki, Bastar Band, Bhand Pather, Purulia Chhau and Baul, besides two seminars.

Dr Mrinal Jyoti Goswami’s ‘Imaan Imaan Paani’, Mukul Idipach’s ‘Nokiyampo’ and Rupjyoti Mahanta’s ‘A Bedroom from Assam’, and  B Banamali Sharma’s ‘Maya II’, Ningthouja Deepak’s ‘Lament of a widow’, Sana Leipak Nachom Artistes’s Shumang Leela and Heisnam Bhagat’s Hiyang Athouba from Manipur are among the theatre performances to be staged during the festival.

Theatre critic Budha Chingtham, who is also a part of the festival, commented that Maya II scripted and directed by renowned painter and sculpture B. Banamali Sharma of Sharma Arts and Crafts House, Manipur from the North East Region would enthral the sophisticated audience of the national capital Delhi with its new idea in theatrical approach.

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