IMPHAL, March 29: “Manipur is a vibrant place for theatre practice. Manipur University should think of opening a separate faculty of theatre and performing art”, said Prof.H.S. Shivaprakash of School of Arts & Aesthetics, JNU; who also currently serves as the Director of Tagore Centre, Berlin.
He was speaking as the Chief Guest at the valedictory function held at the Centinary Hall, MU, of the International Encounter: Theatre of the Earth 2014, organised by Kalakshetra Manipur in collaboration with MU, JNMD Academy, Department of Art & Culture, Government of Manipur, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi and supported by several theatre groups of Manipur.
Shivaprakash said he has been observing very closely the theatre practice of Kalakshetra Manipur. Heisnam Kanhailal, like Habib Tanvir, rejected the conventional form of theatre practice. Both of them went to study theatre at different institutes, came back without completing the course.
But they have established schools of their own uniquely different from other theatre practitioners. Kanhailal is very popular in the Indian theatre circuit. Yet, Indian theatre practitioners do not try to learn from him, Shivaprakash maintained.
Commissioner of Art & Culture, R.K. Nimai presided over the function. In his address, R.K Nimai said, what is unique about Kalakshetra, besides finding its unique space, is its creative collaboration of Sabitri’s acting and Kanhailal’s theatrical muse. Without their collaboration Kalakshetra would not have reached such height.
Heisnam Kanhailal speaking on the occasion said, there is need for a sincere connection among the theatre practitioners, which India is particularly lacking. There is a culture of personally valued form of art making. He shared his optimism that the international exposition will help in building ties among the theatre practitioners across the world.
The last day of the exposition saw animated interactive session between the delegates and the team of Kalakshetra Manipur in the morning. Traditional performing arts of Manipur were showcased to the delegates by JNMD Academy’s artiste in the evening at the Centenary Hall.