Satish Georgy Kashyap & Sandhya Sharma’s PHOOL SINGH – NAUTANKI (SWANG)


Directors: Satish Georgy Kashyap & Sandhya Sharma

Group: Swang, A Folk Art Academy, Haryana

Language: Haryanvi

Duration: 1 hr 15 mins

The Form

Swang is a folk dance drama of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. It incorporates suitable theatrics and mimicry accompanied by song and dialogue. It is dialogue-oriented rather than movement-oriented. Religious stories and folk tales are enacted by a group of people in an open area or an open air theatre surrounded by the audience. The themes are drawn from subjects like morality, lives of inspiring personalities, folk-tales, stories from Indian mythology and in recent times, more current themes like health and hygiene, literacy, etc.

The Play

This is a hilarious romantic love story of Sialkot province and Multan State, now in Pakistan. King Gaje Singh is the ruler of Sialkot. He has two sons, Bhoop Singh and Phool Singh. Once, Prince Phool Singh returns home after a hunting expedition and asks his sister-in-law (Bhabhi) for water. She retorts by saying, “If you really want to dominate this way, go and get married to the beautiful Nautanki, so that you can ask her for water more gracefully”. Young Phool Singh feels insulted and is determined to marry Shehzadi Nautanki. How he marries Nautanki is a beautiful narrative of Swang/ Nautanki tradition.

Director’s Note

It is always a great pleasure for us to associate ourselves with Swang whenever we get a chance. Folk music and folk dances are the main ingredients of Swang. Phool Singh-Nautanki is a fantastic love story on morality and governance and leaves an impact on the contemporary world. The content of the story inspired us to work on this script. It came as a blessing in disguise. Shortage of an actor changed the design of the play in such a creative manner that it became an original Swang. Swang means to imitate, ‘Rang bharna, Roop bharna’. The final design is a classic example of Swang. Costume design was kept in its original mythological form. Nakkara, clarinet, dholak, harmonium and the singing chorus made this a memorable production.

The Directors

Dr Satish Georgy Kashyap got initial education from his father Pt. Shiv Kumar Kashyap. A trained surgeon, Satish left the field of Medicine and joined the family tradition and his passion. For further training he went to Denmark and learned Commedia dell’arte at Copenhagen. Under the leadership of his mentor Ole Brekke, he has performed as a clown in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Back in India, along with his partner Dr Sandhya Sharma, he became a disciple of Pt. Suraj Bhan Shastri and started performing the Swangs of Pt. Lakhmi Chand Gharana.

Dr Sandhya Sharma learnt the wonderful art of folk drama, Swang, from her mentor and Guru, Dr. Satish Kashyap, while performing Swangs like Jaani Chor, Pingla-Bharthri and Nautanki.  She is a trained folk dancer and has won various National awards. Presently, Dr Sandhya Sharma is working as Asst. Prof. of Culture in CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar and contributing in the research and development of Haryana Folk Lore and Culture, especially Swang.

The Group

Swang – A Folk Art Academy, is an amateur group formed by artists of the region and led by Pt. Shiv Kumar, an eminent Swang performer. Pt. Suraj Bhan Shastri, a disciple of Pt. Lakhmi Chand Gharana, and Dr Ram Kumar Yadav, a pioneer art promoter, are patrons of the group.  Swang – A Folk Art Academy is primarily working for the preservation of Swang, an ancient folk theatre form of Northern India. The group has produced many ancient, mythological stories in Swang form and staged them all over India.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Satish Kashyap, Sandhya Sharma, Vinod Goldi, Hawa Singh, Rajesh (Nagada), Om Parkash (Clarinet), Pankaj Bhardwaj, Richa Valecha, Chanchal Goyal, Ashish Sharma

Back Stage: Anil Saini, Shri Niwas, Mahesh Sufi, Ram Narayan, Ram Nivas

Directors: Satish Georgy Kashyap & Sandhya Sharma

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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