Dwija Kanai’s MOIMONSINGHA GEETIKA Director: Goutam Halder

Story: Dwija Kanai
Director: Goutam Halder
Group: Naye Natua, Kolkata
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2 hrs 20 mins

The Play
The ballads of Moimonsingha Geetika belong to a matriarchal society. Some of the characteristics of the matriarchal society are – choosing a husband, freedom of love, and marrying in old age. Love in this society is like a divine wild flower which the vices of city life cannot destroy. In this society, selecting one’s partner is valued over marriage. This folk literature is like the history of mankind. According to Dinesh Chandra Sen, a schedule caste brahmin Dwija Kanai created these ballads, now known as Moimonsingha Geetika. The ballad starts with a beautiful secular form. Far in the north is Gara Mountain. There lives a Brahmin with his six-month old daughter. The leader of a gypsy group Hoomra steals (kidnaps) the beautiful child one night. When the girl turns sixteen she falls in love with the prince Nader Chand. Hoomra does not like this love affair and ordered Mahua to kill Nader Chand. But Mahua kills herself instead of killing her husband. Afterwards the Gypsy Group killed Nader Chand. In Bengals folk literature Mahua (A ballad of Moimonsingha Geetika) has been representing womanhood of our society.

Director’s Note
While reading Moimonsingha Geetika, the ballad of Mohua and Nader Chand had inspired me. We have performed many serious, political and social plays dealing with complex problems of existence. The ballad of Moimonsingha Geetika explores Love, along with the complexities, that mankind can treasure. This story speaks of ideals, norms and ethics of the society, the status difference and its effects on human relationships.

The Director
President and founder member of theatre troupe Naye Natua, Goutam Halder was awarded State Award of Best Production for Meghnad Badh Kabya, State Award as Best Director for Chile Kothar Sepai, and Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Kiran Award. He has directed and acted in many plays for Nandikar, Naye Natua and other theatre troupes of Kolkata. He is trained in Kathak, Bharat Natyam & Classical Vocal Music, and is an actor – trainer in various institutions in India and abroad.

The Playwright
Dwija Kanai wrote and sang Bengali folk ballads of Moimonsingha around 350 years back. He belonged to the scheduled caste, but his works influenced the people of the society and they upgraded his status to that of a brahmin. There were times when these songs of Mohua were sung by everyone in east Moimonsingha in the undivided Bengal. It was the initiative of Sir Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay and the University of Bengal which officially appointed Chandra Kumar Dey to collect the ballads of Dwija Kanai. Sri Dinesh Chandra Sen collected these songs from Chandra Kumar Dey in 1921 and later published them as a book Moimonsingha Geetika.

The Group
Naye Natua, a theatre troupe of Kolkata, has around 40 young talented actors, dancers and musicians, including casual and regular artists who are working tirelessly throughout the year. The group has performed in USA (New Jersey, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas, Nashville, Washington etc.), Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary – Alberta), Oman (Muscat), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Kuwait, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Assam, Kolkata, West Bengal and many other places.

Cast & Credits
On Stage: Goutam Halder, Dyuti Ghosh Halder, Santanu Ghosh, Parthib Roy,Tamsuk Routh, Pronay Biswas, Tanmoy Maji, Alamin Amin, Mousumi Ghatak, Teesta Mondal, Swati Dasgupta, Sanghita Dutta Chakraborty, Swaralipi Chakraborty, Sujana Sikdar

Music Associates: Satyajit Chowdhury, Nilansuk Datta, Probir Das, Niraj Mondal, Joydeep Biswas
Costume: Dyuti Ghosh Halder
Light Operation: Debashish Chakraborty
Associates: Chandan Mitra, Bhola Chatterjee
Make-up: Samir Ghosh
Backstage & Technical Management (Sound): Soumitra Bhandari

Story: Dwija Kanai (Moimonsingha Geetika)
Dramatization, Music, Choreography, Set, Light & Direction: Goutam Halder