Jashnebachpan: She Stood Up


She Stood Up
Writer & Director: Zubin Mehta
Group: Wings Theatre Academy & Vivek High School, Chandigarh
Language: English, Hindi & Punjabi
Duration: 1 hr 25 mins

About the Group
Wings Theatre Academy was established in 2012. The aim of the academy was to give a platform to the students in and around Chandigarh, whereby they could hone their skills, grow as individuals, and work constantly to grow the faculties of their mind, while simultaneously opening up the world of theatre to a city still in the process of finding its pulse. The academy is currently 150 students strong, all of whom are in the age group of 7 to 30 yrs. The academy has staged over 20 annual plays in the last six years.

About the Play
She Stood Up, directed by Zubin Mehta, focuses on different aspects of school life. The story is about two girls who despite having different personalities and backgrounds come together, become good friends, and take little steps of courage to change people’s perspectives. They empower girls through a soccer match. It is a very simple, realistic and relatable story which comes with a strong message of motivation and courage to stand up for what is right, and of breaking gender stereotypes from an early age. While highlighting the above, it has light, innocent and humorous moments for the audience to enjoy. This play was devised with a lot of inputs and ideas from the young actors who come from various schools in and around Chandigarh. The cast of the play comprises entirely of children between the ages of 8 and 11 years, who have been training with Wings Theatre Academy at Vivek High School, over the last few years.

Zubin Mehta, started his theatre journey at the age of 8 as a child artist. He travelled extensively to the interiors of Punjab to perform plays based on socially relevant topics, using theatre as a medium of social reform. In 2004 at the age of nineteen, Zubin was appointed as a theatre teacher by Yadavindra Public School, Mohali to establish a dramatics society which later became a part of the curriculum. During his tenure, he directed school productions, worked with children of various age groups and developed content for theatre workshops. In 2012, he founded Wings Theatre Academy. He has worked with more than 3000 actors – children, adolescents and young adults.

Director’s Note
The movement of Woman Empowerment has been gaining momentum in our country in the last decade, but we are still dealing with the horrors of Nirbhaya and Kathua. The real empowerment should happen at a young age. It is the young girls that we need to empower to make a significant difference. She Stood Up was devised with 45 students from 6 years to 12 years of age, studying in different schools of Chandigarh. We started the rehearsals with the wish to do something for young girls, but what and how, we had no idea. I sat with my young cast for the first few days and just explored the idea with them. I tried to gauge what was it that they wanted to share on the subject, what empowerment meant to these young children. Brainstorming happened for the next few days and we had the outline of our story with us. It was a simple story of a young girl fighting with the school authorities for something that she thought was her right.

Cast & Credits
On Stage
Chamanlal                      Eklavya Mogla
Satish                             Aditya Goyal
Saurabh                          Anhad Mogla
Sandhu Sir                      Kanwardeep Singh
Pranay’s father                Kevinpratap Singh Sidhu
Ravi Bhaiya                     Aarav Joshi
Lata                                 Kashish Aggarwal
Pooja                               Ridhi Ahluwalia
Promila                            Navika Singh
Ria                                   Saira Mamik
Birso                                 Paakhii
Principal                           Hiral Thakur
Mrs Subramaniam           Aahana Gupta
Mrs Chaddha                   Simer Suri
Miss Negi                        Kashish Dhingra
Mrs Misra                        Dia Lekhi
Mrs Shergill                     Rabbani Lehal
School Nurse                   Ishrat
Sunny Singh                    Abhaydeep Singh
Aakash                            Angad Singh Tur
Gurfateh                          Inderpal Singh
Pinky Singh                     Pranit Singh
Umang Shankar              Adhiraj Sehgal
Pranay                            Dev Pannu
Raghav Jain                   Samay
Param                            Sumeir Ahluwalia
Seerat                            Saanvi Kanwar
Pallavi                            Mishika Singh
Kaveri                            Aanvi Bahri
Mili Mittal                       Sohaya Aulakh
Pavni Chaddha             Aaina Chaddha
Jhanvi Goyal                 Mannat Verma
Priya Chauhan              Inayat Dhingra
Mrs Verma                    Kashvi Wadhwa
School children            Sidak Singh Talwar, Navya Singhal, Vaanya Pathak,
Rehmat Sandhu, Brinda Thamman, Meher Kumar, Sarah Setia,
Nikasha Luthra

Off Stage
Assistant Director                  Namita Chandhoke
Overall Coordination              Amrita Patti & Dashveen Kaur
Light Design & Execution      Zubin Mehta
Set Design                             Zubin Mehta
Background Music                 Manav Bhinder
Costumes                              Amrita Patti, Dashveen Kaur
Make-up                                Balaji
Backstage Assistance          Puneet
Produced by                         Wings Theatre Academy, Vivek High School, Chandigarh

Design & Direction               Zubin Mehta

Wings Theatre Academy, Vivek High
Sector 38-B, Chandigarh- 160036
M: +919888577481; +918288040900
E: wingstheatreacademy@gmail.com

Jashnebachpan : Dry Leaf

Dry Leaf
Director: Agung Gunawan
Group: Sampang Agung Centre for Performing Arts (SACPA), Indonesia
Language: Javanese
Duration: 1 hr

About the Group
Sampang Agung Centre for Performing Arts (SACPA) is located at Pelem village in East Java (Indonesia). The centre strives for the preservation of Javanese cultural heritage and traditions, and its members are committed to further exploration on new artistic ways of expression submerged within such heritage and also the contemporary arts. SACPA’s performers (known as Breathing Forest Dance Theatre) have been recognised by the unique movements in the choreography of their performances inspired by the day to day movements of the village and the interactions of humans, animals, spirits and nature. ‘Whiffling of the Forest Gamelan Ensemble’ is a music group formed in 2015 at SACPA. Under the direction and mentorship of the established musician and composer, Johan Adiyatma Baktiar, the ensemble offers distinctive and theatrical Javanese gamelan based music.

About the Play
A fallen leaf never hates the wind. It falls itself as it does. Never against anything, there is only sincere acceptance and surrender. Wisdom offered by the harmony of the four elements of nature – Fire, Wind, Water, and Earth – shapes the expressions and characters in the body. Nature as a human being sometimes becomes the axis of problems, while nature quietly and permanently creates peace. Lessons from the fallen leaf to understand peace – whenever it should fall it falls, whatever makes it fall, it lets it do so, and wherever it takes off, the leaf will not complain and accept what God gives.

Born in 1971, Agung Gunawan is a renowned and established dancer, artistic director, choreographer and vocalist. Since the beginning of his career in 2006 as an independent solo dancer and choreographer, he has worked with many multi-disciplinary artists, in companies and projects both inside and outside Indonesia.
He was a founder and artistic director of the Arts Island Festival from 2010 to 2014, and of Pelem Festival since 2016. His motivation to create the festivals was a manifestation of his conviction that “If they are not accessible to the poor, the arts are neither innovative nor revolutionary”. This belief has been the pillar of his daily practice. Currently, he is based in the rural village in East Java, as a co-director of SACPA, and a choreographer of ‘Breathing Forest Dance Theatre’ while continuously touring numerous countries for performances and projects.

Director’s Note
After having undergone years of intensive training and performances as a Yogyakarta classical court dancer in Indonesia, I moved to the country side in East Java, named Pelem village in 2008. At first, I felt that traditional dance and theatre performance in the village had not been refined and was edgy. However, it struck me that their dance was full of energy, intensity and power of human creativity of arts. I sat in the forest for hours, searching for the meaning of the relationship between art and life, myself and nature, and nature and local people – now our people. A leaf is such a symbolic and artistic metaphor for me – it grows, and turns brown, and falls as it is. It is such a simple, peaceful life which casts a question to me. What is it behind the last moment of the leaf, not complaining and in total surrender? How does this relate to us, human beings?

Cast & Credits
On Stage
Performers (Breathing Forest Dance Theatre)
Anes Ayu Pratiwik
Ariesta Maharani
May Widhiyastuti
Yasinta Wenda Mulasari
Fitria Dania Julianti
Umi Royani
Very Muharyanti
Musicians (Whiffling of the Forest Gamelan Ensemble)
Anang Setiawan
Aryasa Yusuf Pratama
Deasylina da Ary
Diana Nur Hayati
Johan Adiyatma Baktiar
Anik Puji Rahayu
Agung Gunawan

Off Stage
Operation Manager Takashi Takiguchi
Production Assistant Kien Fei Lee

Design & Direction Agung Gunawan

Sampang Agung Centre for Performing Arts (SACPA)
Jln. Punung-Gondosari Km 6,5
Krajan 1, Pelem, Pringkuku, Pacitan, Jawa Timur, Indonesia, 63552
M: +61 478 634 052 (English)
M: +62 823 28282801 (Indonesian)
E: info@takashitakiguchi.com
W: https://sacpa-pelem.com
Media/Enquiry: Takashi Takiguchi (ImPermanence Productions)

Jashnebachpan: Celeberating Childhood



Nine-day little actor’s theatre festival Jashnebachpan begins

  • Around 500 artists from across the globe will be a part of the fest.
  • Children from Sri Lanka and Indonesia will showcase their art form
  • 10 directors are making debut this time at Jashnebachpan
  • Seminar will be held to discuss the importance of theatre in children 

New Delhi, November 17, 2018: With a colourful representation of the various folk dance and music from the diverse states of India including Assam, Rajasthan, Punjab and Manipur under the guidance of Dr. Laique Hussain, National School of Drama today inaugurated the much-awaited biannual theatre festival for children, Jasnebachpan, at the lush green lawns of the campus amid much fanfare.

The grand opening ceremony of the 14th edition of the theatre carnival saw the presence of Shri Arun Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Culture and eminent theatre personality-director Shri Rudraprasad Sengupta. Also present were Dr Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman NSD, Suresh Sharma, director-in-charge, NSD, and Abdul latif Khatana, Chief TIE Co.

Shri Arun Goel said festivals like Jashnebachchan help them to develop their personality.

 “I congratulate the National School of Drama for organising the 14th edition of the international theatre festival for children. Besides organizing festivals for children, they also organise various short term courses like Sunday Club, which is a very good initiative. Theatre is something which is not given to us by the colonial powers, rather it is our own art form which was born in our own land and has been practiced since ages,”Arun Goel said.

 Shri Rudraprasad Sengupta, who was one of the guest of honours at the event, dedicated the recognition bestowed to him to the various theatre workers in the country.

“I am thankful to my NSD friends for honouring me. I don’t know whether I am worthy of this honour. But I am glad to receive the honour. I am accepting this honour on behalf of all the theatre workers, who probably don’t have money to give shape to their craft. Theatre is expensive and it needs money more money than any other art form because it doesn’t depend upon technology. Man power is involved in every stage,”Rudraprasad Sengupta highlighted.

 Dr Arjun Deo Charan pointed out why theatre is important in a child’s life.

“Theatre plays an important role in children’s life because it raises the observation power in a child. As plays are mostly based on the issues of our society, therefore it raises awareness among the kids and enable them to become a responsible citizen,” said Arjun Deo Charan.

Abdul Latif Khatana shared the highlights of this year’s Jashnebachpan.

“We have plays talking about various issues be it gender discrimination or parent-child relationship. We also have theatrical interpretation of Ramayana and Alice & Wonderland. This time we have three-year old play group to 133-year old play group,”he said.

Suresh Sharma said, “Ministry of Culture has allotted Rs 180 crore for the betterment of NSD. We have also proposed the formation of four new Sanskar Rang Toli and we are assured that ministry will help us in expanding theatre across the country.”

The opening ceremony act titled as Udaan was comprised of four presentations by groups — Thangata Pung Cholam (Manipur), Kalboliya (Rajasthan), Gotipua (Odisha) and Bhangra/folksong (Punjab). Even folk dances from Assam (Bihu), Sikkim (Lion Dance), Nagaland (Kabul Naga Dance) and Manipur (Stick Balance) were received with loud applause from audience.

Almost 800 underprivileged kids from various NGOs across Delhi and NCR attended and enjoyed the opening ceremony. The idea behind this initiative was to bring those children to the mainstream and inculcate enthusiasm for art and culture along with entertainment at a global platform.

Debuted in 1998, Jashnebachpan, is a venture of T.I.E Company of NSD, started in order to contribute to the growth and development of children’s theatre across the country. Post its successful stint year after year; it has now become one of the largest and most important theatre festivals in India for children. This year 23 plays will be staged in the four auditoriums – Sammukh, Abhimanch, Abhikalp and Little Theatre Group (LTG).

Tathagat, the play by Abhishek Majumdar

Tathagat is
A play presented by Jana Natya Manch is written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar. Music is by M.D. Pallvi

Set in an imaginary Buddhist kingdom in ancient India, Tathagat explores the ideas of caste and gender, rebellion and nationalism, freedom and courage.

Haridas, a shudra sculptor, has carved a statue of Buddha out of black stone with three missing fingers. He is sentenced to death as a traitor. On insistence of the queen, the king agrees to listen to Haridas’s plea in the court.

Expanding on the idea of tark (reason) in Buddhist philosophy, this play through the story of a vain king, a defiant queen, the rebellious sculptor, a courageous daasi, and a conniving courtier, examines the difference between a ‘traitorous’ and a ‘rebellious’ act.

Hindi, approx. 35 mins

Two shows of _Tathagat_ coming up that you can catch:
– Tuesday 14 Aug, 1 pm, AUD Kashmiri Gate Campus.
– Thursday 16 Aug, 6 pm, Sabarmati Hostel, JNU.
_Tathagat_ is Jana Natya Manch’s latest production, written and directed by Abhishek Majumdar, with music by MD Pallavi.

Introduction to a Film on Female Genital Circumcision by it’s lead Meenal Kapoor


The film is based on an important issue which has been overlooked because of ignorance about the subject. This film fills that void. It creates awareness about the urgency for banning the horrid medieval practice. Meenal’s performance holds the film together. The intensity with which she has delineated her character reflects on a conviction in the actor about the theme of the film. One must also congratulate the Director for communicating about the practice in such a short film. – Editor

Female Genital Circumcision or FGC as it is commonly known is India’s best kept secret. This tradition is practiced in 21st century India within a small and conservative community of Dawoodi Bohras. This is a curse to any women and must be banished. We have made this film to bring awareness to our fellow citizens to abolish this draconian era act which has no place in our society.

This short film ‘Female Khatna’, directed by Shashank Upadhyay, is on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or also known as Female Genital Circumcision (FGC). Similar to circumcision of boy’s FGM, it’s a reality that is still practiced in our country albeit by a small minority community. Our team received threats from several people demanding to drop the film, they infact have vowed to cut the young director’s throat. However, he is determined to release this movie which focuses on the draconian era practice of circumcision of little girls often between the age of 6 to 12 years. This is a bitter truth which almost 90% of Indians are unaware about. Our mission is to bring awareness on this cruel, secretly performed practice and ensure that FGM is not allowed in our civilized society. Most developed nations like the USA, Australia, France & many more have banned FGM/FGC. There are however no such laws yet in India to stop this social evil practice. Ironically this is the nation where girls are revered as Sita Maata or devi, yet there is such blatant human rights violation on a girl child. We have also petitioned with the government to enact laws to make FGM illegal and bring a complete ban on this practice although yet to receive any concrete reply.
So we seek the public support to make the movement against FGM in India a success. Remember everyday more than 10,000 girls between the age of 6-12 years are subjected to this cruelty. We urge you to create awareness against FGM and share about this to as many people as you can. Perhaps one day the government may listen to us. You may join our group and on our Facebook page. With your support we are certain that India too will ban the practice of FGM/FGC sooner or later.

On Seeing Padmaavat By Partha Chatterjee




Sanjay film Padmaavat based on Malik Mohammad Jaisi’s long narrative poem from the 16th century, has finally been released after much bloodshed and violence across northern and western India. Things got so out of hand in Gurugram, Haryana that a mob owing allegiance to the Rajput Karni Sena founded by Lokendra Singh Kalvi mercilessly stoned a school bus carrying small, terror-struck children cowering under the seats not wanting to get grievously injured. Mysteriously the Karni Sena has suddenly gone silent along with its leader and the film is doing roaring business. Bhansali and his financiers are laughing all the way to the bank. The BJP Government is silent about the abominable acts of terror and mindless violence unleashed by the Karni Sena, which like the ruling party is Right Wing and blatantly Hindu.
Padmavati, according to legend was a Singhala princess whom the Rajput prince Ratan Sen (Singh) fell in love on his search for priceless pearls on the island. He brought her back to Chittor (Rajasthan) as his second wife much to the chagrin of his first spouse Nagmati. Padmin’s lambent beauty has been a part of folklore since the 14th century. Her love for her brave, chivalrous, not very intelligent husband and the supposedly obsessive desire of Alauddin Khilji (1296-1316), the 13th and early 14th century Sultan of Hindustan to possess her body and soul is the stuff of legend. Chittor, according to folklore fell to the better armed and numerically superior Khilji army after a fight unto death. The womenfolk-old, young and children- are said to have committed Jauhar by immolating themselves. This is the story, with suitable embellishments and digressions in the very many versions that exist which have been fed to the upper castes, meaning the Brahmins, Banias and Rajputs, who have remained at the apex of the caste hegemony of majoritarian Hindu India over the last thousand years and have enjoyed all the economic and political privileges even when living under conquerors. Status quo prevails even today in independent India.
Bhansali’s film is all that it should not be – retrograde, overly sentimental and crass. There is no story really apart from the populist legend handed down over centuries. It is driven by dialogue that would befit a second rate Television serial and a lot of grand standing. The camerawork, if it can be called that, is completely dependent on special effects as is the entire production, most of all the sets, the outdoor battle scenes, the utterly revolting and inhuman long sequence of Jauhar at the climax of the film. The costumes and jewellery and weaponry and other props would do credit to any desi-chic fashion designer. It is really difficult to know how exactly royalty, both Rajput and Turki Khilji, dressed in those days or how they ate, slept, made love, fought wars. In these matters it is best to let the imagination roam, as long as it does not resemble a fashion show, which this film does. But would it have mattered if the film had argued its case in the 21st century idiom of morality and ethics?
The historical period in which a film is set is unimportant; what however is the treatment or how the subject is treated. Surely Jauhar, in theory and practice would have been revolting to women at the time it was practised, trapped as they were by the tentacles of patriarchy. Women were regarded as custodians of the family’s therefore clan’s honour. There were no nations then. The truth is they were regarded as goods and chattel in India till well into the 20th century. Defeat in war and resulting conquest by the enemy always resulted in the search for scape goats, which conveniently ended with women. Jauhar was committed to save the honour of the community. The men, of course, could be co-opted by the conqueror, as they usually were, regardless of what the legends said. Bhansaali’s Padmaavat is set conveniently in the medieval period thus giving it a status of myth. The cardinal reason behind its runaway success is that Indians ‘’uncontaminated’’ by an occidental education who form the overwhelming majority are addicted to myths.
The alarming thing about Padmaavat is its openly communal stance. Ratan Sen (Singh) and his followers are shown as being brave, chivalrous, trusting and honourable. Alauddin Khilji and his fellow Muslims are depicted as being dishonourable, treacherous and woman-hungry. Even the penultimate scene in which Ratan Singh is killed is because he is brought down in a hail of arrows directed at his back by Khilji’s army. The drawn out Jauhar sequence at the end, is shot with a neurotic love that reveals a completely retrograde mind.
Since Bhansali, through his film, reveals a mindset as backward as that of his so-called adversary Lokendra Singh Singh, founder of Karni Sena, it would be only natural that he legally adopt the filmmaker as his son and heir!

NSD Hosts the 8th Theatre Olympics – India 2018

About Theatre Olympics
The Theatre Olympics was established in 1993 at Delphi, Greece. As an international theatre
festival, the Theatre Olympics presents some of the greatest theatre practitioners from
around the world, offering a platform where despite ideological, culture and language
differences, dialogue is encouraged. Since 1993, the Theatre Olympics has been held seven
times in: Japan (1999), Russia (2001), Turkey (2006), South Korea (2010), China (2014), and
Poland (2016).

17th February 2018: Imprinting her name in the global theatre map, India on this day
threw the floor open to the 8th Theatre Olympics, the largest theatre festival of the world,
being hosted for the first time in India by the National School of Drama, under the aegis of
Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of
India, along with Union Minister of State for Culture (IC) Dr. Mahesh Sharma, inaugurated
the mega event at the historic Red Fort.

“The 8 th Theatre Olympics will take Indian culture and heritage to the world and bring the
world to us. Art has the power to unite people across the globe. India believes in the culture
of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the entire universe is one, which is an integral part
of the Indian cultural and theatrical tradition,” said Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah
Naidu on the occasion

“Through the 8 th Theatre Olympics, we meet the rich theatrical tradition of India and we
encourage the articulation of a free and collective voice which will defend the value of the
theatre tradition, research, and experimentation,” said Chairman of International
Committee of Theatre Olympics, Mr. Theodoros Terzopoulos.on the occasion

The video film, prepared by students of IIIT, Delhi, shows some of the major highlights of the festival including glimpses of Directors Meet in which Theatre Directors interacted with Theatre Critics, Theatre Students, Theatre Buffs a day after the show and so many other highlights like the Food and Theatre Bazar. It captures the festive ambience of the event



Theatre Olympics: First time in India


Bharat Rang Mahotsav’16

Synopsis of six plays performed at Bharat Rang Mahotsav’16

The Mother of a Traitor
It was performed in Dollu Kunitha Form. It is one of the popular folk forms of Karnataka. It is generally played during festivals and fairs that take place in the name of respected regional Gods. It is a form of Drum dance where large drums are adorned with colored cloths and hung around the neck of men. The songs used in this dance usually have religious and battle fervour. The main emphasis is on quick and light movements of the feet and legs. It is a short story revolving around the concept of motherhood. The whole region is afraid of a traitor and his group for their menace due to which the life of people has got stuck with the malevolent blackness of their cry. The mother of traitor wanders around the walls of cit in quest of hers son’s existence and witness a woman kneeling down in front of her son’s corps. The woman says, “May he be accursed and the womb that bore him!” The mother meets her son and her son started expressing pride on his desks. Dealing with the conflict of love for her son on one side and country on the other, she finally kills her son, who is resting on her breasts.

The Transparent Trap
It was a non verbal play. The body language of the actors used was fantastic. Plastic is an important part of our lives. We, humans have used it in almost each and everything except the edible stuff. But we do used it in packing of edible stuff. We used plastic daily because of it’s extreme user friendly character. It is one of the prime reasons for global warming and ha skilled many aquatic, terrestrial and amphibian species. One of us invented it and now all of us use it extensively. A material which was invented for betterment and become the killer of humanity itself. This hazardous entity is destroying, choking and trapping all over. This play tries to search for solutions to find way out of plastic trap.

Tar aaya
It is based on introduction of tar roads to a small village in Mysore. The tar roads bring division of opinion between the youth and the more rigid elders of the village, seen as clash of modernity and traditional values. But interestingly, it is the village elders who are in favour of modernity while the young youth fights to keep it at bay. From a simple narrative, the story plunges into diverse issues of caste , religion and the role of women in rural society. The story refuses to submit to traditional defined roles and creates newer perspective of each issue. The nature of the story is inspirational even though it is grounded in reality. Though the ending is quite tragic as in the fight between urbanization and corruption, an innocent child is killed in the molten tar.

Dopehri is set in the streets of Lucknow where sits the haveli of an old lonely woman, Amma Bi. He brings to us her story, stringing us through the emotions and nuances of these characters and the milieu of an old Lucknow. It transports us through Amma Bi’s journey from loneliness to self discovery. It is based on the novella written by Pankaj Kapur and now rendered by him on stage, with the help of lights and music.

An underground progressive gathering arrangements to kill a British Collector in provincial India. Tej Pratap, a criminal living in Canada, comes and joins the gathering. Shekhar, prevalently called Mastana in the gathering, on seeing kids riding in the British authority’s carriage, does not toss the bomb as anticipated the learned day. There is warmed contention in the gathering as a result of this. Damyanti, a senior individual from the gathering, is infatuated with Shekhar. The gathering pioneer Baldev arrangements to toss the bomb two days after the fact. Shekhar is captured after the passing of the Collector. A watchfulness officer tries to purchase off Shekhar in the jail. English gatherer’s significant other and Pandit Trivedi visit Shekhar in the jail with the goal that he apologizes. Shekhar is hanged to death. Upon the arrival of the hanging Damyanti, profoundly lamented, chooses to toss the following bomb and endure a comparative destiny.

Land where the Life is Good
Land Where Life Is Good discusses the different personalities that are concealed in the covers of a solitary character called ‘Indian’. It tries to take a gander at the disarray that this activity of digestion for nationhood has made in the brains of the present era, particularly with regards to Nagaland. Does there exists a performance personality of a man or would we say we are today the result of numerous characters? What is bona fide – the old or the new? What are the bits of character that we clutched and why do we relinquish different bits? These are a portion of the inquiries that roused this generation. This is an endeavor to address these inquiries through the voyage of a youthful Naga kid – Tako, his unwavering pooch and his mystical performer companion Nogazenba. At no time do we attempt to answer the inquiries raised, on the grounds that for every person, the answers are distinctive.

18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav: Plays performed

Plays performed at the 18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav on Feb 2, 2016 Play:

Play: Agnivarsham
Playwright: Girish Karnad
Director: Dr. Ram Mohan Holagundi
Group: Nishumbita Ballet & Theatre Group, Hyderabad
Language: Telugu
Duration: 2hrs 20mins

The Play
The play is a fictionalized version of the story of Aravasu, Paravasu, Yavakri, Vishakha and Nitilai from Mahabharata. Girish Karnad modulates the actual story to stress the social issue of casteism that existed then, and also to stress on the fact that a dedicated art performance is equal to the vedic yagna done by the brahmins to please the gods. The story revolves around power, love, vengeance and art. In the battle between selfless love and selfish ego the former succeeds.The play ends with a statement that the worth of man is evaluated from his actions and not from the caste he or she is born in.

agnivarsham2Glimpse from the play Agnivarsham

​​ Director’s Note
The major point which made me decide upon Agnivarsham is the ostentatious Hindu hierarchy system which is confronted by the world of performing art screaming that theatre & art is equally important & significant, if not more, in appeasing the Gods to shower rains than the yagnas which are the handiworks of orthodox Hindu civilization, a reality that is menacing even today.


Play: Ramayana
Choreographer: Shanti Bardhan
Group: Ranga Sri Little Ballet Troupe, Bhopal
Language: Hindi
Duration: 1hr 45mins

The Play
This novel composition combines the features of ballet and puppet play. It presents a folkloristic version of the Ramayana in the manner of a Rajasthani puppet play. The movements of the actors are stylized; all dancers wear square masks on which faces, crowns and headgears are modeled and painted. They create the illusion of wooden, head-heavy puppets, but through skillful execution give afantastic animation to the faces. Critics have called this a stroke of genius. The first performance of this play was at the Jai Hind College Hall, Bombay, on the 6th of January, 1953.

The theme of Ramayana is aptly introduced in the context of a village fair, with peasants and village-women, milling around in the excitement of the market. The performance begins with Ayodhya celebrating the return of Rama and Lakshmana after Rama’s wedding and culminates in the celebration of the victory of Rama over Ravana.

ramayana 1

Glimpse of the play Ramayana

Shanti  Bardhan (1915-1954) will always be remembered in the history of Indian ballet, as a creative artist who, through his choreographic compositions, gave new direction to the evolution of dance in India. A gifted dancer, specially trained in the Manipuri and Tipperah schools of dance to which he devoted twelve years of study and practice, Shanti Bardhan was thoroughly acquainted with several other classical and folk dance forms.

He created ballets on many themes, utilizing his vast knowledge and varied training. His ballet Bhookha Hai Bangal created a profound stir. India’s Struggle for Independence led to the creation of Spirit of India, India Immortal and The Discovery of India, of which the last drew inspiration from Jawaharlal Nehru’s book of the same title. In 1952 The Little Ballet Troupe came into being. His mature vision made him choreograph scenes from the Ramayana and the Panchtantra. The themes were traditional and a part of an age-old cultural heritage. With an unerring insight of a genius, Shanti Bardhan shed the religious superstructure of the Ramayana story and transformed it into a simple human story of universal significance. In his treatment of the Panchtantra, fables in which birds and beasts live human situations, the stage again presented that piquant blend of realism and phantasy, which is perhaps the real source of the power of ballet as an art form.

His untimely death was a tragic loss to the contemporary movement in Indian dance. But his work lives on and is a great source of joyto all.


Play: Antigone
Playwright: Sophocles
Translator: Sisir Kumar Das
Director: Koushik Sen
Group: Swapna Sandhani
Language: Bengali
Duration: 2hrs

The Play
Upon her arrival in Thebes, Antigone learns that both her brothers are dead. Eteocles has been given a proper burial, but Creon, Antigone’s uncle who has inherited the throne, has issued a royal edict banning the burial of Polynices, who he believes was a traitor. Antigone defies the law, buries her brother, and is caught. When Creon locks her away in prison, she kills herself. Meanwhile, not realizing Antigone has taken her own life, the blind prophet Teiresias, Creon’s son, and Antigone’s fiancé Haemon, and the Chorus plead with Creon to release her. Creon finally relents, but finds her dead in her jail cell. Out of despair, Haemon and Creon’s wife kill themselves, and Creon is left in distress and sorrow.
Antigone 1

Glimpse of the play Antigone

Director’s Note

While working with Antigone I have wondered a million times why a thousand-year old play still holds relevance. Is it because of its literary excellence or is it because of the writer’s wisdom to foresee the times to come… the wisdom which saw that hatred will never cease to exist even when decades and centuries go by and man’s hunger for power will bring darkness even before sunset… and will be darker than any night.



National School of Drama’s international theatre festival is underway

  • NSD’s 18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav is being held in New Delhi from February 1 to February 21, 2016·
  • More than 10 countries from around the world with almost all the states of India to come together to showcase their best theatre talent.
  • ‘World Theatre Forum’ to be a part of BRM, where eminent theatre personalities from various countries will come together·
  • Some of the finest names in the theatre world, including Nana Patekar, Mohan Agashe Pankaj Kapur, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Saurabh Shukla, among others to be a part of the festival
  • BRM to also travel to Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Thiruvananthapuram this year


The 18th Bharat Rang Mahotsav commenced today in the capital with great fanfare. National School of Drama’s flagship festival, which is one of the biggest theatre festivals in the world, is being held in New Delhi from 1st to 21stFebruary 2016.

The inaugural ceremony took place in the presence of Shri N K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, while eminent stage and film personality Mr. Nana Patekar was the Guest of Honour. The evening was presided by Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, NSD Society and Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama was also present on the occasion.The inauguration was followed by the performance of MACBETH in Manipuri by Chorus Repertory Theatre, and directed by Shri Ratan Thiyam.  

Bharat Rang Mahotsav this year promises to be bigger and better than ever with theatre groups from over 10 countries including USA, Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Poland, Bangladesh, Spain, China, Pakistan, Austria. Some of the finest names in the theatre world from India and abroad are set to be a part of the festival. The biggest theatre groups from almost all the states of India will also travel to showcase their talent at the festival. In a bid to promote theatre in other parts of the country as well, Bharat Rang Mahotsav will also be held at Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), and Bhubaneswar (Odisha).

The performances will be held at Abhimanch and Open Air Theatre at the NSD Campus along with LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre in New Delhi. Tickets will be available at NSD box office and at the websitehttp://eticket.nsd.gov.in/ in denominations of Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 at Open Air Theatre; and Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 200 and Rs. 300 at all other venues.