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