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Bharat Rang Mahotsav to begin from January 7
Delhi: The 11th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, marking the beginning of the 51st year
of the National School of Drama (NSD), will open at the Kamani Auditorium on January
7. The festival will be inaugurated by Jawhar Sircar, Union Secretary for Culture,
in the presence of guest of honour, Zohra Sehgal, an eminent theatre personality.
The festival will open with a performance of Awagha Rang Ekachi Zaala (Marathi),
directed by Ashok Samel. Awagha Rang Ekachi Zala depicts the story of Appa Velankar,
a well-known kirtankaar, and his family. It also highlights the rich culture and
music of the kirtan form as juxtaposed against the current musical trend. The
Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM) was started a decade ago by the NSD in order to contribute
to the growth and development of theatre across the country. The NSD started its
annual festival by showcasing plays performed by Indian theatre practitioners,
and the same has grown into an international event, catering to theatre companies
from around the world. It is today acknowledged as the largest theatre festival
of Asia - dedicated only to theatre - and is firmly established on the international
theatre festival map. In Delhi, the festival will feature 63 productions, out
of which 51 are from India and 12 are overseas plays, over a span of 12 days.
As done in past few years, the BRM will also be showcased in Lucknow this year.
This year 18 of the productions will travel there for the BRM festival scheduled
from January 11 to 19. The NSD, in its effort to nurture talent and encourage
upcoming directors, has focused on the productions by young directors. Plays included
in the festival are collaborative works, based on rich texts, adaptations and
also plays developed through training and workshops. The festival also includes
a work advised by the theatre legend Badal Sircar which is one of the most important
classics by Tagore; "Rakto Korobi". A remake of the everlasting love story of
"Laila Majnu" by the famous theatre director Ram Gopal Bajaj is a part of the
upcoming festival and also the play is selected to be the inaugural play for the
BRM festival in Lucknow. With seven venues presenting five to six productions
per day through the duration of the festival in Delhi and two venues presenting
the productions over a period of 9 days in Lucknow, the NSD will play host about
2,000 theatre people as its participants. As in the past, the festival shows are
expected to run to full houses, attracting over 50,000 spectators in Delhi and
about 10,000 viewers in Lucknow. To design, mount and coordinate a festival of
this size in two cities in such a short span of time involves a logistical feat
that the NSD manages with Úlan because of its highly trained technical personnel,
faculty and staff and the commitment they bring to the cause of theatre worldwide.
This year too the there will be many international productions. The Czech play
'The Painted World' is a unique black light show performed by the best black light
effects and images in a story of world continents. 'Le Premiere Fois' is a collaboration
between the Swiss / French actors and NSD who have come together exclusively for
this festival and are performing this play for the first time.
'Days of Adel' from Israel is set against the background of a psychiatric ward
in Jerusalem. Plays from Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Nepal and Poland will be showcased at the festival, and will provide
an opportunity to interact with directors and theatre groups. This gives an opportunity
to learn and understand theatre from a global perspective and the festival becomes
a melting pot of different cultures and views. NSD would be staging two exhibitions,
one based on the work of theatre legend Badal Sircar and the other one which presents
the contribution of NSD to the world of theatre in the course of its 51 years.
The performances will take place at seven venues - the Kamani Auditorium, the
Shri Ram Centre, Meghdoot (open air), the LTG Theatre and the three theatres in
the premises of the NSD-Abhimanch, Sammukh and Bahumukh theatres. The BRM festival
in collaboration with Department of Culture, Government of Uttar Pradesh, started
four years ago by taking a part of the festival repertoire to a second city. The
city selected is Lucknow this time, with 18 productions being performed at the
UPSNA and Theatre Bali between 11 and 18 January 2008. Laila Majnu is scheduled
to be the inaugural play for the BRM festival in Lucknow.