Natyamela International Drama Festival Kolkata Advances Bengali Theatre Industry

[jpg image: Kolkata Natya Mela 2011 International Drama Festival at Rabindra Sadan]

Natyamela 2011 Kolkata Program Schedule

Mamata Banerjee at Natyamela Kolkata Bangla Natok Festival

Calcutta, Dec 2, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) The first phase of the 11th Natyamela ends with the dream of an International Drama festival in Kolkata.

The 11th edition of the statewide culture fest of West Bengal, Natyamela came to a conclusion on November 30, Wednesday at the Rabindra Sadan auditorium.

An evening that started with the Natyamela theme song, it was a rendezvous of sorts with the presence of many eminent theatre personalities and Kolkata’s cultural frats coming together to commemorate Bengal’s rich theatrical heritage. Organized by the Paschimbanga Natya Akademi, a part of the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs of the West Bengal Government, this event had the honorable Chief Minister of the state, Mamata Banerjee stimulating the crowd with her encouraging words.

Setting the tempo for the evening, there were beautiful artworks and stage décor that was perfectly in-sync with the mood of the event. The event kick started with the entry of the CM, accompanied by the multi-faceted theatre persona and presently the higher education minister of the state, Bratya Basu. Ambarish Bhattacharya, a popular TV actor, welcomed the CM with a song. The presence of crème de la crème of theatre, husband-wife duo, Rudra Prasad Sengupta and Swatilekha Sengupta and Shaoli Mitra, the current Chairperson of the Committee for Heritage and Culture, lent to the evening an exclusively theatrical charm. 

And that was not all…names like Ramendu Majumdar, a drama figure from Bangladesh, Bibhash Chakraborty, actor, director and playwright and Debotosh Ghosh were also present. The front-row of the event boasted of a slew of television actors, dramatists and media personalities adding a generous dose of glamour to the event. Some of the most notable among them were Rajatabha Dutta, the famous Tolly actor, Anindya Chatterjee, the lead vocalist of the popular musical band, Chandrabindoo and Arpita Ghosh, a celebrated theatre personality.

As an initiative to give Bengal’s theatre industry a much-needed face-lift, this event was a witness to many development policies and strategies that were hatched.

Promising to reinstate Kolkata as the world’s cultural capital, the CM emphasized on the significance of marketing this art, as done in many other states. She also hinted at a possibility of an Indo-Bangladesh liaison to promote the theatre endeavors on a global level. She asked all the theatre personalities present to take the charge of renovating this art.

Moreover, she wove a new dream of an International Drama Festival, a Natya Utsav which will cater to the general public and where theatre professionals from all over the world will be performing.

She concluded her speech by quoting Rabindranath Tagore- “Open the door and cross the boundaries” … the most apt inspiration for the struggling theatre industry of Bengal.

With a fresh new format this year, Natyamela had staged 100 plays from all over the state at five venues in Calcutta, seven in Siliguri and in several other districts. Abhichchhinna by Rangam, Shesh Raksha by Eshna, Manasi by Rangakarmee and Hamlet by Anya Theatre were some of the star attractions through the entire run of this festival which had raised its curtains on November 23, 2011.

With the performance of Nabarabikirane, the dance-drama of Nrityabhumi, directed by Kajal Hajra, the concluding ceremony came to its final end. One, however, was left with a feeling that this was not the end, it was rather a harbinger of a new beginning. Our hopes are rekindled!

Here are a few more exclusive pictures from the exciting international drama festival in West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee at Natyamela Kolkata Bangla Natok Festival

Mamata Banerjee - Natya Mela Kolkata Rabindra Sadan

[jpg image: Kolkata Natya Mela 2011 International Drama Festival at Rabindra Sadan]

Bangla Natok - Bengali Drama Performance

Bangla Natok - Bengali Drama Performance

Actor Rajatava and Singer Anindya

Natyamela 2011 Kolkata

Line for entrance at doors

Line for entrance at doors

Speech at Natya Mela

BANGLA NATOK Audience

Natya Mela Sign at doors

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