Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival Inaugurated - Celebrating Indian and International Stage Productions

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

December 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata will take the center stage for city theater-goers from December 16 to December 25, 2011 as Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival prepares to woo the audience with its ensemble of 19 performances by national and international theater groups.

The Director-President Rudraprasad Sengupta was particularly positive about the city’s response to the collection of plays boasting of immortal plays by Tagore, Shakespeare, Bhisham Sahni, Manoj Mitra, to name a few. In fact, he went a step further in saying that the festival can pull crowd on its own by virtue of its well deserved brand name, developed through years of dedicated service to the stage and theater. Veteran actor Soumitra Chaterjee graced the inauguration ceremony of the festival, also featuring exhibitions on Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda.

During these ten days the city will be gifted with a potpourri of theater productions by National School of Drama Repertory Company, Delhi, National School of Drama TIE Company, Delhi, regional troupes and quite a few plays by Nandikar itself. While Assam, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha will be represented by a single play, there’ll be two plays from Maharashtra, a few from West Bengal and one from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Israel will also be represented by the sole production ‘Fin-Land’, a play by Mica Dvir.

With a record of hosting theater groups and production houses of repute throughout its journey of 27 years, Nandikar’s annual carnival hasn’t failed to bring in the best in business. Since the inaugural edition in 1984, the festival has been graced by the presence of stalwarts like Sombhu Mitra, Vijaya Mehta, Vijay Tendulkar and Girish Karnad.

Nandikar’s Inaugural play for its 28th year, ‘Devi Sarpamasta’, was penned by Manoj Mitra in the year 1995. He is a well known figure in the Bangla theater circle with a good 50 years of experience in the industry and more than 100 plays to his credit. Though set in a particular time and place, the play’s theme has a universal feel to it. The narrative (revolves around exploitation of the under-privileged class, especially tribals), is characterized by a lyrical quality, more profound in the musical compositions regularly adorning the play.

“Devi Sarpamasta”, staged with a team of experienced actors, uses madol, flute, kendri, dotara and dhamsha to bring in the flavor of the land. The ease with which the actors throw their dialogues or break into songs, is a result of years of practice and rehearsals, at the base of which are sessions with folk artists of Birbhum and Bankura, under the guidance of Abhijit Acharya at the Eastern Zonal Cultural Center. All in all, it was a praiseworthy performance and a treat to watch. Questions have been raised about socially relevant issues like legitimacy of inheritance and superstitions carving the decision-making process.

And, this is just the beginning of the carnival. There’s much more lined up to ensure thought-provoking winter evenings for the average theater loving Kolkatans. With productions like Mohenjo-Daro, Journey to Dakghar, Streer Patra, Comrade Kumbhakarna, Djinn-Jabda etc. waiting to entertain one and all, Nandikar’s 28th National Theater Festival is all set to carry on an almost three-decades-long tradition with élan.

Here are some more pictures from the inaugural day.

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

[jpg image: Nandikar theater festival Kolkata]

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