Theatre Olympics sets off a splendid stage

REFLECTING HUMAN EMOTIONS A scene from “Jagdev Kankali”

REFLECTING HUMAN EMOTIONS A scene from “Jagdev Kankali”  


Starting this weekend, the prestigious 8th Theatre Olympics promises to showcase the best of plays from 30 countries

In tune with great heritage of Indian theatre, music with multiple genres, forms and underlying philosophical currents will mark the opening of the 8th Theatre Olympics on the grand stage with historic Lal Qila as its backdrop on February 17. It promises to mesmerise the audience. Hosted by National School of Drama, it is for the first time in the country the international theatre festival is being held which has generated a great deal of enthusiasm among Indian theatre practitioners, theatre lovers and connoisseurs of arts who are eager to watch the finest theatrical works from across the globe as well as the best by Indian directors. The 51-day festival will not only be held in Delhi but also in various cities in the country aiming at uniting theatre practitioners and to transform it into mega event.

The opening evening of the festival offers aesthetic and emotional enriching experience. The production titled “Rang Vidhan”, will have live music rendered by veterans like Malini Awasthi, Jayshri, Kamal Tiwari and Dr. Ganesh Chandan Shire. In terms of language, these are in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali. From Maharashtra Lavani dancers will render music with gusto that is sensuously thrilling. The core of production will be formed by theatre music used in a number of plays by NSD Repertory Company composed by theatre pioneers like B.V. Karanth Bhaskar, Habib Tanvir and Mohan Upreti, an aural feast not to be missed.

With its motto of forging unity of performers of different styles and techniques, eminent dance exponents are invited by the organisers to stage their dance dramas. Pandit Birju Maharaj will present “Romeo and Juliet” in dance drama form in Kathak style. Sonal Mansingh is likely to stage one of her dance-dramas. Apart from these, the three-tier selection committee has chosen selected some dance-dramas remarkable for their visual grandeur and rich thematic content. Street theatre, magic, experimental works by young practitioner and traditional art forms from different regions will also be staged.

How the idea of holding such a massive international theatre event came about? “I have been visiting various international festivals abroad. In the course of my interactions with leading theatre practitioners, I was pained to find that they have little knowledge about the works of our great classical, traditional and contemporary playwrights and directors,” says Prof. Waman Kendre, NSD Director. He continues, “So I decided to work towards hosting Theatre Olympics to showcase the richness of Indian theatre, its multiple genres and presentational styles and rich content with universal appeal to foreign directors, playwrights, performers and technicians. Ratan Thiyam is the executive member of Theatre Olympics facilitated this idea which was finally approved by Theatre Olympics’ executive committee and the Ministry of Culture, gave its consent. Now 30 countries are coming together to participate in the international event to showcase their best productions before the Indian audience and theatre practitioners and watch our own productions.”

Theatre Olympics sets off a splendid stage

Platform for stalwarts

The Theatre Olympics established in 1993 in Greece, is a kind of autonomous body and has acquired the status of the foremost platform for presenting plays by leading theatre practitioners across the world. It is heartening to know that Theodorous Terzopolas, the chairman of International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Greece is expected to attend the event. Other international theatre luminaries like Tadash Suzuki, Japan, Robert Wilson, US, Lieu Libin, China, Jaroslaw Fret, Poland, Sahika Tekand, Turkey, Eugenio Barba, Denmark, Romeo Castellucci, Italy, Heiner Goebbels, Germany, Pippo Delbono, Italy and Jan Fabre, Belgium are likely to participate also.

This illustrious gathering of world’s greats along with their Indian counterparts are expected to participate in two international seminar in Delhi and Mumbai and six national at Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata, Varanasi to deliberate on various aspects of world theatre with special reference to Indian theatre, its present scenario and future trends. Undoubtedly, these seminars will offer great opportunity to know in depth about theatre scene.

Prof. Kendre feels that the Theatre Olympics does not belong to NSD alone. It belongs to the entire theatre community of the country. “This Mahakumbh of world theatre will foster the feeling of togetherness among theatre practitioners, encourage them to explore new vistas to create truly an artistic theatre which has contemporary relevance in a fast changing world. We hope the historic event will keep the flag (dhwaj) of friendship flying high,” he observes, exuding enthusiasm and optimism.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 2:50:32 PM |

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