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Ninasam: The melting pot of Kannada Intellect and Culture is also a source of inspiration to Heggodu village

Its finest annual event the ‘Samskrutik Shibira’ till date remains the most loved programme and centres around a socio-political theme

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Theatre troupe performing in Ninasam. Image Source: thebetterindia.com
  • Established by Kannada writer in 1949, Ninasam is credited with some remarkable contributions in the field of theatres, publishing and movies
  • With a greater influx on intellectuals, a full-fledged theatre building called Shivaram Karanth (a prominent Kannada literary) was built for the troupe
  • Ninasam offers a 10-month training course to aspiring theatre practitioners

Have you ever imagined a villager engaged in a literary discourse or a cart driver conversing about the literary geniuses? Well if you haven’t, you must visit Heggodu- a quaint village in Shimoga, nestled 350 km from Bangalore, to experience the same.

The village owes this unbelievable cultural life to the ‘Nilakanteshwara Natyaseva Samgha,’ a world-renowned culture institute famously known as ‘Ninasam.’

Established by Kannada writer, Kuntagodu Vibhuthi Subbanna (KV Subbanna), in 1949, Ninasam is credited with some remarkable contributions in the field of theatres, publishing and movies. Started off as an amateur project under a thatched roof in the green village, Ninasam has evolved into a melting pot of Kannada intellect and culture.

Bridging the gap between urban and rural populace, the institute focuses on socio-cultural work. Even earlier Ninasam would organise theatre and workshops along with publishing texts related to theatres. As a result, interested groups from the nearby areas started flocking to the institute to discuss contemporary issues and other forms of art.

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With a greater influx of intellectuals, a full-fledged theatre building named Shivarama Karanth (a prominent Kannada literary) was built for the troupe that slowly started performing outside the village as well. After the construction, the theatre started administering residential training programmes as well.

Ninasam buliding. Image Source: The Quint
Ninasam building. Image Source: The Quint

To tackle the language barrier for the people who only understood Kannada, KV Subbanna would write the entire script in the dialect and would distribute them to the locals before the play. The effort taken by Subbanna is evident even today when the villagers talk at length about various classic movies being their favourite films.

Its finest annual event the ‘Samskrutik Shibira’ till date remains the most loved programme and centres around a socio-political theme. Renowned figures of Indian culture such as B V Karanth, U R Ananthmurthy, Sammik Bandhopadhyay, and Shiv Vishwanathan have delivered lectures at this renowned culture course, reports thebetterindia.com.

Following the guru-shishya tradition, Ninasam is totally managed by its staff and students who take up the daily chores turn by turn. At times even the villagers drop by to give them a hand.

The institute also trains children from the nearby villages for Yakshagana performances. “Yakshagana is a folk theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue and costumes in a unique theatre that is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn. It is predominantly seen in the coastal districts of Karnataka, especially the Malnad region,” quoted thebetterindia.com as saying.

Ninasam offers a 10-month training course to aspiring theatre practitioners. Blending traditional with contemporary makes the institute stand out.

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The insightful discussions at Ninasam are something that has developed the villagers’ fondness for the work of writers like Shakespeare, Mohan Rakesh, Bernard Shaw and Kalidasa among others.

A theatrical performance in Ninasam. Image Source: thebetterindia.com
A theatrical performance in Ninasam. Image Source: thebetterindia.com

After six decades of dedicated working, Ninasam has transformed into a multi-faceted organisation with several arms like Ninasam Theatre Institute, Ninasam Tirugata, Ninasam Foundation, and the Akshara Prakashana Publishing House.

The institute has also earned widespread recognition both at national and global level. Its founder late KV Subbanna has been awarded with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Creative Arts, Communication and Journalism in 1991.

Continuing to set a benchmark in evolving cultural literary, Ninasam has undoubtedly made literature and theatre as the part and parcel of village life in Heggodu.

– prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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Ramlila: Theatre Portray of the Life of Lord Rama draws huge Crowd In Delhi

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ramlila
Source: Wikimedia Common

New Delhi, September 23, 2017: Ramlila is the most popular dramatic play, which involves the enactment, narration and music depicting the scenes of mythological epic Ramayana. It is also one of the most oldest form of theatre, which tells the story Lord Rama and the event that happened in his life. In 2008, UNESCO declared Ramlila as the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

Ramlila, since time immemorial is popular among Hindus for its unique and creative way of storytelling. Rama is considered to be the manifestation of Hindu preserver god, Lord Vishnu and the story of Ramlila revolves around his life. The performances in these acts are totally based on the ethical values as depicted in the Ramayana and the life episodes of Lord Rama.

One of the oldest theatre group, Luv Kush Ramlila Committee (LKRC) is one of those, who have kept this art alive. They showcase Ramlila every year in Red fort

The act starts from the very first day of nine-day Navratri festival and concludes on the tenth day, popularly known as Dussehra. This day witnessed the legendary war between Rama and Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil.

This year, the group has involved around 50 film and television actor, depicting various characters in Ramayana to fascinate the audience.

Spicing up the regular act, this year the theatre group has also shed ligh on some social issues.  This year the role of Rama and Lakshman will shed light on the eve teasing and casteism.

ALSO READ: Ramayana : 6 Timeless Management Lessons From the Ancient Hindu Text that You Must Imbibe

In eastern India the event signifies the victory of the Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.

Every year Ramlila, through the art of storytelling entertains, educates and motivates the young generation to choose the path of truth.

Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire

 

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“The Roots” : Short Play Theatre Festival in Delhi Gives Young Artists Chance to Showcase Experimental Work

The event was scheduled for two days, July 28 and 29, hosting seven teams each day

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Theatre
An artist performing at theatre. Pixabay

New Delhi, August 03, 2017: A short play theatre festival at Studio Safdar in Delhi – ‘The Roots’, a performing arts society‘ was recently organized for giving young artists an opportunity to experiment with their creativity.

The event observed appearances from Delhi University theatre circuit, freshman theatre groups and mono-act performers, followed by a conversation with ‘ Pink‘ actor Sudhanva Deshpande.

The artists shared the stage with Jana Natya Manch, Delhi’s oldest street play theatre group, whose was the concluding performance of the evening.

The ‘short play festival’ observed a huge amount of audience present at the event to enjoy experimental insights and crisp depictions of performances and hence, the studio space was fully packed.

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Jana Natya Manch‘ actor and director, Sudhanva Deshpande in an exclusive interview with ANI stated, “I am delighted that the short play festival is happening here at Studio Safdar because there is a lot of theatre activity in the city and not enough opportunities for young people to showcase some of their work in progress- experimental work, work that is not entirely finished yet but they would like to show it, share it, showcase it, get responses and so on.”

ALSO READ: Theatres replicating Films by depending on Set Designs to show different Scenes, says Noted Film and Theatre Actor Naseeruddin Shah

She further adds, “And this festival becomes one of the few platforms that are available for this kind of showcasing and sharing and learning from each other that young theatre people always need.”

The event was scheduled for two days, July 28 and 29, hosting seven teams each day.

Prabhjot Singh, an art keeper, shares with ANI about the aim behind The Roots, “I feel that from rehearsals to performance there is no room for the artists to experiment with their creation and therefore, an event like short play festival is important to create a space for the theatre artists to experiment and explore the dimensions of a theatrical production.”

Studio Safdar, an independent and non-funded space for arts was instituted in 2012. May Day Bookstore and cafe equipped with Leftword Books are also a part of this space.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

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William Shakespeare to be celebrated at Kolkata’s five-day Durga Puja festival

This year citizens of Kolkata will have a dash of William Shakespeare's life added to their coming Durga Puja festivities

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Maha Navmi
Nine firms of the Devi Shakti are worshiped during the Navratri. IANS
Kolkata, Sept 22 2016: Denizens of Kolkata will soak in the Durga Puja festivities in October by celebrating William Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy on the occasion of the bard’s 400th death anniversary.
The British Council has tied up with two community puja organisers — Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab in north Kolkata, and Ballygunge Cultural Durgotsab Samity in the south of the metropolis — to add a dash of Shakespeare to the biggest festival in this part of the world.
A unique audio-visual experience is in store for visitors to the two marquees, where “The Globe Theatre’s Complete Walk” — an immersive, multi-screen experience with 37 shorts of Shakespeare’s 37 plays — will be shown, British Council officials said here on Wednesday.
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The 37 specially made ten-minute films have been screened along the iconic 2.5-mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge in London.
Each film explores one of Shakespeare’s plays and includes scenes shot in the locations Shakespeare imagined when he wrote them — Cleopatra in front of the Pyramids, Shylock in Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto, Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore, and so on.
“The Complete Walk is an accessible, interactive way to celebrate Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy and is part of the British Council’s global programme, Shakespeare Lives, celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016,” said Alan Gemmell, Director British Council India.
Gemmell, who will be in Kolkata during the Puja and inaugurate The Complete Walk, said: “We hope that Kolkatans, enjoying the bright lights and high spirits of the festival, will enjoy the experience of the films being shown at two very different but equally renowned festivals.”
“By partnering with these two very noted Durga Puja organizations of Kolkata, we are also connecting the cultures of North and South Kolkata through a shared appreciation of Shakespeare, who is perhaps as much an icon of Bengali literature as Rabindranath Tagore.”
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The British Council will also offer free public access to the library to everyone all of October.
The five-day Durga puja carnival, beginning on October 6, celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga on earth to visit her parents, according to Hindu mythology. (IANS)