Tuesday December 12, 2017

Dharmashoke: A messenger of peace and non-violence



Theatre is the mother of all forms of ‘performing arts’. It is one of the pristine forms of mass-communication. It acts as an apparel of the society and the actors inculcate the voice of the people through their act.

Yesterday, Rangopat produced their latest production ‘Dharmashok’, based on the life of the great emperor Ashoka. It imparts a message of non-violence at a time when the world was engulfed by war and sadism.

In an interaction with NewsGram, the director of the play, Dr. Tapanjati Das and veteran theatre member, Deb Sankar Halder talked about the veracity of theatre in this present society.

Arnab Mitra:  Tell me about the condition of the theatre in the modern society.


Tapanjati Das: Theatre always has a certain kind of audience. According to me, people always prefer theatre over stupid serials and bogus commercial films.

Deb Sankar Halder:  Serials and films are ‘dead’ forms of art. Theatre is a ‘live’ art, where the performer creates the environment at that moment; so that people can cherish the ripened fruit that is served at the moment.

Arnab Mitra: But there is a question of time. People say they hardly get time to watch plays…

Tapanjati Das: Time! Then, how do people get time to watch serials and movies?

Deb Sankar Halder: If you have the desire, there is a will. Mostly, it is the people who are not busy who always give the lame excuse of time.


AM: Recently, Kalindi Bratyojon organized the International theatre festival. Most of the plays talked about the war, violence and decay of the society…

Tapanjati Das: From Syria to Kashmir, and recently Manipur, there is turbulence. Theatre is the face of the society, that is why the new productions are based on this theme.

Deb Sankar Halder:  Artists are a part of the society too, so they produce what they observe.

AM: But ‘Dharmashok’ gives the message of non-violence…

KH06020_DHARMASHOKE_RANGAPAT_ACADEMY_13JUN15_M SAMANTATapanjati Das: We want to impart a message of ‘non-violence’ through the life of Ashoka. War brings destruction, but peace builds the society.

Deb Sankar Halder: The world has witnessed the brutality of the two world wars. It is time to stop the destruction and to build the society.

AM: Every election gives birth to a new government, but the problem of the society remains same…

Tapanjati Das: The society is not of government, but of people. People can make a change in the society, and the government can help us.

Deb Sankar Halder: A teacher can only instruct his students, he cannot do their part. There are huge campaigns on ‘Smoking kills’, ‘Don’t drink alcohol’, but people still smoke and drink. Don’t blame the government, better blame yourselves.

AM: Do you support Kejriwal’s demand for statehood?

Tapanjati Das: I do think the Central Government should give the opportunity to Kejriwal in running the Delhi Government. At the end of the day, government is of the people.

Deb Sankar Halder: I just request Kejriwal and Modi to not fight.

OF13531_DHARMASHOKE_RANGAPAT_ACADEMY_13JUN15_M SAMANTAAM: Any new productions from Rangopat?

Tapanjati Das: We are working on a political play, and we hope to stage it in December.

AM (To Deb Sankar Halder): You are deemed as the new star of Bengali theatre after Ajitesh Bandopadhyay and Sambhu Mitra. What do you think?

Deb Sankar Halder: I don’t know. I love theatre, and I will keep performing till my last breath.

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

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

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.


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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Popular Arabian Nights tale ‘Alibaba and forty thieves’ revived by 70 Artists from India and Bangladesh with 3D presentation in Kolkata

Ali Baba and Forty Thieves, Wikimedia

Kolkata, March 19, 2017: Over 70 unique artists from the two neighbouring countries -India and Bangladesh performed the popular Arabian Nights tale, ‘Alibaba and forty thieves’ in a peculiar 3D presentation in Kolkata city.

“The joint production has the feel of a Broadway musical and an effort to bring back fantasy element in our lives.” said Shamim Ara Nipa, the popular Bangladeshi stage actor, who portrayed the role of Marjina.

Nipa said she was a little anxious about the response of the Kolkata audience to the show, but as soon as the show got over they found there was no discrepancy between Dhaka, Chittagong, Kolkata. “Some works are universal,” she remarked.

“We have done several dance productions based on Tagore’s works as well as works of Kazi Nazrul Islam and folk culture. Art can’t have boundaries, our icons can’t be split by boundaries,” she further added.

Shibli Mohammed of the Srishti troupe in Bangladesh cited, “It is a huge production which incurred Rs 40 lakh to mount it.”

Shibli, who impersonated Alibaba in the play said,”We had done the rehearsal for three months in Dhaka where Sukalyan, a dear friend of ours, also participated with his own group.”

Sukalyan, who portrayed Kashem, is the founder of Sukalyann D Entourage dance troupe, which represented the Indian side. He had also conceptualized the whole thing with Nipa and Shibli.

Prominent Bengali singers Nachiketa Chakraborty, Srikanto Acharya, Lopamudra Mitra, Jayati Chakraborty and Raghab Chatterjee sang for the production. “Happy to do something different from the beaten track,” Srikanto remarked.

– Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94