In his 150th birth anniversary year, Rabindranath Tagore’s works have been celebrated across music, painting and dance. Now, the National School of Drama’s (NSD’s) annual Bharat Rang Mahotsav festival has been dedicated to the poet, playwright and composer. The 14th edition of the festival will stage a total of 96 productions, Indian and international, from 8-22 January.
Seventeen productions will be centred on Tagore’s works, starting with Ratan Thiyam’s new production, King of the Dark Chamber (Raja) , at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi.
“In Journey to Dakghar (directed by Manish Mitra) and Kothay Paabo Tare (directed by Debashish Sengupta), Tagore’s work is deconstructed and opened up for discussion. In the solos Streer Patra (directed and performed by Seema Biswas) and Patni ka Patra (Gita Guha), based on Tagore’s short story, a woman’s journey is given voice; and in Khud and Khuda (directed by K.N. Panikkar), the relationship between the individual and the universe is explored,” says NSD director Anuradha Kapoor.
A scene from Subhashis Gangopadhyay’s Rakta-Karabi
From Manipur, there is a performance of Hungry Stone (Heisnam Tomba), and Kolkata-based group Padatik brings us the same text as a dance-drama in Kshudito Pashan (Kunal Padhy). Sangeeta Sharma will stage a dance drama, Visarjan. And there will also be a performance of Rakta-Karabi by a group of visually challenged actors, directed by Subhashis Gangopadhyay.
Apart from the Tagore focus, there will be 79 other performances, like contemporary takes on classic texts like Deepan Sivaraman’s version of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in Malayalam, Pravin Kumar Gunjan’s adaptation of Muktibodh’s Samjhouta in Hindi, and Raja Bhattacharya’s presentation of E=mc2, based on Badal Sircar’s Trigsho Shatabdi in Bengali.
A scene from Santaap.
“The international section will have 16 performances, from Italy, Turkey, South African students, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Poland, which is the country of focus this year (last year it was France),” says Kapoor. There are three productions from the country—In the Name of Jakub S, a political play; Grotowski—An Attempt to Retreat; and Chorus of Women, in which untrained female actors orally render the woman’s experience through the use of the human voice alone as expressive instrument. All foreign-language plays at the Bharat Rang Mahotsav will have English subtitles on screens on top of the stage. This year, the parallel festival will take place in Amritsar, Punjab, where 18 plays (11 Indian and seven international) will be performed.
The events will be organized at various venues in New Delhi, including NSD auditoriums and the Kamani Auditorium.
For the schedule and details, visit www.nsdtheatrefest.com