New Delhi, 1st Feb, 2019: In yet another season of spellbinding productions and engaging interactive sessions with legendary theatre experts, the National School of Drama (NSD), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, today inaugurated the 20th edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM) in the national capital.
The Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture (I/C), Govt. of India, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, inaugurated the 21-day-long nationwide theatre spectacle at Kamani Auditorium at 6:00pm in a program presided over by Dr. Arjun Deo Charan, Acting Chairman, NSD Society. Renowned danseuse and theatre artiste, Dr. Sonal Mansingh, eminent theatre director and former Director of NSD, Prof. Ram Gopal Bajaj were the Guests of Honour at the inauguration function where Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, Shri Arun Goel, IAS, was the special guest.
Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-charge, National School of Drama, welcomed the guests at the inaugural function and thanked the members of international and national theatre fraternity for gracing the occasion with their presence. He spoke in detail about the wide variety of plays to be staged during the festival and allied events such as ‘Living Legend’ and ‘Master Class’ to be held in New Delhi and 5 other cities.
Speaking at the function, the Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture (I/C), Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, Dr. Mahesh Sharma ,says, “ This country applauds those who give back to the society. This country of 132 crores is bound together by culture and art. Our Prime Minister once told me that rich heritage and culture is our strength. Our art is our lifeline. We should use the power of art for the sake of humanity. Theatre Olympic helped create a new identity and BRM’s spread to other cities help consolidated that. I request the Chairman and Director to change 20-25% invite for people who are new and young.
“We often confuse ‘Natya’ with ‘Natak’. Natya is much vast that includes music, songs, dance, and drama. That is why Bharat wrote ‘Bharat Natya Shastra’. Your selfless pursuit of art will help you to excel I wish all the best to the festival.” says Classical Indian dancer, Guru, Choreographer, Scholar & Author on Indian Socio-Cultural traditions and Hon’ble Member of Upper House of Indian Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Dr. Sonal Mansingh.
“The festival started in ending years of the 20th century has become a youth. The love and care shower by our honorable minister has encouraged us to spread to 16 states across India. Quality is as important as representation. This is a representative festival which makes it distinct from other theatre festival in India. This is not a festival for big cities only and it is important to spread this festival to cities which have potential or where the theatre is stagnated and in need of a little push. I apologize to all those who could not be accommodated this time.” says Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-Charge, National School of Drama (NSD) Shri Suresh Sharma, Director In-Charge, National School of Drama (NSD.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by a 50-minute musical performance ‘Karanth ke Rang’ based on the compositions of late Shri B V Karanth, directed by Shri Amod Bhatt and presented by Rangpurva group, Mumbai. Shri Karanth was a well-known director, actor and musician of modern Indian theatre in Kannada as well as Hindi. His plays like ‘Jokumara Swamy’, ‘Sankranti’, ‘Huchu Kudure’, and ‘Oedipus’ were trendsetters, which touched upon aspects of language, music, songs and stylization. Shri Karanth’s use of unusual instruments such as wood, stones, etc. in creating music and his ability to blend contemporary, classical and folk genres reflected his originality and style. He was an alumnus of batch 1962 of the National School of Drama and later became its director.
The 20th BRM comes with 111 national and international acts in its basket that includes folk and other traditional theatre forms, invitee plays, and productions by the students of the National School of Drama, one of the prominent training institutions in the world.
The foreign plays to be staged in New Delhi include ‘ZEMSTA (Revenge)’ (Polish; Henryk Talar), ‘King Oedipus’ (Bengali; Asim Das), ‘Alien’ (Tatar; Farid Bikchantaev), ‘My Sweet Rotten Heritage’ (English; Anasuya Subasinghe), ‘The Open Couple’ (Bengali; Sara Zaker), ‘Macbeth’ (Bengali; Israfil Shaheen), ‘An Iliad’ (English; Guy Roberts and Rebecca Greene Udden), ‘Desaparecidos#43’ (Trilingual; Anna Dora Dorno), ‘Three Sisters’ (English; Rose Schwietz), ‘Charaharuko Sammelan (Conference of the Birds)’ (Nepali; Deeya Maskey), ‘Thousand and One Nights (Barbarian Nights)’ (Romanian; Ingrid Bonta), ‘The Department’ (Bilingual; Buddhika Damayantha), ‘Stormy Weather’ (English; Jehan Aloysius), ‘Dear Aleena Sergeevna’ (Russian; Vasilisa Teplyakova), and ‘When We Dead Awaken’ (English; Sankar Venkateshwaran).
The folk performances to be staged in New Delhi include ‘Sunder Majh Ghar (Jhadi Patti)’ (Jhadi boli; Anirudh Bankar), ‘Abhimanaya Sundari Thirukalyanam’ (Tamil; D. Elumalai), ‘Raja Harishchndra (Maach)’ (Hindi; Babu Lal Dewada), ‘Chhau (Mayur Bhanj & Sarai Kela)’ (Non-verbal; Sapan Kumar Acharya), ‘Phool Singh Nautanki (Swang)’ (Bilingual; Satish Kashyap and Sandhya Sharma), ‘Goga Chauhan Ka Kucchamani Khayal’ (Rajasthani; Mohammad Siddqui), ‘Vaali Moksha’(Kannada; Keremane Shivananda Hegde) and ‘Sultana Daku (Nautanki)’ (Hindi; Devendra Sharma).
The students of NSD graduate program will grace the festival with acts such as ‘Vacant Lot’ (Apporva), ‘Encryption’ (Susheel Kant Mishra) and ‘Privacy’ (Ajay Khatri). The festival this year commemorates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and will stage four plays based on his philosophy and life including ‘Bapu’ (Bengali; Samir Biswas), ‘Stay Yet A While’ (English; M K Raina), ‘Satya Ke Prayog’, based on Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography (Hindi; Devendra Raj Ankur) and ‘Hind Swaraj’ (Hindi; Arjun Deo Charan).
The invitee plays in the festival include ‘Aurat! Aurat! Aurat!’ (Hindustani; Naseeruddin Shah), ‘Nirnoy’ (Bengali; Arun Mukherjee), ‘Prithibi, Rasta, Shabdo’ (Bengali; Rudraprasad Sengupta), ‘Parashuram Vijaya’ (Sanskrit; Ajit Das), and ‘Maya Megh’ (Nepali; Tripurari Sharma). Other prominent plays to be staged here include ‘Shifa…The Healing’ (Hindi; Teekam Joshi), ‘Pagla Ghoda’ (Hindi; Bipin Kumar), ‘The Dumb Waiter’ (Manipuri; Thawai Thiyam), ‘Swabhavjata’ (Hindi; Baharul Islam), ‘Tajmahal Ka Tender’ (Hindi; Chittaranjan Tripathi) and ‘Kola’ (Kannada; Achutha Kumar).
Apart from New Delhi, the NSD arranges parallel festivals of the 20th BRM in Dibrugarh (4th to 10th February, 2019), Varanasi (7th to 13th February, 2019), Ranchi (9th to 15th February, 2019), Mysore (11th to 17th February, 2019), and Rajkot (13th to 19th February, 2019).
The festival will culminate in New Delhi on 21st February, 2019.
The Journey of Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM)
Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM), the annual international theatre festival of India is organized by the National School of Drama (NSD), was established two decades ago to stimulate the growth and development of theatre across India. Originally a national festival showcasing the work of the most creative theatre workers in India, BRM has evolved to international scope, hosting theatre groups from around the world, and is now the largest theatre festival of Asia. Till date, BRM was celebrated in New Delhi and has travelled to several cities in India, presenting an overwhelming 1787 plays, and riveted thousands of audiences who basked in the glory of heart-winning stories and superior performances.
The 20th edition of BRM will also include allied activities such as, ‘Director’s Meet’, ‘Living Legends’, and ‘Master Class’. The 20th Bharat Rang Mahotsav also holds parallel festival in other cities including Dibrugarh (Assam), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Mysore (Karnataka), and Rajkot (Gujarat).
About National School of Drama (NSD)
The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It offers 3-years training program in every aspect of theatre with a special focus on the practical implementation of theories. The NSD has two performing wings – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in-Education Company (TiE) that started in 1964 and 1989, respectively.