5th National Theatre Festival Alfaaz - A Milestone for Udaipur Theatre

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08 Dec, 17 11:46
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5th National Theatre Festival Alfaaz - A Milestone for Udaipur Theatre Vilas Janve
Udaipur's youth revived its theatre spirit like never before with 'Alfaaz-2017'. The three day National Theatre Festival held at Darpan Auditorium, Shilpgram, organized by Natyansh Society of Dramatic and Performing Arts in collaboration with West Zone Cultural Centre, left an indelible impact on the sensible audience of Udaipur.
It started on the evening of 29th November with Nadira Babbar's play, 'JEE, JAISI AAPKI MARZI', directed by Dr. Vikas Kapoor and produced by Akanksha Sansthan, Jodhpur.
This women centric play, divided in four monologues, focuses on childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age of a woman's life. It represents their struggle set in different backgrounds of society, region, language, lifestyle, religion and even education, and portrays how the scenario of women doesn't really change. Her personal emotions go unattended. She is not free to take basic decisions of her own. Be it issue of gender inequality, orthodox conventions or economic freedom, India holds dual parameters for women. Personal liking and privacy has become a difficult dream for women in the name of religion, politics, social inevitability and what not. Even if she desires to live a peaceful life she has to obey the 'Man' and say, "Jee, jaisi aapki marzi" (Okay, as per your desire).
9-year-old child prodigy, Vanshika Sankhla, displayed natural talent in portraying characters of her mother, two sisters, father, boys and adults of her locality with much ease just as well as her narrative that captivated the audience.
Tavi Rathi as Varsha Potte brought to life the character of a young girl facing dirty threats from society. She delivered her Marathi dialogues well. As a narrator she was impressive though with her other characters, more rehearsals could help.
Jyoyi Gaud as a Punjabi women enlivened different characters effectively and expressed agony with perfect gestures. Her fluent Punjabi and extroversion added to the flavours.
Leela Nagar, a celebrated senior artist displayed her enormous talent in the role of Sultana. Her versatile acting showcased every character in its right place. Enacting varied roles and switching back to the narrator's character effortlessly. Her prominent dialogues in Urdu were highly appreciated. She even brought the audience to tears at many junctures.
The common thread with all these women characters was the illustrious display of resilience and combat while dealing with threats, never compromising and standing tall with the glint of hope.
It goes without saying that the director worked in detail with every artist and their character. Their performance reflected it. Like a one on one interaction with the audience, making the play a grand success.
Intelligent use of stage space, use of chorus by four men in black attire and terrifying painted faces representing their lusting selves, and suggestive elements like the black sharp edge backdrop, along with the light effects and musical notes, it all came together perfectly to keep up the aura till the end.
Lights and music credit goes to Mohammad Shafi and Pavan Prihar. Dance sequence in the beginning by Anupama Vakil was praise worthy. Abhishek Trivedi, Dr. Kranti Kapoor handled costume while make-up was done by Payal Sankhla and Mohammd Imran. Stage was designed and decorated by Manohar Singh Chauhan, Mohammad Imran, Afzal Hussain and Pankaj Singh Tanwar. Sutradhar's recorded narration was done by Pratibha Padhye while production was controlled by Praveen Kumar Jha.
The last evening of November witnessed 'PURUSH', presented by 'Anukruti Rangmandal', Kanpur. This celebrated play written by famous Marathi playwright Jaywant Dalvi years ago still holds relevance. This was translated in Hindi by Sudhakar Karkare and directed by Ms. Nisha Verma.
Based on the story of a young woman Ambika, this play justifies the name of the play and its protagonist. Anna Saheb Apte is an honest and noble teacher and social reformer married to Tara who was disowned by her ex-husband. Anna and Tara are regarded by society for their welfare activities. Their daughter Ambika is smart and teaches in a private School. Her friend Siddharth is a Dalit leader who fights for the rights of Dalits. Her other friend Madhura helps Ambika in raising funds for her school building. With her bold behaviour she often leads presentations against injustice and during a Mahila Morcha she ridicules a mighty politician, Gulabrao Jadhav for his illegal act publicly. Spiteful Gulabrao, enters Anna's home with revengeful political intentions and convinces Ambika to come to Dak Bunglow to help in raising funds for her school building. There he rapes her. Ambika drags him to court but the mighty politician with his influence manipulates law and gets release, defaming the young Ambika to have sexual relations with his servant Pandu. Entire Apte family suffers severe set back, Ambika's mother commits suicide. In this difficult time, her friend Siddharth also leaves her and accepts Gulabrao's offer to join a lucrative position. Ambika while facing this turmoil makes a strategic plan and enters Gulabrao's place when he is alone. She avenges herself and rings up a Police Inspector to inform, "I have castrated him to destroy his masculinity."
Jolly Ghosh played Tara powerfully, Deepika Singh as Madhura fit in her role. Rajeev Tiwari as Anna Saheb enacted his character with precision and was successful in holding attention till the end. Swayam Kumar as Siddharth delivered his dialogues with different shades, so did Samrat Yadav as Pandu and Vijay Bhaskar as Inspector Gadgil. Mahendra Dhuria as Gulabrao exhibited his talent with proficiency. He really looked like a cunning politician in all his portrayals. Anamika Jaisawal was in lead role of Ambika and she could rightly display all the required expressions impressing audience. Her struggle and bold behaviour enthralled the audience. Other actors like Dhirendra Gautam (Shiva/Court Orderly ), Anil Nigam (Vakil-1 and Banda), Anil Gaud (Vakil-2), Manohar Sukheja (Judge), Amardeep Katiyar (Constable), Mahesh Jaisawal (Ram Bahadur), Sanjay Sharma (News Reader) did their respective roles with high level of involvement to sustain interest and effect.
Music and floor was looked after by Shirish Bahadur Sinha while Costume and back stage were arranged by Jolly Ghosh, Vijay Bhaskar, Anil Gaud and Deepika Singh. Senior artist Krishna Saxena not only designed light but also consulted director. Production was controlled by Dr. Omendra Kumar.
As the Director Nisha Verma had proper control on stage, set, lights and actors. She did justice.
The first day of December witnessed 'LASHKAR CHOWK', Production of Natyansh Society of Dramatic and Performing Arts, Udaipur who were also the host.
This play was based on the story of Pandey Bechan Sharma "Ugra", Scripted by Dr. Kusum Kumar and further modified by young theatre artists Amit Shrimali and Abdul Mubin Khan. The play portrayed the scenario of pre-Independence India and showed how fanatic political leaders spoiled the peaceful atmosphere of society. The story goes such: Pandit Ramdas and his wife Panditain Leela are kind hearted people who give shelter to a young needy woman. They did not know that she (Kamar-un-nisa) is a victim of domestic violence by her Muslim husband Latthamar. She hides her identity and declares herself a widow, Thakurain. Slowly she adjusts with the Pandit family but one day her husband Latthmar captures her in Dhimapur village and drags her to Pandit's home, scolding and blaming Pandit family and takes away Kamar-un-nisa. The narrow minded Hindu leaders expel the innocent Pandit family from Hindu religion. Poor Pandit family is rescued by Muslim leader (Maulvi) by converting them to Islam. Pandit's son Shyam becomes Madeen and marries a Muslim girl Para. Time passes but Pandit family fails to cope with the Muslim religion fully and decides to re-adopt Hindu religion. This brings turmoil in politicians of Musilm and Hindu community. Khuda Ram, a Sufi and neutral old man of village Dhimapur, smells disaster and immediately involves ladies of both the communities to avoid unwanted blood struggle. During the process of resolving peace Para, wife of Shyam (Madeen) is killed. Eventually the ladies succeed in stopping further violence and the play ends with a positive note to create communal harmony.
Abudul Mubin Khan as Pandit, Palak Kayath as Panditain were very natural in enacting their most difficult roles. Raghav Gurjargaud as Shyam and Madeen was impressive. Pooja Kumari as Kamar un-nisa (Thakurain) and Ashfaq Noor Khan as Latthmar delihted with their acting talent. Dharmendra Dilawat as Maulvi and Mukhiya did a commendable job in the diverse roles. Amit Shrimali as Khuda Ram showcased powerful acting and received applauds. Aushi Khandelval as Bhikharan and her daughter, Yashoda Sisodia did their job well. Shweta Bava as Para displayed tremendous talent. Rekha Sisodia as Punno Chachi and Poonam Bhoo as Bhavani Taai exhibited their tremendous talent and impressed. A word of praise for all other actors who carried out small but significant roles, They were Mohammed Hafiz, Agatsya Hardik Nagda, Jatin Bharwani, Mohan Shivtare, Inder Singh Sisodia, Mukul Audichya, Vallabh Sharma, Bharat, Dharmveer, Vishal and Nupur Basu.
Music was appropriate and was handled by Bhuwan Sharma and Mohan Shivtare. Stage property was looked after by Dharmendra Dilawat who is good actor himself. Costume and make-up were shared by Palak, Yogita Sisodia and Shweta Bava while production was managed by Ashfak Noor Khan. Festival was coordinated by Mohammed Rizwan Mansuri and Rekha Sisodia.
Senior dramatist from Jaipur, Shahzor Ali designed lights for the play to enhance visual effects. Amit Shrimali as a director proved his worth. He is a promising director. His vision is creative and he handled few scenes very effectively. But while handling two jobs together he did lose balance but that's what a promising director's journey is all about. Abdul Mubin Khan assisted well in direction.
Prof. Arun Jain had come from Banaras to manage the Festival. Many organizations and individuals came forward to support this venture besides West Zone Cultural Centre who contributed auditorium, lights, sound and stay. The stars are casting their guiding spotlight on Udaipur Theatre.
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