On the occasion of the hundredth year celebration of Kakasaheb Khadilkar’s Swayamvar and Govind Ballal Deval’s Samshay Kallol, the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Sarvajanik Utsav Samiti organised a Marathi Sangeet Natak Utsav – a Festival of Natya Sangeet of Maharashtra from November 4– 6 in the national Capital.
The festival commenced with pure comedy music -drama, Samshay Kallol – an adaptation by Govind Ballal Deval of his own prose ‘Phalgunrao’ which was written in 1893. The characters in the drama namely Falgun, Kritika and Ashwinsheth are under the deep influence of suspicion about each other and their acts produce comedy throughout the play. A very well-known actor and director of the play, Manohar Joshi has earned acclaim for his performances in various plays.
The second day of the festival brought with it a Marathi music-drama, Swayamvar, a story based on the love marriage of Lord Shri Krishna and Rukmini- daughter of king Bhishmaka (Vidarbha). The story, written by Krushnaji Prabhakar Khadilkar and directed by Kirti Shiledar orchestrates music composed by famous musician of early twenties, Bhaskarbua Bakhale.
The ragas such as Bhimpalas, Yaman, Jaijaiwanti, Mand, Malkaunsa and others have been used in the music hence the songs are famous to this day. The playwright very effectively presented the tussle leading up to the marriage of Krishna with Rukmini, and the theme of the play ie love affairs, in spite of the mythological plot is very relevant even today.
The last day of the festival began with documentary film screening - ‘Marathi Natya Sangeet’, which literally means Marathi Dramatic Music. The film, directed by Madhavi Vaidya is one of the genres of the commercial theatre in Maharashtra which began in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Natya Sangeet uses all the classical styles of singing including Khayal Ang, Thumri Ang and light classical forms like Dadra and Bhavgeet.
Marathi stage music came into vogue in the year 1880, when Balwant Pandurang alias Annasaheb Kirloskar staged his first musical play Sangeet Shakuntal. The tradition started by him has continued till date and its impact has not reduced. The screening was followed by ‘Marathi Natyasangeet ka Saundaryabodh’, which is a combination of prose and poetry.
The Natya Sangeet was presented by Dr Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan, a well-known classical singer. The programme – whose concept, script and direction is by Jayram Potdar – attempts to present areas, varieties, interpretation, style of singing, presentation, poetics, fulfilment of various rasa, variations in raga and tala of Natyasangeet.