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Eminent actor Pankaj Kapoor, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and theatre director Shekhar Sen were among those who were present at the closing ceremony of the 17th edition of National School of Drama’s annual theatre extravaganza here.

With Breaking Borders as this year’s theme, 12 countries participated in the festival, which witnessed 82 plays in 23 languages.

The festival came to a close with the play Aadirangam, which was an ensemble of tribal performers. The various performances which were included in the play were Ghantu dance of Sikkim, Sambhalpuri and Shankh Dhwani dances of Odisha and Dappu dance of Andhra Pradesh.

“I am happy that today I am amidst so many theatre artistes. This festival, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, also brings colour and focuses on the new edition of theatre. I am saying all these not as a minister but as a theatre lover,” Javadekar said. He also emphasised that quality should not be compromised to increase the number of plays in the festival every year.

“I belong to Maharashtra and there we have a big culture of theatre. Bengal and Gujarat are the other two states where theatre is very prominent. This festival brings out the new developments in the field of theatre. We witnessed around so many plays this year and it’s a great thing. But I feel quality should not be compromised,” he said.

Pankaj Kapoor reminisced his days in NSD and discussed how the theatre has revolutionised over the period of time. “It always feels great to comeback to home (NSD). When people here were discussing the statistics of plays performed here, I was surprised. When I was in first year, our teacher shared the idea of performing 7-8 shows in Purana Quila,” the Karamchand actor recalled.

“During that time, it was a revolutionary thought by him. But we did perform for 24 days with those shows and that’s how the idea of theatre festival began. It’s a matter of honour for all of us,”
Kapoor said.
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