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Breaking the barriers: Women centric plays staged at NSD

Breaking the barriers: Women centric plays staged at NSD

Day five of the ongoing 21-Bharat Rang Mahotsav witnessed plays that revolved around women. Plays like 'Trojan Women', 'Yamata Amasung Keibu Keioiba' and 'Gumm Hai' entertained the audience immensely.

'Trojan Women', an international production (Russian) proved that language holds no barrier as it conveyed its message beautifully to the audience that witnessed this spectacle.

Meet the director

The talk was facilitated between the directors of 'Vast', 'Bury the Dead', 'Gurmakhao Ghoda', 'Nupigee Thamoi' and the students. Vast's Director Philippe Pelen Baldini elaborated on his play saying, "From gravity to weightlessness, it is also an exploration of the body being free in three dimensions, and of its expansion into vastness."

While talking about the classic drama 'Burry the Dead', director Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha said "I think of it more so as a surrealistic drama and not a realistic one. The feeling of anger agony and revenge leads to wars."

'Ghoramukho Pala', a play written by late renowned play writer Girish Karnad, ascended to another level with the melodious music. Accepting the praise, Yumnam Rajendra thanked all the audience.

The last play discussed was 'Nupigee Thamoi'. Based on legendary events of Manipur, the play show male artistes not only enacting the roles of female characters but also singing like women.

Living Legend DP Sinha

The living legend Daya Prakash Sinha shared about his yesteryears and the epics that he has created.

Sinha is an outstanding playwright, actively involved in Hindi theatre for over five decades and has been decorated with many laurels. The audience was honoured to have shared the afternoon with him listening to his experiences. He shared his inspiration for writing and told that everyone has different ways of writing. He also shared that he writes when inspiration strikes him and, in any order, as it is his ambition not his profession.

Among the play showcased on February 6, 'Yamata Amasung Keibu Keioiba' won a lot of appreciation. It is an attempt to interweave two folktales – Yamata no Orochi from Japan, and Keibu Keioiba from Manipur.

Yamata no Orochi is a serpent-dragon in Japanese myth, who has eight heads and eight tails, and its enormous body reaches across eight valleys and eight hills.

It is a legendary story of how a young ingenious boy Susanoo saves a beautiful lady Kushinada from Yamata who was about to devour her. Yamata had already devoured seven of her elder sisters.

In the Manipuri tale, Keibu Keioiba is a creature having half tiger and half human features. He kidnaps a young girl Thabaton, who was home alone.

However, a clever old lady manages to make Thabaton's seven brothers take revenge and save their sister.

THE TROJAN WOMEN

The play begins with two gods, Athena and Poseidon, descending from the heavens to discuss the aftermath of the war between the invading Greek armies and the people of the city of Troy.

Poseidon has supported the Trojans, whereas Athena has supported the Greeks. However, she has now turned against them since the Greek warrior, Ajax, raped the Trojan princess Cassandra in Athena's temple, which the goddess seesasan act of great disrespect.

As a result, she has called on Poseidon, as well as Zeus, to work with her and create stormy seastopunish the Greeks on their journey home.

The gods exit, and the mortal plot unfolds. The stage shows a tent with the recently enslaved women of Troy. Hecuba, the former queen of Troy, laments the destruction of her city, and the horrible treatment her family has endured.

The Chorus, made up of her former hand maidens and other noble Trojan women, joinsher, and to get her they sing, wondering what will become of them when Greeks will be their masters.

GUMM HAI

Kapil and Devdutta of Dharmapur are the heroes of our play. One comes from a Brahmin family the story begins with a child going missing in a village, and examines how an inexplicable loss irrevocably changes the dynamics within a family and the community.

The varied skeins of narratives were dovetailed to examine and understand grief, loss, death, human affirmation and survival.

This play was a way of engaging with the world, dealing with lost memories, and retrieval and archiving of these memories through performance and

storytelling.

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