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Press Clippings 1
June 2 at Abanindra Sabhagriha (Charukala Bhavan) & June 3 at Academy of Fine Arts; 6.30 pm: On the occasion of its 46th anniversary, Gandhar presents a festival of plays. June 2: Ja Naie Bharata (play & play reading: Manoj Mitra). June 3: Jaraa Brishtite Bhijechhilo (dir: Goutam Halder; solo acting by Bijoylakshmi Barman). Till June 3 at YMCA Hall, 113 Vivekananda Road; 5.30 pm: 6th Intimate Theatre Festivalorganised by YMCA and Bibhaban in association with Dream Theatre. Participating troupes include Janaswar, Ram Jas College (Delhi), Ritam, Bratyajan, Natyamukh (Ashok Nagar), Anarjya, Fact, Alternative Living Theatre, Bibhaban, Shatabdi along with productions by students of schools and colleges. June 2 - 4 at Rabindra Sadan: Kolkata Eso Natak Shikhi hosts 4th National Children’s Theatre Fest in joint collaboration with Paschimbanga Natya Academy. June 2, 6 pm: Rocket Frog (English; artistic director: Susana Garcia) by The Flying Gorillas, London; at 7 pm: Bhumigeetam (Malayalam; dir: G. Sajikumar Sopanam) by Navarang, Palakkad, Kerala; at 8 pm: Chalan (Oriya; dir: Jangynaseni Daschoudhury) by Ekta Vahini, Dhenkanal, Orissa. June 3, 4 pm: Pap-Punya (Hindi; dir: Bashistha Prasad Sinha) by Kala Niketan, Dhanbad; at 5 pm: Tetnai (Bengali; dir: Pranab Saha) by Dakshini, Agartala; at 6 pm: Khai Khai Raja (Bengali; dir: Anisur Rahman) by Bangla Shishu Nattam, Bangladesh; at 7 pm: Pakshilok Adallondu Prasanga (Kannada; dir: Umesh Suliyan) by Apurba Kala Vidaru Kannada Theatre, Karnataka; and at 8 pm: Hamid (Hindi; dir: Sandhya Saxena) by Sanskar Bharati Natya Kendra, Agra, UP.
Press Clippings 2
June 4 at Rabindra Sadan: The concluding day of 4th National Children’s Theatre Fest, hosted by Eso Natak Shikhi, Calcutta, in collaboration with Paschimbanga Natya Academy, features at 4 pm: Maanush (Hindi; dir: Mirza Hamed Beig) by Koshish Theatre, Hyderabad; at 5 pm: Hum Kunware Rahe (Hindi; dir: Upendra Kumar) by Plasma Pathways, Patna; at 6 pm: Swapno Dekha (Bengali; dir: Md. Helal Mia) by Bandhumahal Shilpi Shangstha, Gazipur, Bangladesh; at 7 pm: Gandhigiri (Hindi; dir: Raju Kumar) by Trimurti, Jaipur; and at 8 pm: Tota Kahini (Hindi; dir: Mithu De and Rana Mukherjee) by Eso Natak Shikhi, Calcutta.
Press Clippings 3
Save the world
Issues that affect us were presented at
the fourth edition of Eso Natak Shikhi through theatre. Friederike Krieger took
a front row seat
The big Mexican hats rested on piles of colourful clothes. They were sleeping, snoring aloud. Soon, they began to snore to music. An occasional cough began to be heard. And then the cloaks and hats were thrown aside to reveal Susana Garcia, Nigel Warrack, Tamzen Moulding, Edwin Lung and Diego Suarez ~ The Flying Gorillas from London.
Theirs was the opening act for the annual National Children’s Theatre Fest held at Rabindra Sadan. This was the fourth time that Eso Natak Shikhi invited children’s theater groups from across India ~ Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Kerala, Tripura and Rajasthan. An international dimension was lent by The Flying Gorillas and theater groups Bangla Shishu Natyam and Bandhumahal Shilpi Shangstha from Bangladesh.
The thought that the end result would be a cultural hotch-potch was brushed aside as the festival progressed. Actors of The Flying Gorillas concentrate on miming, an universal language. They were a delight to watch ~ peacock feather balanced on their nose, doing handstand and mimicking rats dancing to the sound of the flute. The instruments they used are close to us ~ flute, saxophone and drum, besides wooden boxes, plastic buckets, broomsticks and spoons. Further, the central figure of the play is internationally renowned ~ The Bad Man. Disguised in cloak and hat, he popped up occasionally to disrupt the activities undertaken by actors. He made no bones about stealing a box or the electric mouse.
He took a different name during his performance. “During tours in the UK, he is called Maloman. Here we are calling him Bajeman,” said Nigel Warrack. This was not their first time India. Previously they were seen in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, working with children, an activity that amazes Warrack. “These children are special. They are creative yet disciplined,” he added. The 30 “little” actors from Eso Natak Shikhi only required one and a half hour of practice with “The Flying Gorillas”. With their special dance they drove away Bajeman. “With the children from Eso Natak Shikhi we practiced only four days ago. But they remember instructions well,” said Warrack. “We conducted the training sessions easily, much more than in the UK”.
At the festival, 13 dramas were staged, the last being on Monday. The topics presented were varied and the child actors laid stress on critical issues ~ stop harming nature, the ills of children marriage, poverty and religious quarrels.
Press Reviews 1
A different theatre experience
Five school students, kidnapped by terrorists who try to use them to press for negotiations for the release of their leader, fall back on their ingenuity and will power to free themselves.
This is the story line of one of the plays that will feature in `Suryothsavam-2003', the National Children's Theatre Festival being organised in Kochi by Surya Children's Theatre from December 26 to 30.
The play, `A Aamar Desh' (This is my country) by Eso Natak Shikhi from West Bengal, is one of the five plays that will be staged at the festival.
Another play is `Kisse' (A Tale of Tales), a Hindi play presented by the Association for Nascent Art and Natural Talent (ANANT) from New Delhi. This is woven around different stories told by different people in different styles, all dovetailing to form one narrative. The narrators include a grandmother, two birds - Tota and Maina, a royal story-teller, a street vendor of medicines and a bard who narrates a folk legend.
The United Artist from Tezpur, Assam, will present `School Bag' in Hindi, which explores the relationship between Nature and children. Though Nature is the first friend of a child, they are being deprived of this relationship by a heavy school bag. Written and directed by Aiswaryya Kakoty, the play evoked a good response at different festivals.
The Mizoram Drama Organisation will present `Chawngtinleri' that visualises the love affair between Chawngtinleri, a fairy and Zalhranga, a human being. The Little Star Convent School from Suratgarh, Rajastan, will present `Katputli ka Vidroh' (Revolt of the Puppet), directed by Bhagvan Das Sharma.
"The hosts, Surya Children's Theatre, will present `Bayen', a play based on a story by Maheswata Devi. Mazhavillu, children's theatre group of the Changampuzha Cultural Centre and the Lokadharmi will present stage `Charandas Chor'. Rangaprabhath will also participate with their new play,'' said K.R. Rajan, secretary of Surya Children's Theatre.
The festival, at the Fine Arts hall, will also feature seminars, discussions and interestingly, a welcome song composed of four lines each from the various languages represented in the festival.
"We are also planning to organise a workshop for the participants of this festival. The workshop will be led by personalities like Aiswaryya Kakoty and Chandradasan. It will provide an exposure to our children, as this is a chance for them to get to know new theatre practices,'' Mr. Rajan said.
How the organisers will find time enough for all these activities is a different question. For the time being, those at the Surya Children Theatre are preparing the ground for the big event.
By Anand Haridas
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Press Conference 1
4th National Children’s Theatre Fest
Press Conference organised by Kolkata,Eso Natak Shikhi
on 30th May 2007 at Conference Hall, Paschimbanga Natya Akademy at 5pm.
Kolkata Eso Natak Shikhi, the Children’s Drama Workshop cum Production Centre, is untiringly trying to develop the hidden talent of the children aged 5 to 15, through presentation and research in drama for the last 17 years. The latent talent of the children flourishes under the aegis of affectionate attention of the director along with the training , the institute also trains children in song-dance-mime-voice absolutely free. They never sell any tickets to the children for enjoying the plays.
Since its inception, the institution has so far presented seven productions to the drama-loving audiences of India. Apart from West bengal it has marked its presence in Assam, Orissa, U.P, M.P, A.P, H.P., Jharkhand, Delhi, Kerala, Manipur by participating in different National and International children’s theatre festivals &/or competitions. It is noteworthy that, the institute is the only one from West Bengal that participated in International Children’s Theatre Festival at Delhi , organized by NIPA, a wing of UNESCO, during the last four consecutive years. Moreover, Sri Tapas Das, the director of the team participated in the International Seminer on children’s theatre held at Stuttgart, Germany during June 2005, as the only representative from Asia. He was also invited by City Moon team of Bankstown, Sydney, Australia to experience children’s theatre.
Among its various productions “Dukhuramer Arupkatha” voices an emotional protest against the urbanization of folk-art (staged 110 times), “Ekta Mather Janyo” deals with the commercialization of urban land depriving the children from their playground ( staged 90 times),“E Amar Desh” highlights the bravery of school children of different provinces against the attempt of terrorist to weaken India’s national security and integrity (staged 94 times),“Bubuner Ankarog” reveals the urge of a children’s mind against narrow carriculum, “Aborto” is the emotional tale of decadent youthfulness against drug addiction. Apart from these, there are two one-act plays “Maronastro” & “Tatan aar Sada Paira” against the war mongers.Up-holding the eternal values of peace & humanity. All plays are composed & directed by Sri Tapas Das, the founder of the institution. These uphold the problems of the society in the form the allegories that attract not only the children, but also adults.
Being encouraged & inspired by the viewers Kolkata Eso Natak Shikhi organised National Children’s Drama Festival in Kolkata during last three consecutive years. Which were graced by the honourable finance minister, Sri Asim Dasgupta & Sri Subhas Chakraborty, honourable minister in charge of sports, Youth welfare & transport, Govt.of W est Bengal. Moreover, respected theatre personalities like Manoj Mitra, Bibhas Chakraborty, Raja Sen, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Meghnad Bhattacharjee, Bijoylaksmi Burman were present in these festivals to encourage the kids. Like the previous years, this year Kolkata Eso Natak Shikhi will organise 4th National Children’s Theatre Festival from 2nd to 4th June at Rabindra Sadan in association with Paschimbanga Natya Akademy & Ministry of Sports &Youth Welfare, Govt. of W.B.The participants of this festival are from Kerala, Orissa, Mizoram, Jharkhand, A.P,. Rajasthan,Karnatak,Bihar etc.The special dimension of this year’s festival is that two drama teams from Bangladesh & one from U.K. are participating.This has added an International character in the festival.
The ultimate object of this organization is to educate the children & to make them socially concious citizens. Moreover it desires to educate the children living below the poverty line through recreation. Eso Natak Shikhi family dreams of establishing a drama academy in future where besides providing tranning in performing arts, it would also take care of their physical & mental development. In this way a brand of young soldiers would be created, who would be dedicated for upholding progressive theatre.