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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.