By Ramesh K.Dhiman, Chandigarh, December 31 – The six-day Chandigarh Theatre and Dance Fest-2014, organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs , UT, in association with Tagore Theatre Society, ended up with an electrifying Kathak dance performances that kept the appreciative audience high on entertainment and intrigue for six days.
The Fest kicked off on December 25 with the play ‘Heera dome’ written by Usha Kiran Khan, and presented by Nirman Kala Manch, Patna. The play was staged under the direction of Sanjay Upadhaya, who also scored music for the play. Heera Dome is a popular poet coming of a ‘dalit’ family is the spirit of the play. Thaketa Dome, his contemporary, also from the same community, who rendered Heera’s lyrical compositions in his haunting voice, was killed in cold blood for his alleged affairs with the wife of a high-profile officer hailing from the higher crust of society. After the death of Thaketa, Raunak, a journalist by profession carried forward the rich legacy of the great poet. The play brought forth the clear-cut divide between the high and low on the basis of castes, beautifully reprised by the performing artistes.
On day two (December 26), another play ‘Woh Andheri Raat (WAR) and ‘Jahan Se Chale The (JSCT) were presented by artistes of the local Samvaad Theatre Group, was jointly authored by Poonam Labana and Manmohan Gupta Moni. The play was directed by Kuldip Sharma, a well-known theatre thespian. WAR depicts the pathetic story of an old decrepit woman, whose young lover to some faraway lands, moon ago, on a false promise of marrying her. She languishes through her twilight years, still pinning hope on his return journey, apparently to marry her. While JSCT is the engaging story of three college buddies, who are lost into oblivion just by a quirk of fate, only to reunite again after three decades. The plays sum up the undying spirit of love, longing, hope and despair and, of course the unyielding strife of a person high on hope.
The third day (December 27) witnessed yet another thematic play ‘Prem Ki Pribhasha’, written and directed by Dilip Shankar and was presented by the artistes of Delhi-based Centre for Creative Expressions. The play defines and redefines the subtle complexities of expression, experience and exploration of love and painting it with a mosaic of magical hues and the hurdles that those in love have to leapfrog. Set against the ambient backdrop, the play a fitting tribute to the institution of love through the musical notes soaked in honey. It left the audience spellbound for full one hour, the duration of the play.
The audience had the taste of a musical play ‘Ghazab Teri Adaa’ on day four (December 28) that evoked standing ovation for the powerful presentation. Written and directed by Professor Waman Kendre, the play was enacted by the artistes of National School of Drama Repertory, Delhi. The story in the play deals with the causes, concerns and consequences of war that leaves a trail of destruction in the aftermath. It brings forth the insatiable greed of human beings, who choose to shed blood for expanding their kingdoms by capturing more and more areas from their neighbor. The play seeks to raise a powerful voice against the ravages of war and the need for forging lasting peace and communal harmony among the countries and the common man. The music, costumes and choreography are so well blended that it leaves no loose ends, feel the hawk-eyed critics.
This was followed by another hit play ‘Sandhaya Chhaya’ presented by the local theatre group, Theatre for Theatre, which was penned by Jaiwant Dalvi and directed by Sudesh Sharma. The poignant play dexterously brings out the pangs of privations of old age. The play zigzags through certain twists and turns in the life an old couple towards stuck in the evening of their lives. The thematic play brings a deluge of traumas in the couple’s live. Their younger son serving in the Indian Air Force gets killed at the hands of insurgents. The elder son marries a foreigner, much against their parents’ wishes. The artistes had left no stone unturned to deliver in its truest sense. The couple seeks solace in small things of life, like attending phone calls or doing some hospitality or charity to keep their traumas at bay.
The last day of the razzmatazz witnessed the scintillating kathak dance performances by amateur kathak danseuse Bhawna Garg, Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department, who proved her mettle by giving a power-packed performance, a rare blend of emotion, ecstasy and intrigue. This was followed by another kathak presentation by Amit Gangani, a young exponent of kathak and scion of the Jaipur Gharana. The colourful wrap-up show of the unique festival saw PU Vice Chancellor Arun Grover among the who’s who of the city dignitaries in attendance.