Koraput: Curtains came down among a big round of applause in a audience packed auditorium as the third edition of Nandanik’s Deomali Jatiya Natya Mahotsava 2018 concluded with the premiere of the organizing team’s Takshaka, a play by Manoj Mitra adapted to Odia & directed by Sourav Gupta. Based on a story from the Mahabharata, the play heralds the victory of life over death.
Earlier in the evening, Ashok Mukhopadhyay, veteran actor from Kolkata gave a scintillating solo performance titled Kushilab, a play which traced the socio economic & political journey of Bengal post independence through the eyes of a retired actor. The story is by Swapnomoy Chakraborty & produced by Theatre Workshop, Kolkata directed by Mukhopadhyay himself. The audience comprising mainly locals remained glued to their seats throughout the hour long play inspite of it being in a different language.
Shri Krishna Singh, eminent author & social worker was the chief guest of the evening.Youngster Abinash Pani mesmerised everyone with his tabla performance in between the two plays.
The 3rd Deomali Jatiya Natya Mahotsava started on 3rd August 2018 with Odia plays Station & Ichha performed by Natyashala & Kathakara, both the teams based in Bhubaneswar. The first play, directed by Rajesh Panda dealt with the life of two beggars in the trains & platforms. The performers are alumni of the Drama Department, Sambalpur University. The second play was a solo performance by Arjun Samantaray, written & directed by him also, where he dealt with sensitive issues relating to women in our society, the treatment which they get and the suffering they undergo. The audience were enthralled with the freshness of their content & form.
Ashok Mukhopadhyay, who retired as a Professor of Mass Communication at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata has been associated with the Bangla theatre stage for 58 years and his group, Theatre Workshop is 52 year old now. To celebrate this journey in theatre an a biographical documentary film titled Rangabhumi Bhalobasi , directed by Santanu Saha was screened. Nandanik felicitated Shri Mukhopadhyay on behalf of people of Koraput.
On both days Ashok Mukhopadhyay, himself a stalwart of the Bangla stage, appreciated the three Odia plays. he was nostalgic on seeing Nandanik’s Takshaka , a play which he himself had directed in Bangla for Theatre Workshop, way back in 1975. Shri Mukhopadhyay praised the continuous theatre efforts of Nandanik in Koraput, the temperament of the audience and hoped that soon Koraput will become a great centre of Odisha theatre.
The Deomali Jatiya Natya Mahotsava is a multi state multi language theatre festival started in 2016 by Nandanik with an aim to facilitate cultural exchange between theatre of Odisha & other states. In last two years plays have been staged in Odia, Bangla, Marathi, Hindi & Urdu language. This is the only national level theatre festival in south Odisha organized by a theatre group without any government grant.
Formed in 2016, Nandanik is a theatre group operated by youth of Koraput under the direction of Sourav Gupta & Monideepa Gupta with help from local youth. Since its inception on 1st August 2014, Nandanik has catapulted Koraput onto the national cultural map by its continuous theatre activities including drama productions by seniors & children, workshops, festivals and seminars. Nandanik has collaborated with national government organizations like Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata & Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.