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Theatre In Manipur Alive And Kicking

IMPHAL, Feb 7: The Mythical Surrender, a Manipuri play performed by the artistes of NT Theatre and directed by Ningthouja Deepak has been nominated for the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, 2011 in as many as nine categories.

Theatre critic and columnist of The Sangai Express (Manipuri edition) Budha Chingtham is the playwright of the widely acclaimed play.

The nominated categories are best play, best director for Ningthouja Deepak, best stage design for Ngariyambam Jiten and Takhellambam Sachikumar, best lighting director for Gurumayum Imotomba Sharma, best innovative sound design for Ningthouja Jayvidya, best costume design for Thoudam Kiyo and Chongtham Loyalakpa Chanu, best actor in a leading role (female) for Nepram Dhanapati Devi, best supporting actor (male) Ninthouja Jayvidya and best choreographer for Ningthouja Deepak.

Accordingly, the theatre group has been invited to participate in the drama competition of the Mahindra Theatre Festival due to be held from March 2 to 7 either at Kamani auditorium or Sriram Centre, New Delhi.

Addressing a press conference at the Changangei complex of the theatre group today, director of NT Theatre Ningthouja Deepak said that it is an honor to get so many nominations in one play.

Deepak explained that his play is constructed upon the backdrop of military combing operations conducted as counter insurgency measures in the NE region of the country.

In the storyline of the play, one woman (Shanarei) was raped by a serpent like human and thereby making her enceinte. Such a heinous act left an agonizing, oppressive and everlasting memory in her life. When the child born out of this unholy alliance grew up, it used to adopt the serpentine manners of the rapist. Unable to bear any longer, the mother killed the son only to save the future of her society.

It is said that Mythical Surrender is one of the 10 plays nominated for the award from out of 246 entries for all the all India competition.

The best director award carries a cash reward of Rs 75,000 while Rs 1 lakh for the best production ward.

Deepak further informed that ahead of the Mahindra Theatre Festival, NT Theatre would be drama festival for the North East from February 19 to 28and the META nominated Mythical Surrender would be performed on the first day of the festival.

Other plays which have been nominated for best play along with Mythical Surrender for the META award, 2011 are Aaj Rang Hai (Aarmabh & T Pot Productions), Ambedkar Aur Gandhi (Asmita Theatre Group), Bayaa Daar Ughad (Awishkar), Dancing on Glass (Actors Ensemble India Forum), Mamtaz Bhai Patangwale (aRANYA), Punashccha Honeymoon (Samanvay), Red Sparrow (aRANYA), The Interview (Akvarious Productions & Le Chayim Productions) and Tichee 17 Prakarne (Aasakta Kalamanch).

The selection committee reportedly consisted of Deepa Gehlot, Bishnupriya, Jaidev Taneja and Mridula Behari.

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Kshetri Jugindro’s play, Abhigyana Sakuntalam’ has been selected for participation in the 26th Patliputra Natya Mahotsava festival to be held in Patna next month.

The play is a Manipuri adaptation of Kalidas’ Sakuntalam and has blended some characteristics of Manipuri culture and tradition.   The six-day festival starting on March 2 is a National multi-lingual drama and folk dance festival cum competition and Abhigyana Sakuntalam is among six plays being selected in the non-competition section.

‘I am so happy with my new play being selected for the prestigious festival. Our troupe will leave Imphal on February 28 for the show slated for March 4,’ Jugindro (52) said.

A resident of Singjamei, Jugindro got his diploma from the National School of Drama, New Delhi in 1986 and since then he has acted in over 40 plays and directed 34 plays.

Kshetri Jugindro has written over 15 plays also participated in hordes of International theatre festivals in erstwhile USSR, Edinburgh, Scotland, Netherlands, Belgium, China, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Germany and Dublin. A State Akademi awardee, Jugindro puts all sorts of traditional Manipuri folk music and costume in Abhigyan Sakuntalam.

It took four months to train his artistes to enact Abhigyana Shakuntalam and it was successfully staged for the first time at Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy at Imphal on August 8 last year, Jugindro, who has also newly set up his own theater complex at the historic Langthabal Kunja in Imphal West, said. ‘Movements of folk music, martial art form, Pung Cholom and Nat Sankritiana and classical dance are also put in my play,’ Jugindro, who established his own theater group ‘˜Manipuri Ensemble’ way back in 1986, said. The inner the-me of the play as well as the characteristics of the deep romance of the main protagonists of the play Sakuntala and King Dusyanta are not doctored, he added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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