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So far, the Winter Play Fest disappoints the audience

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karwat-(1)

The ongoing 23 days long, Winter Play Festival organized by the Gaiety Dramatic Society at the Historic Gaiety Theater, the Mall, Shimla, began with the hope of seeing some if not great but still good performances by the all art lovers but the festival kick stared on a very bad note.

From November 14 to 24, plays “Phir yaad aaye papa” by Natyanukriti Theatre Group ; “Rana Zhina” by Active Monal Thratre Kullu ; “Karwat” by Yuva Mandal Bhalavag; “Manto Katghare me” by the Platform Theatre Group Shimla; “The Typist” by Natyakaar Theatre Group Shimla; “Rangnath Ke waapsi” and “Bakri” by Anukriti Rangmandal Kanpur; “Batwaare ke aag” and “Chandan Van Ka Bagh” by Vinod Rastogi Samriti Sansthaan, Allahabad; “Vanka” by Muskaan Theatre Group, Shimla and “Billiya Batiyate hai” by Ab Theatre Group have been staged.

Phir yaad turned out to be too disappointing as inspite of having a sober theme play failed to connect to audience as one of the spectators said, “I slept in the play as the beginning was too boring father kept repeating the same thing which I felt monotonous other than that there was so much fumbling by the actor playing son that I failed to connect.”

On other hand we saw Rana Zhina was based on historic incident that took place in 15 Century in Kullu showcasing the doom of sensible king by the hand of Muchiyani due to ego. While commenting on play, Shweta Sood one of the spectators said, “There were so many scenes in this play so many times there was black out on stage. I personally feel that director could have thought some other way for executing this legendary story without breaking the continuity.”

Karwat based on Manto’s story showcased the hypocrisy and the double standard that exists in the society through incident between a noble man and a prostitute. However the play had too much experiment done with the light.

“Manto Katghare me”, dealt with three different well known controversial stories of Manto; that is Kali Salwaar, Bu and Thanda Gosht; for which he had been under court trial. All the stories showed various ways shades of physical relations.

While commenting on this play Monika Verma, a tourist said, “The theme of play was a delicate one and I personally felt that the aesthetic veil required to project it was missing as it became bit uncomfortable watching it in a public place. Protagonist in Bu has stiff body language. Manto was too weak and spot light was somewhere else while he vomited out his crammed dialogues in dark and at many places without voice modulation.”

Typist came as a bit relief as while commenting, Neha Sharma, one of the spectators said, “It came as a breath of fresh air. However I personally didn’t like the uproar of laughter when Paul calls his wife bitch though situation seemed comic but undertone laid a note showing that even females do not have any self respect for themselves that they enjoy such abusive language used for other female.”

Rangnath being a long play (2 hours) failed to bag massive audience as Gaurav Kumar, one of spectators said, “It was confusing in village there showed court trial instead of panchyat. Other than that the back stage moments were distracting as the posters on back cloth were moving a lot. The lawyer was too weak in his performance.”

Bakri showcased the story of 3 crooks fooling the poor villagers gave the messages that one person can bring a revolution if he makes up his mind but the biggest flaw of the play was that goat was shown alive so make it more realistic bleating sound could have been added in background to give it a more realistic approach.

“Batwaare” was a complete package as falling in genre of Natunki it was something very different from what was being staged in festival before. While commenting on the play, Sanjay Sood, local theater artist said, “They are the masters as it is said for any performance 3 elements are must song, music and acting; and they had it all.”

As per expectation even the other play “Chandan” though in different genre did not disappoint the audiences at all as it again proved to be a delightful experience. The makeup and the body language of the actor playing the lion were extraordinary.

“Vanka”, based on Anthon Chekhov story was staged showcasing the universal plight of orphans by being mistreated by the society back then though was a great effort as the actors belonged to college rather than professional but however “I was not able to figure out the end it was all abrupt and I fail to understand what the old man signified as though Vanka was sleeping at back and it was a dream sequel; which I learned later. There could have been some use to light to make it more clear”, said Ashok Kumar, a regular spectator.

Today “Billiya” was a treat to watch as there was uproar of laughter and for the first time applause by audience was heard in the middle of the performance. Again at certain places light did miss its timing by millisecond but considering the performance staged so far it was some few good ones. Considering the stage properties the amma chulla was the eye catcher.

In almost all the plays there was so much experimenting with lights that instead of enhancing the performances they left majority of action on stage in very dim light causing bit discomfort among the spectators. Other than that the backstage moments is couple of plays were again something that gave a bad taste.

A review by Ritanjali Hastir, Freelance Journalist, Shimla

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Art & Culture

Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18 Announced, These 4 Persons Would be Honored

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Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman 2017-18

Shimla– ‘Himachal Academy Shikhar Samman’ Award has been announced for the year 2017-18, informed the Secretary Academy Dr. Karam Singh on June 6, 2020.  

The recommendation of the jury the winners have been announced, he said, adding that four Shikhar Samman (awards) would be given in the field of language, culture and literature for two years and Rs. one lakh each would be given to each awardee.

He said that for the year 2017, Prof. Keshav Sharma would be honoured for contribution in Literature and special achievements. Folk Singer Mohan Rathour would be honoured with Language and Culture Shikar Samman.

For the year 2018, Dr. O.C. Handa would be honoured with Sahitya Shikhar Samman, whereas Dinesh Kumari of Kangra would be honoured in Art and Culture sector.

The ‘Shikhar Samman’ is given to the Himachali writers in the field of art and culture and to littérateurs from the country who worked for the promotion of Himachali language, traditions and culture.

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Video: Replica of Himachal’s Bhimakali Temple at International Surajkund Mela Becomes Centre of Attraction

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Bhimakali temple in Surajkund Mela 2020

Shimla- The replica of Bhimakali temple in the ongoing 34th International Surajkund Crafts Mela has become the main attraction. The real temple is located in Sarahan of Shimla district and dedicated to goddess Bhimakali.

Himachal is a theme state for this event. A large number of people are visiting to see the permanent structure of the Bhimakali temple, which has been built in traditional style.

Earlier, in the year 1996 also Himachal was the theme state and permanent replica of Maheshwar Devta temple was set up there. Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism has organized the event in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, and External Affairs from 1st to 16th February .

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Besides this, five temporary gates and one permanent gate made in traditional Himachali style have been set up in the Mela ground, giving a glimpse of the state. Two-storey Apna Ghar made in traditional Pahari style has also been set up and a family from district Chamba is starting in it this family is providing the tourists with an experience of rural culture and lifestyle of the state.

Himachal at surajkund mela 2020

The stalls of handicrafts and handlooms of the state are also being much liked by the tourists. Various cultural programmes reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the state are being presented during the Mela.  A large number of tourists are also visiting the information centre set up at the Mela ground.

 The government claims that in order to attract national and international tourists, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh is marketing and publicizing the tourism potential of the State.

The government claims such international level platform will help in the promotion of Tourism as well as rich cultural heritage, folk songs, handloom-handicrafts, cuisines of the state and these tourism-related products are the attraction for the tourists.

 

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Devdhun Played by 2200 Bajantris at Kullu Dussehra Enters ‘India Book of Records’, Fest Concludes

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Video Dev Dhun at kullu dussehra enters india book of records

Kullu-The international Kullu Dussehra concluded on Monday with great fanfare and enthusiasm. More than 281 deities from various parts of Kullu district participated in this cultural extravaganza.

Other than Mega Natti performed by 4000 women on October 12, over 2200 Bajantris (instrumentalists) congregated at the Atal Sadan ground on October 13 in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to play ‘Devdhun’

Devdhun is the sound that resonates after playing different traditional instruments when deities move out of their temples to join local festivals. ‘Devdhun’ has been entered as a record in the India Book of Records with a record 2200 Bajantries playing the musical instruments simultaneously.

The Mega Natti performed in 2015 by nearly 10000 women at Kullu Dussehra has already entered into Guinness Book of World Records.

On Monday, Chief Minister presided over the concluding ceremony held at Lal Chand Prarthi Kala Kendra, Kullu. He announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) of local deities participating in Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent. He also announced an increase of 25 per cent in distance allowance (Duri Bhatta) given to the deities.

He announced 15 percent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides increasing the amount for celebrating Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra from Rs 75,000 to Rs one lakh and for Vashisht Dussehra festival from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs. 75,000. He said that the ‘Gur’ of the Deities would be provided a separate amount of Rs 1000.

Kullu Dussehra provides a livelihood to the indigenous community as they provide them with a platform to display their products for a much wider audience. This festival was also contributing immensely in promoting tourism in the State with tourists visiting Kullu to watch this cultural extravaganza from the world over.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government would ensure that this event not only become a regular event but also an added attraction of International Kullu Dussehra. He said that in the present era of cut-throat competition, our age-old culture and traditions were slowly vanishing and urged the people to come forward to conserve the same. He announced Rs. 5 lakh from his discretionary fund to the Bajantaries who performed during the event.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated the building of Press Club, Kullu for facilitating the journalists of Kullu district.

He distributed prizes to the winners of different events on the occasion and released Souvenir brought out by the Dussehra Organizing Committee. He also released a poster of documentary ‘Gallantry Saga-BRO, released a booklet published by State Language and Art Academy and a souvenir ‘Atal Samritian’ published by Kullu Sanskriti Vikas Manch.

Chief Minister was also presented with a book ‘Indigenous Building Practice System in Western Himalayas-A Comparative Study’ authored by a young author, Architect and expert in traditional Kathkuni house, Rahul Bhushan.

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