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Winter fest showed some hope in week goneby

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Chanku

Majority of the plays failed to appeal to the spectators for one reason or another

Shimla -In the yet another week of the ongoing 23 days long, Winter Play Festival organized by the Gaiety Dramatic Society at the Historic Gaiety Theater, the Mall, Shimla, majority of productions failed to appeal the spectators for some reason or the other though after staging of “Billiya” on November 24 filled people with some hope but except for productions – “Gao ka Lambardaar”; “The Swan Song” and “God sees the Truth but waits” rest all again ended on a disappointing note.

From November 25 to December 1, plays – “Ek Tha Gadha urf Allahdad” by Smanvaya Theatre Group Shimla; “Chanku Ram” by Amar Joyati Group Pahal Shimla; “Khudkushi” by Sufi Theatre Group Shimla; “Gao ka Lambardaar” by Brijeshwar Kala Manch Shimla; “Coffee House me intzaar” by Abhilasha Theatre Group Shimla; “The Swan Song” by Abhiney Darpan Theatre Group Shimla and “God sees the Truth but waits” by The Beginner Theatre Group Shimla; have been staged.

Ek tha turned out to be yet another disappointing production one of the spectators said, “We people enjoyed the comedy beyond the script. The Nwaab Saheib was too pathetic I really feel sorry for the poor actors as most of them belonged to places where they couldn’t get much exposure.”

On other hand we saw Chanku based on famous Kreyala – folk theater form, which very well known and respected in Himachal, filled people with disgust considering the height of toilet humour used on stage. While commenting on the play one of the spectators said, “There is a proper costumes and other technical things that are must for any performing this art form but here nothing was considered. We don’t find characters dressed as hip hoppers like in this play. It was a total waste of time.” Considering the stiff body language of the actor playing female character made his look like the third gender.

Other than that in Chanku’s set calendar of 2011 was used as stage property how much would have a current years calendar coasted for participating in Winter Play Festival 2012 is something worth a thought. For both the above stated plays, we can say it’s good to have team members as your spectators to give audience queue as per when to applaud or laugh. Khudkushi depicting story of a lover trying to commit suicide for not being allowed to marry his beloved, due to its pathetic performance by the main actor instilled the idea of Khudkushi among the audience. As handful of spectators were out of words to express this shocking experience. Stage was left vacant for a litter long duration for changing set leaving audience staring at the dark stage that could have been avoided smartly.

Finally, to save all from the torture came “Gau ka”, another Kreyala; but in a complete contrast to what all witnessed in Chanku; with the real values attached to it. The play lasted for 2 hours and it kept all its spectators glued to their seats. It had traditional live musical instruments being played and costumes worn by the actors. While commenting on it one of the spectators said, “It was a true entertaining experience and I wish it could have continued a bit longer.” One can say that this was the best production that really valued for money that the department is paying, so far considering the crowd in hall and their uproar in the hall.

Coffee house again turned out to be bit disappointing as expectations were high seeing the catchy name and the banner. Coffee House me intraaz turned out to be Intrzaar even on the part of spectators as without any clear message the play ended in just 35 minutes. Considering the set, ambience was created of local Coffee House but in the backdrop music only mummers were used ignoring the fact clang sound is too prominent in the original place which they tried to show. Other than other hand waiter costume was done with lot of care as it was identical to the original place and could have been mistaken to be an employee, but unfortunately shoes were not given attention as he wore brown instead of black shoes which is part of the uniform.

“Meaning was not so clear I feel they could have taken bit more time and allowed the theme and message to manifest clearly, I think for the spectators”, expressed Parveen Chandla a senior local theatre artist.

The Swan based on Anton Chekhov being a hardly 45 minutes play proved to be a real treat for the audience. Directed by Diven Joshi there was hardly any flaw in the play. The main actor Pritam Sharma portrayed an aging actor’s reminisces about his life and the parts he’s played his character, remarkably well. While commenting on the play, Mohit,

A Review: Ritanjali Hastir, Freelance Journalist, Shimla

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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