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“Him Rang Mahotsav” – A Damp Squib

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“Mecca of theater” cries seeing the low standers of productions being staged especially in context to celebration “150 years of Summer Capital”.

The much awaited State level theater festival that was announced by the department of Language, Art and Culture; to mark the celebration of “150 years of Summer Capital”; proved to be a damp squib.

SHIMLA: “Him Rang Mahotsav” was organized at the historic Gaiety Theatre from March 21 to 27; during which During the festival seven plays that is – “Phir Yaad aaye Papa”- by Natya Kriti Shimla; “Subhdra” by Pranav Theater, beyond Theater Solan; “Aah mai waah mai” by Ab Theater Group, Shimla; Loknatya – Kareyala by Chudeshvar Lok Natya Sanskritik Mandal, Sirmaur; “Bhagat” by Changar Sanskritik Kala Manch, Kangra; “Banthna” by Mandavy Kala Manch, Mandi; “The Typist” by Sankalp, Shimla; “Chiriya ke Bhaane”; and “Jungletantar” by Himachal Sanskritik Shoodh sansthaan rangmandal, Mandi were staged.

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Phir was a repeat show and as compared to the last time there was hardly in improvement in the play. First half of the play was again a drag and it was only the middle that connected the audiences to the play. Inspite of serious theme of the play it failed to woe the audience due to lack of rehearsal that was quiet evident.

Subhdra was based on the life of Kumari Chauhan can be called a good attempt only considering that performers came from place where theater is getting extinct. Play was too lengthy and majority of audiences failed to stay glued to their seats for the climax. With little diction issues here and there it was an average production.

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Aah and Typist both productions proved the hindi idom Naam bare aur Drashan chote true. Coming from both directors whose previous productions have delighted the audiences proved to be an utter disappointment.

In order to increase the length of play Aah director added a complete three minutes song plus a dance sequence here and there which left a bad taste. Instead of play the experiment made it look more like a low budget film with dancers shaking their pompoms. While depicting hospital, doctor is standing bare feet. Placing of table and chair wouldn’t have demanded much efforts if the director wanted. Florist presence was well received by spectators making them giggle.

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Whereas, Typist was again a dull production that failed to do justice to the script it was difficult to swallow that it came from another reputed director of the city. Lack of rehearsal was again seen in the show.

Coming to folk theater, lord krishan is sitting on plastic chair if we are talking folk then these little details should have been considered by the director. However considering the local flavor it managed to bag audiences.
Chriya can be called a good production as the beginning was not so interesting but eventfully it picked up the tempo and captivated the audience. It was symbolic of corruption and miss use of power in our country. Even it was not a flawless performance as the constable comes shouting and jogging left right left but in name of left his right leg is up. Ignoring little flaws it can be called an entertaining show.

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Finally in end Jungle came as a rescue and honored the World Theater Day. After one another bad productions this play based on Shravanh Kumar’s novel forced spectators to stay glued to their seats. It was a satire on the political governance of our country. With hardly any stage properties actors depicted jungle, TV, different houses of character and Kailash Parvat.

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It seemed like in name of theater festival a prank was played. Department granted 50, 000 for each production but the results failed to do justice to the grant. As per the director LAC Arun Sharma, a committee was formed that selected the plays that have been staged during the festival. All these productions are further reviewed by selected committee members for national level theater festival to be held in April.

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The interrogating question is on what basis were the productions selected. As they say people who do not know/ remember their history are bound to repeat it and same was applicable in context of this festival. Just like 21 days long play festival organized previously; (during director LAC Rakesh Kanwar time); same low standards were observed as this time. That time too department gave a handsome amount for production but screening was not done.
Being a state level competition it was just to give all districts group equal opportunity but had all of them been asked to bring more productions; which they could have enacted in front of committee before; out of which the selected committee could have selected for this festival too in best interest of all.

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After seeing the entire festival it won’t be wrong to say that it would have been better that committee screen all staged productions so that it was able to live up to the standard of the occasion, for which it was planned rather than happy go lucky attitude.

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The positive point of this festival is the post discussion of plays where each play was scrutinized and people got an opportunity to share their views in front of the reviewing committee of the festival. It is a welcoming change and can help in improving of the theater standards in the city.
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Art & Culture

Amid Steep Rise in COVID-19 Cases, HP Govt to Open Temples/Religious Places from Sept 10

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Shimla- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh had reached 6830 by September 4, 2020. Yesterday the State reported 215 new positive cases with two deaths. The COVID-19 death tally rose to 48 with these new casualties reported from Sirmaur and Kangra districts.

According to the yesterday’s COVID-19 bulletin released by the State Health Department, highest 37 cases were reported in Kangra district followed by Solan (35) Sirmaur (33), Chamba (33), Mandi (32), Una (20), Bilaspur (7), Hamirpur (7), Shimla (8), and Kullu (3). Till Friday evening, the number of active cases in the state was 1815 as 4920 persons had recovered.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for August 4, 2020 ( 9 PM)

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Amid this steep rise in cases in Himachal, the State Government on Friday held a Cabinet meeting in which it decided to open temples and religious places from September 10.

 The Language, Art and Culture Department will prepare SOP in this regard.  Registration would be required for people entering the State till September 15. The quarantine requirement would be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The District Administration would strictly enforce the use of masks and social distancing in the field, the government said.

The Cabinet decided to provide wheat flour and rice to the income tax payee APL Consumers under Public Distribution System as was being provided to them earlier on APL rates and provide them pulses, edible oil, salt and sugar on zero-subsidy on actual rates.

The State Cabinet decided to request the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India to sign Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) related to Affordable Rental Housing Complexes Scheme with the state government.

It decided to fill up 10 posts of class IV employees in Panchayati Raj Department.

It gave its approval to transfer Gram Panchayat Kot from Police Station Shimla East (Chhota Shimla) to Police Station West (Boileauganj)  in district Shimla to facilitate the people.

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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.

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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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