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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

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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Video: Mega Natti at Kullu Dussehra 2019 Performed by 4,000 Dancers to Send Out Message of Cleanliness & Nutrition

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Kullu Dussehra 2019 Manha Natti

Kullu- International Kullu Dussehra Festival on October 12, 2019, witnessed a traditional dance “Natti” performed by four thousand women at the Dhalpur’s Rath Maidan. It event was named as “Mega Natti or Manha Natti”. Women from various parts of the district including Manali, Sainj, Anni, Banjar etc participated in the dance.  Not only a large number of locals swarmed the Rath Maidan to witness this majestic scene, but visitors from foreign countries also witnessed and captured it in their cameras.

This year’s theme was Swachhta (Cleanliness) and Poshan (Nutrition). These thousands of women, dressed in the traditional attire of Kullu district, danced on the beats of traditional folk songs and instruments for one hour. During the first 25 minutes, ‘Natti’ was performed by Anganwari workers to send out a message on cleanliness.

The tradition of performing “Natti” by a group of thousands of women had begun in 2014. While about six thousand women had participated in ‘Natti’ in 2014, in 2015, 9,892
women had performed during Kullu Dussehra, which was recorded in the Guianese Book of World Records.  

Since 2014, this tradition continues, and every year Mega Natti is organized on different themes. In 2015, the theme was “Save Girl Child.”

Cabinet Minister Govind Singh Thakur also attended the event as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Commissioner, Dr Richa Verma, was also present on the occasion. Both participated in the dance too.

The District Administration has been receiving appreciation for its efforts to highlight the traditional culture of Kullu and the messages of awareness it is delivering through this event.

While Dussehra in other parts of India is celebrated for only one day, in Kullu, the celebrations continue for a week. During this period, approximately five lakh visitors, including domestic and international, attend the weeklong festivity.

 

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HP Govt Should invite Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. to Shoot Films in Himachal: Makkar

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HP Film Policy 2019

Shimla– Through new Himachal Pradesh Film Policy 2019, the state government is endeavouring to promote the state as a popular destination for filmmakers, said Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Information & Public Relations, Sanjay Kundu, while interacting with the Chief Executive Officer of Producers Guild of India, Kulmeet Makkar, who met him  regarding the film policy of the state government.

Makkar said that since Himachal offers offer natural grandeur and splendid environment, the state government should also invite Hollywood, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other channels to shoot films in Himachal Pradesh.

He informed the Principal Secretary that leading producers like Ramesh Sippy and Subhash Ghai have established centres for media and entertainment education in Mumbai for instance, Ramesh Sippy has established in collaboration with Mumbai University, Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema & Entertainment. On similar lines, the Himachal Government may think of establishing such institutes for skill development of its youth so that they can pursue their careers in the film and entertainment industry.

Kulmeet Makkar invited the Chief Minister to visit Mumbai and interact with the Bollywood producers and cinema builders (like PVR, INOX etc). He said the Chief Minister may discuss the film policy of the state with the producers and invite the cinema builders to establish modern cinema halls in the state.

Besides, the producers could also be invited to shoot films in the state and suggested for familiarization visit of film producers to virgin destinations of the state like Chanshal, Pong Dam, Bir Billing and Janjehli etc.

Deputy Director (Technical) of I&PR department briefed about the main features of the film policy of Himachal Pradesh. A film facilitation office would be opened soon in the Directorate of Information and Public Relations with email, web page and presence on social media for ensuring liaison and interaction with the film industry, he said.

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