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11th Bharat Rang Mahotsav to begin from January 7

          New Delhi: The 11th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, marking the beginning of the 51st year of the National School of Drama (NSD), will open at the Kamani Auditorium on January 7. The festival will be inaugurated by Jawhar Sircar, Union Secretary for Culture, in the presence of guest of honour, Zohra Sehgal, an eminent theatre personality. The festival will open with a performance of Awagha Rang Ekachi Zaala (Marathi), directed by Ashok Samel. Awagha Rang Ekachi Zala depicts the story of Appa Velankar, a well-known kirtankaar, and his family. It also highlights the rich culture and music of the kirtan form as juxtaposed against the current musical trend. The Bharat Rang Mahotsav (BRM) was started a decade ago by the NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of theatre across the country. The NSD started its annual festival by showcasing plays performed by Indian theatre practitioners, and the same has grown into an international event, catering to theatre companies from around the world. It is today acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia - dedicated only to theatre - and is firmly established on the international theatre festival map. In Delhi, the festival will feature 63 productions, out of which 51 are from India and 12 are overseas plays, over a span of 12 days.

           As done in past few years, the BRM will also be showcased in Lucknow this year. This year 18 of the productions will travel there for the BRM festival scheduled from January 11 to 19. The NSD, in its effort to nurture talent and encourage upcoming directors, has focused on the productions by young directors. Plays included in the festival are collaborative works, based on rich texts, adaptations and also plays developed through training and workshops. The festival also includes a work advised by the theatre legend Badal Sircar which is one of the most important classics by Tagore; "Rakto Korobi". A remake of the everlasting love story of "Laila Majnu" by the famous theatre director Ram Gopal Bajaj is a part of the upcoming festival and also the play is selected to be the inaugural play for the BRM festival in Lucknow. With seven venues presenting five to six productions per day through the duration of the festival in Delhi and two venues presenting the productions over a period of 9 days in Lucknow, the NSD will play host about 2,000 theatre people as its participants. As in the past, the festival shows are expected to run to full houses, attracting over 50,000 spectators in Delhi and about 10,000 viewers in Lucknow. To design, mount and coordinate a festival of this size in two cities in such a short span of time involves a logistical feat that the NSD manages with Úlan because of its highly trained technical personnel, faculty and staff and the commitment they bring to the cause of theatre worldwide. This year too the there will be many international productions. The Czech play 'The Painted World' is a unique black light show performed by the best black light effects and images in a story of world continents. 'Le Premiere Fois' is a collaboration between the Swiss / French actors and NSD who have come together exclusively for this festival and are performing this play for the first time.

          The 'Days of Adel' from Israel is set against the background of a psychiatric ward in Jerusalem. Plays from Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Nepal and Poland will be showcased at the festival, and will provide an opportunity to interact with directors and theatre groups. This gives an opportunity to learn and understand theatre from a global perspective and the festival becomes a melting pot of different cultures and views. NSD would be staging two exhibitions, one based on the work of theatre legend Badal Sircar and the other one which presents the contribution of NSD to the world of theatre in the course of its 51 years. The performances will take place at seven venues - the Kamani Auditorium, the Shri Ram Centre, Meghdoot (open air), the LTG Theatre and the three theatres in the premises of the NSD-Abhimanch, Sammukh and Bahumukh theatres. The BRM festival in collaboration with Department of Culture, Government of Uttar Pradesh, started four years ago by taking a part of the festival repertoire to a second city. The city selected is Lucknow this time, with 18 productions being performed at the UPSNA and Theatre Bali between 11 and 18 January 2008. Laila Majnu is scheduled to be the inaugural play for the BRM festival in Lucknow.
-Jan 3, 2009

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