Skip to main content

Bengal theatre is still acting driven: Shuvashis Sinha

Shuvashis Sinha
Shuvashis Sinha had formed a theatre group in Bangladesh when he was 18. Now, at 33, he is coming down to Kolkata for the first time to stage " Kohe Birangana" - an adaptation of Michael Madhusudan Dutt's "Birangana" - as part of the Maitree Bandhan Literary Festival presented by The Times of India. Excerpts from an interview with the director:

How did your journey of forming Manipuri Theatre being?

I am a Manipuri based in Bangladesh and there are close to 70,000 Manipuris in this country. Soon after clearing my Class XII exams, I decided to form a theatre group. At present, my group has 50 members between the age group of 15 and 40. In our 15 years of theatrical journey, we have staged 27 plays, including "Sree Krishna Kirtan", "Bhanubil" and "Debotar Gras".

Isn't language any barrier when you are performing to an audience that doesn't understand Manipuri?

We perform in a language called Bishnupriya Manipuri. Beyond linguistic communication, our theatre comes alive with voice modulation and physical drama. I have adapted Michael Madhusudan Dutt's Birangana Kavya and since it is difficult to translate his Bengali idiom to Manipuri, we decided to go with the original verse and add our Manipuri dance movements. The play articulates four verses among 11 from the original text. Jyoti Sinha will be playing four different characters - Shakuntala, Draupadi, Dushala and Jona - in the play. Apart from her, the play will also have four other dancers on stage.

Having done your Masters from the Jahangirnagar University in dramatics, why don't you feature in your plays?

During my early days of theatre, I used to act as well. We are a rural group and there are lots of challenges that we need to negotiate. It's become difficult to direct and act simultaneously.

How connected are you with the theatre scene in India?

As a student in Dhaka, I watched performances by Indian groups. Last year, I was in Santiniketan to attend a workshop in dramatics. I have loved the plays of Saoli Mitra, Swatilekha Sengupta, Rudraprasad Sengupta, Manoj Mitra, Bratya Basu, Kaushik Sen and Bibhas Chakraborty. I wish, I could see live performances of Utpal Dutt and Sombhu Mitra.

Is there any difference between the way India and Bangladesh approaches theatre?

Theatre in Bengal is still very acting driven. We are trying to experiment in terms of design by merging idiom used in folk and urban performance arts. That trend hasn't yet kicked off in Bengal yet. I wish we could stage an Indo-Bangla collaborative theatre production that will see a marriage of great acting and experimentation with form. It would be ideal if we can stage Tagore's "Raja" or "Dak Ghar" in this format.

Courtesy: Times of India
Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Comments

Post a Comment

We all love comments. It is moderated

Popular posts from this blog

The 'Star' Krishankant Sinha of Space City Sigma

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi It is a myth that the all-knowing Internet knows everything. One such myth relates to old television stuff aired on Doordarshan before 1990. Search in Google “Space City Sigma”, the search engine would throw up reminiscent results from the people who still long for those days. Those days were really golden days. Krishankant Sinha in the role of Captain Tara in Space City Singma For those who have watched Doordarshan some 15 to 20 years back, am sure they will have nostalgic memories of it. The days when possessing a now ubiquitous looking television set was a luxury. It was a neighbour’s envy product. It was a visual product to showoff, to flaunt that we have a television set . Those were the days when black and white, locked television was rarely found in homes. The days became immortal for teleserials like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Swami’s Malgudi Days (Ta-Na-Na-Na…), Ek-Do-Teen-Char (Title song: Ek do teen char, chaaro mil ke saath chale to

Shastriya sangeet exponent no more

Post Bureau, Silchar/Guwahati (Mar 31): Renowned Shastriya Sangeet (Uchchangik) exponent from the Barak Valley and gold medalist (1983-84) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta Guru Motilal Sinha breathed his last at 10 pm on Friday at his Bhakatpur residence on the outskirts of Silchar town. Born in the family of Ojha Deveswar Singha and late Kusumleima Devi on Poush 11, 1330 Bangabda, Motilal Sinha had his graduation in vocal music (Bisharad in Shashtriya Sangeet) from Bhadkhande, Lucknow and master’s degree (Nipun with gold medal) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta. In 1960, he started teaching classical music (vocal) at Silchar. He had a long stint in the Silchar Sangeet Vidyalaya as its honorary principal since 1960. He also worked in Government Higher Secondary and Multipurpose Girls’ School, Silchar, and retired in 1985. He had received the Assam State Award as an ideal music teacher. He had a stint in conducting a programme on the teaching of Rabindra Sangeet

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur, the great saint of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Community was born on 26th October, 1871, in a remote village of Cachar district called Baropua in the state of Assam. He was born to a Xatriya Manipuri family. His father Sri Sanatan Pandit was a Sanskrit teacher and mother Srimati Malati Devi, a house wife. Sadhu Baba from his childhood was indifferent to all worldly happenings. He was engrossed in chanting the name of Lord Krishna. Along with other students of his age, Sadhu Baba started taking lessons of grammar and other spiritual literature from his father. At a very young age he lost his mother but he was brought up with utmost love and care by his step mother. At the age of eighteen, Sadhu baba lost his father, so, to continue his spiritual education under the guidance of Rajpandit Mineshwas Swarbabhwam Bhattacherjee, he went to Tripura. But within one year he made up his mind to visit all the holy places and as such he took permis