Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This Ratan sparkles

The news is not about another theatre festival. It’s not about experimental theatre, it’s not about a world renown repertory group performing. The news is, Rantan Thiyam is in Pune, simple

and effective. And this should be the reason enough for us to head for Y B Chavan Natyagruha.
For the starters, Thiyam is a theatrical institution himself, running his group ‘Chorus’ for 30 years now, creating about 40 performances, each of them a gem in its own right; that too in a place like Imphal, where life itself is a struggle. To create theatre there and to infuse the charm and struggle of the soil in that theatre, it itself is an achievement!
And yesterday’s performance of Chakravyuha was the proof of it all.
For those worried about the ‘Manipuri’ part of it, it was an eye-opener yesterday, how the sheer physicality of a performance, body language, facial expressions, (not to mention the lights!) can make it universal.
Finally, the forte of drama as a medium is its universality. Isn’t it? And for us in Pune, as Sai Paranjpe mentioned so forcefully yesterday, drama is in our DNA.
However, Paranjpe was also quick to point out how the commercialisation of the entertainment industry has taken its toll and how more and more people are running after big money and the glitter of the silver screen. But all is not lost, adds an optimistic Paranjpe. New people soon come forward to fill the vacant space, and drama again rises from its own ashes like the proverbial phoenix!
But she asks a very pertinent and valid question: Why more and more new Marathi plays are named in English, such as Cigarette or Lose Control? Is it that our language do not have the adequate equivalent or the force of English? Now, answer that!

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