All performing arts to come under one roof

Theatre is a composite art and based on this premise, the Kolkata-based reputed theatre troupe Sudrak pledges to forge links between the key performing arts under one roof. In its 35th year now, the organisation gears up to host its annual cultural fair this October with a long list of elaborate events to hit the famous hub of Nandan complex in the heart of the metropolis. Titled Sudrak Utsav 2012, the fifth edition of the cultural carnival will witness a seven-day exhibition of paintings and sculptures, a three-day festival of plays and a significant seminar to round off with.
Curated by eminent art critic Mrinal Ghosh, a comprehensive array of eye-catching paintings and sculptures will evoke the theme of “Dramatic Conflict or Tension in Visual Art” by four generations of artists, starting from the 1960s’ era to today’s times. Both the young emerging talents as well as the old, accomplished artists will participate in this colourful, gallery splurge. On the other hand, the theatre-fest will feature an eclectic mix of contemporary plays with artistes from Manipur, Assam and Dhaka (Bangladesh) to be roped in. Distinguished writer Nabanita Dev Sen will unveil the Sudrak Natya Utsav at the Lady Ranu Mukherjee auditorium of Academy of Fine Arts on October 5.
“The art on view will inevitably focus on the inseparable union among its diverse branches. If theatre is permeated with a pictorial element in it, so is art imbued with a dramatic conflict or a scar of tension over its canvases, irrespective of it being either a figurative piece or an abstract composition. And hence, both plays and pictures reflect each other’s roles so definitively,” asserts Ghosh.
If in 2011, Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary was celebrated, this current leg of the festival will observe the sesquicentennial commemoration of noted Bengali poet, playwright and musician Dwijendralal Ray with a recital of his songs to be rendered by vocalist Barnali Sen Sharma. “Add to this, a literary seminar on the transformation of Bengali language and its usage in the arena of theatre to be presented at the Academy Conference Hall. Pegged on the topic, a paper will be read out by Dibyendu Chakraborty,” informs Chandan Chattopadhyay, secretary, Sudrak. The unique feature of this grand “utsav” lies in the institution’s belief that most legendary theatre personalities like Constantin Stanislavski, Bertolt Brecht or closer home, Shombhu Mitra and Utpal Dutt, looked at the prism of contemporary art to find fodder for their theatrical presentations, which in fact acted as their valuable source material.
At the opening function of the dramafest, a prestigious honour of Sudrak Samman 2012 will be conferred on a bevy of esteemed awardees who are eminent personalities from the worlds of both theatre and art, for having made an outstanding contribution in their respective spheres of activity. For painting, the award will be bestowed upon ace artist Sanat Kar. The coveted laurel for the best play will be posthumously given to late reputed playwright Mohit Chattopadhyay for scripting the piece Tathagata. While the honour for best direction will go to young theatre practitioner Koushik Sen for the Shakespearean classic tragedy Macbeth, which has been adapted in Bengali.
Another flourishing young icon of Bengali natya-manch is Suman Mukhopadhyay (of Teesta Parer Brittanto fame), who will be lauded with a laurel for his dramatic work Shunya Shudhu Shunya Noy. Suman has helmed the Bengali stage-venture. Last but not the least, Arpita Ghosh and Adhikary Kaushik will be awarded for their acting skills, showcased into productions named Achalayatan and Chandragupta respectively.

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