Friday 30 March 2018

Bhaanaka: Reconstruction of Uparupaka - Footloose and fancy free with Dr. Sunil Kothari

During the 8th Olympic Theatre Festival organized by the National School of Drama and Ministry of Culture, Piyal Bhattacharya from Kolkata presented Bhaanaka at LTG theatre, Delhi, on 17th March, his recreation of uparupaka Bhaanaka under the aegis of his Chidakash Kalalaya Centre of Art and Divinity, which he established in Kolkata in 2013. On the next day at NSD during the ‘meet the directors’ program, there was an interesting discussion about this particular production. 

Piyal has received attention especially for his work on the practice of Marga Natya, as research and reconstruction of practice of the performance tradition of Natyashastra. I had known him as a Kathakali dancer with his friend Kalamandalam Gautam during my tenure as a Professor at Rabindra Bharati University. When he began work on Marga Natya, I had only seen one early performance of his work. During the past ten years, Piyal has worked on reconstructing the ancient musical instruments mentioned in Bharata’s Natyashastra with help of a grant from Sangeet Natak Akademi. He has undertaken this project for further research with special grant from Ministry of Culture under the scheme of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage of India.’ 

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