National School of Drama’s festival, Adi Rangam showcases India’s rich tribal arts legacy, often attributed as the country’s most ancient, in all hues
Adi Rangam, the National Tribal Festival of Theatre, Music, Dance and Crafts of India returns to the city this Friday. Organised by the National School of Drama (NSD), the festival aims to put tribal culture on a strong footing in the perception of mainstream arts as 132 performing arts’ groups and 750 artistes will perform in the city.
One can catch a glimpse of the tribal life through their costumes, masks, textiles and more
“So far, NSD has done Folk, Classical, Modern, Postmodern, Asian, and World Theatre. This is to showcase tribal cultural heritage through its theatre, music, dance and craft as there is so much to learn from them; for instance, their music, performing techniques, choreography or tribal expression. In tribal theatre, there is nothing called an individual expression, as a group performs together,” says Waman Kendre, Director, NSD.
(From left) There will be performances by 750 artistes; Tribal performing arts focus on group expressions as they have a community-based lifestyle
He emphasises that modern cultural personalities can learn from the tribal arts. Kendre shares that now that the festival’s second edition is taking place, apart from Mumbai where the festival’s national presence is marked, Daronda in West Bengal and Raipur in Chhattisgarh will be two other venues for Adi Rangam. “The festival happened in Daronda last year too. As it is an area of Santhals, it will look at the audience in the North-East while Raipur will present the festival in Central India,” says Kendre.
As a long-term goal, the institute hopes to develop a body of pedagogy based on the tribal arts. As of now, research scholars, artistes and others are working towards this vision. From Rajasthan to Goa, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Gujarat and Telangana, the festival presents a range of tribal arts to the city audience, where all theatre art forms are new. To name a few, there will be Ghantu from Sikkim, Jhumar from Orissa, Kabuinaga from Manipur, Ranbow from Nagaland and more.
One can look forward to two theatre productions: Mohe Piya (directed by Kendre) and Laique Hussain’s Poster, both in Hindi. Kendre shares, “Mohe Piya will have the trio of Hidimba, Ghatotkach and Bheema. The play will focus on Hidimba (who is considered as a goddess by the tribes in the North-East), her ethos as well as complexity.” A crafts mela with 25 stalls and an exhibition, showcasing musical instruments, ornaments, paintings and household items from various tribes, will also be held at the venue.
From: December 12 to 14
At: Rabindra Natya Bhavan, Dadar (W).