Mumbai to host a national tribal performing arts festival

Mar 18, 2014, 08:50 IST | Kanika Sharma

Explore the origins of Indian community as 650 tribals showcase their art and talent at the Adi Rang Mahotsav — a national tribal theatre, music, and dance festival, that will take place in the city starting tomorrow

Get ready to be floored by vibrant theatre, dance and music performances along with handicrafts from 650 artistes and artisans starting tomorrow. Organised by National School of Drama (NSD), Adi Rang Mahotsav, a national tribal performing arts festival will be bringing together tribal communities from Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Nagaland, Meghalaya and other states. 

A member of the Bastar Band

“The festival will help us learn from the tribals especially how they use basic natural materials like bamboo, cow dung, grass and roots to construct their homes and express themselves,” shares Ratan Thiyam, NSD Chairperson. Stressing the point further, Waman Kendre, its director, maintains that tribal arts are the “real identity of Indian arts”. He explains that traditional performing arts like kathakali, chhau, lavani, etc. have been a part of the NSD curriculum for years; however, these “art forms are uncontaminated from Western influences” and can teach much more about life.
The event will be inaugurated by actor and alumnus Pankaj Kapoor, and will be followed by a slew of activities ranging from theatre performances, a Crafts Mela (which will also have craftsmmen giving live d to an exhibition of theatre costumes and props, along with seminars on the status of the tribes. Kendre shares, “The spontaneity of the artistes along with their make-up and costume shows their connection with nature and are rich in culture and worth
a watch.”

Dance by the Kunbi tribe at the Shigmo festival that celebrates the onset of spring

What to look out for:
Dharti Aaba by Sanjay Upadhyay and Pashu Gayatri by Bhanu Bharti are the two plays to look out for. The former is on the life of Birsa Munda, leader and hero of the Munda tribal community in Jharkhand. Bhanu Bharti, another noted NSD personality is also creating a buzz with his play, Pashu Gayatri that experiments with Rajasthan’s Bheels. He will use modern poet-playwright KN Panikkar’s writing to explore the tribal gavri form. Traditionally, the gavri form is a 40-day ritualistic performance.

The play, Dharti Aaba 

The Chhatisgarh beat
The first day will see a performance by Bastar Band from Chhatisgarh that is formed by Anup Ranjan Pande. Known to perform with 40 tribal instruments, the Bastar Band includes Gonds, Marhias, Bisonhorn, Halba, Bhatra, Parja Murias, Dorla, Abujmarhias and Dhurva — where each tribe has a unique dance form. Tinkling bells, elaborate headgear from the horns of stag and bison, and feathers of peacocks and cocks along with complex footwork characterise this band.

From March 19 to 21
At PL Deshpande Maharashtra Kala Academy, Prabhadevi. call 24365990

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