Bahuroopi opens on a colourful note

Shah hogs limelight on day one of the six-day National Theatre Festival

Bahuroopi opens on a colourful note

Day one of the six day national theatre festival, Bahuroopi-2015 kickstarted on a colourful and vibrant note, and ended on a even higher note, with art connoisseurs soaking in every moment of the entertaining performances by doled out by acclaimed actors, who have created a niche for themselves in the theatre and film world.

Tuesday was witness to a flurry of activities at Rangayana, in Mysuru, with the inauguration of street play (Janamana), film festival (The Taming the Shrew by Franco Zeffirelli), photo and poster exhibition, book and handicraft exhibitions, and the grand opening of the festival itself later in the evening by acclaimed actor Naseeruddin Shah.


Biffes to Mysuru
Chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy S V Rajendra Singh Babu who inaugurated the Film Festival, promised to extend Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes) to Mysuru next year. He said that at least one session of the festival will be extended, by organising the screening of the movies in two multiplexes here.

“It has been seven years, and the festival has been restricted to Bengaluru,” he said.
On the theme of the fest,

‘Bahumukhi Shakespeare’ (multi-faceted Shakespeare), Babu said that  Shakespeare was the only playwright who continued to have an influence on theatre and films even after 400 years, through his celebrated plays like -

Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth to name a few. “Filmmakers, irrespective of language, continue to be inspired either directly or indirectly, with the stories having shades of Shakespeare,” he said.

Academy Convener Vidyashankar, said that beginning from Sarah Bernhardt’s two minute film on Shakespeare’s Hamlet filmed in 1899, as many as 420 films till date were based on Shakespearean plays.

Technology vs theatre
The highlight of the festival was Shah’s play Beastly Tales, for which he was in the city. Interacting with the media he said that dependency on technology was dominating traditional theatre, sending it in the wrong direction.

He said that desperate attempts were being made to adapt technology in theatre, by using special effects. “In USA and Europe, theatre is moving entirely in the wrong direction. Their theatre is trying to become cinema,” he said.

Taking a jibe at popular Hindi cinema, he said that the quality of screenplay in Hindi cinema had not outgrown the influence of Pardi theatre of the 1930s.

"There was a celebration of 100 years of Hindi cinema recently, which is meaningless, as the same kind of films have been made for a hundred years," he said.

Association with Karanth
On B V Karanth, founder of Rangayana, he said that Karanth was a legendary theatre personality. “He stood out due to his originality and touch with his roots,” he said.

Recalling his association with Karanth, he said that he was privileged to have known him.
On repertoires like Rangayana, he said that such institutes were essential for the progress of theatre in the country.

Later, inaugurating the festival, Shah exuded confidence that theatre would sustain, till people used it as a medium of communication.

Activists cry foul
A section of theatre persons and activists accused Rangayana authorities of according preferential treatment to Shah, against the local artistes.

Social activist Pa Mallesh, theatre persons Muddukrishna, Horeyala Doreswamy and G P Basavaraju alleged that the Shah led theatre troupe had been given a remuneration of Rs five lakh, while local troupes were being paid only Rs 40,000.

There was also no uniformity in ticket pricing as they had been fixed at Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 300. Muddukrishna said that a protest had been planned, but it was later shelved as it was Shah’s maiden performance in the city.
DH News Service

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