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Theatre Artistes Celebrate World Theatre Day

Theatre artistes celebrated World Theatre Day on March 28 at Rangayana, the Karnataka Government's Theatre Repertory in Mysore. The mood of the participating artistes was an expression of protest and resentment over the ongoing 'war', the attack on Iraq. The evils and destruction war causes became the focal theme of the programmes they presented on stage on that evening.

Veteran painter R.S.Hadpad set the mood of the artistes by sketching the peace-bird pigeon settling down on a broken nose of a tanker. He affirmed on the drawing sheet, which was readied on the board to mark the inauguration of the Theatre Day, man's faith in the ultimate victory of peace over war, good over evil.

There could be no better episode to describe the war pains than the battle episode of the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. Duryodhana of the Kaurava princes laments alone in the night on the Kurukshetra battle-field over the fate of each character associated with him in the fight against the Pandava princes. His varying moods, seeding the bodies of all his supporters, and his justification of the war in vain, was well brought out from the episode, "Duryodhana Pralapa" by Rangayana artiste U.S.Ramanna, in his solo acting.

Words alone are not needed to express the war evils and exploitation of the rich by the poor nations with economic objectives. The GPIER troupe of 'Mime' Ramesh presented a mime show, 'war and terrorism'. Another battle-related episode brought on the stage was the treachery and defeat of the great warrior queen Abbakka. She suffered defeat at the hands of the Portuguese, when her own men let her down and her husband died in the battle. The impressive solo performance came from Ms. Kavitha.

Apart from these main war-related episodes, other artistes sang stage songs and performed folk dances. The programme began with an invocation of "Gajavadana Heramba…", the famous stage song by late renowned theatre personality, B.V.Karanath, by the artistes of Rangayana. Senior stage and film personality 72-year-old Mr. Rathanakar sang the famous songs of yesteryear plays of H.L.N.Simha ("Samsara Nouka") and Hirannaiah ("Devadasi"). After two songs by Rangayana artistes, tribal boys and girls, who are members of the Budakattu Krushi Kala Sangha, entertained the audience with a light folk dance. The Janamana troupe followed it with three more stage songs of poets Shishunala Sharif, K.S.Narsimhaswamy and B.V. Karanth.

Earlier, after a formal welcome of the gathering by stage actor Mr. Srikanta Gundappa, writer Mr. Lingadevaru Halemane spoke on the significance of the World Theatre Day, being observed on this day since 1962. "There is need to know theatre activities of other countries - their leading plays, play-wrights and actors," he said. Stage shows can be an effective medium to show the evils of war and condemn it, the speaker added. Mr. R.S.Giri read out the Kannada translation of the day's message by the German artiste.

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