Patna: A Kashmiri theatre play, Aalav (the call) has enthralled a large audience at the 8th Theatre Olympics in the capital city of Bihar.
Aalav directed by Arshad Muhstaq also received houseful at a major event of the Olympics held at Premchand Rangshala auditorium here on Monday. The leading theatre director and playwright of India, M S Sathyu was the chief guest on the occasion.
The ‘Theatre for Kashmir’ production has brought the Kashmiri theatre on the world platform as it’s for the first time that some Kashmiri play made it to the prestigious event. The play was also appreciated by leading theatre personalities, experts of performing arts and students who participated in the event.
“I am happy that a Kashmiri play was performed in the city of Ashok. The play is a beautiful representation of pain in contemporary Kashmir amid hardships,” said M S Sathyu while speaking at the event.
He said the use of different symbolic elements and abstract in the set made the play to stand out. “The set design of the play also reflected the human story powerfully,” Sathyu said.
Rajesh Raj, a cultural activist of Bihar said the Kashmiri play puts the strong message of human suffering to the audience using a medium of acting, drama and set.
“We must appreciate the Kashmiri theatre group for their efforts as their message reached a non-Kashmiri audience as well,” he said.
Aalav is set against the socio-cultural backdrop of contemporary Kashmiri society and weaves an emotional story of an old mother and her two daughters who are waiting for their son to return. Play is a tribute to the resilient and brave women of Kashmir who have collectively bore the brunt of strife and conflict for ages.
The artists who performed in the play including Ashraf Nagoo, who played the lead character of the old mother, Shahida Alvi as Aasiya (the daughter-in-law, Riyaaz A Mir as Jana (the youngest son), Tabasum Rehman as Noori (the daughter) with M Yousuf Shahnaz, Raja Imtiyaz (in immersive performance), Mian Mushtaq, Shabir Hussain, Shahid, Sufoora, Nargis, Romaisa, Rehana and Jaffar.
The set of the play was designed by Basharat Hussain with Arsalan Ibrahim while music was composed by Rasiq Imtiyaz Khan. Manzoor-ul-Hassan, who is the outreach in-charge of Theatre for Kashmir, coordinated the theatrical production at the Theatre Olympics.
The event is an internationally recognized platform where theatrical productions from around 50 countries will be showcased over the period of about two months early next year across cities.
Organised by the Theatre Olympics Committee and National School of Drama, New Delhi, the unique theatre- carnival is spread over 17 cities that include Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkatta, Mumbai, Patna, Thiruvanathapuram and Varanasi.
Theater Olympics is a platform for theatrical exchange, a gathering place where a dialogue despite ideological, culture and language differences is encouraged. It is to strengthen and re-establish the status of contemporary theatre in the world. This objective is achieved by contributing to the growth of international collaboration, building a network among artists all over the world and, creating an opportunity for the host of the festival to showcase and promote their work in theatre and other performing arts.
Aalav a Kashmiri adaptation of JM Synge’s acclaimed Irish play ‘Riders to the Sea’ produced by a local group Theatre for Kashmir has been earlier showcased in multiple theater festivals across south Asia and received appreciation and critical acclaim.
Theatre for Kashmir a local group headed by noted Kashmiri Theatre worker Arshad Mushtaq informed that “the committee of acclaimed theatre experts had selected Aalav for the 8th Theatre Olympics, in which some of the achievements of the great theatre practitioners from around the world are being showcased.