Manipuri Theatre celebrates 20th anniv

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 17:03, Dec 25,2016

Manipuri Theatre

Manipuri Theatre stages Leima at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Saturday. — New Age photo

Based in a small village in Moulvibazar, Manipuri Theatre has completed an eventful 20 years in theatre producing around 30 plays, many of which were critically acclaimed.

Celebrating the occasion, the troupe has organised a five-day theatre festival in which five of its most-acclaimed productions are to be staged.

Eminent Indian Manipuri dancer Kalavati Devi inaugurated the festival at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on Saturday, with the cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor in attendance.

Among others, thespian Mamunur Rashid and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky were also present.

‘The journey of Manipuri Theatre from a remote village of the Sylhet division is quite an inspiring one. During its 20 years of operation it has been able to pull theatregoers, create a studio theatre and bring out some excellent productions,’ said Asaduzzaman Noor.

He stressed the need for more such theatre troupes to ‘fight extremism in society.’

In this speech, Mamunur Rashid said the cultural ministry and theatre community should increase their support of theatre practices across the country for a more vibrant, inclusive theatre scene.

Following the inauguration, the artistes of Manipuri Theatre entertained the audience with two dance recitals going by the names of Mridnga and Dhrumel.

The first day ended with a show of the troupe’s latest production Leima.

Leima is an adaptation of Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca’s Yerma (Spanish for ‘barren’). It has been adapted into the Bishnupriya Manipuri language by Shuvashis Sinha, who also directed the production.

Leima depicts the story of an infertile woman, Leima, desperate to have a baby of her own but whose husband does not share her enthusiasm. Enraged by his indifference, Leima kills him and declares that she has killed her son.

Jyoti Sinha played the role of Leima.

Four other plays are to be featured in the festival, including Ingal Adhar Pala, Sri Krishna Kirtan, Debotar Gras and Kohe Birangona.

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