Chennai and Tamil Nadu
Dutt and his dimensions
Delhi-based theatre group, Canvas organised an engaging seminar on the stage power of Utpal Dutt.
a touch of class Stage and film actor Utpal Dutt.
Once again, the much awaited season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us. One of Delhi’s best. Now, the country is highlighting the 150th year of the Sepoy awakening and the 60th year of Independence. The two events but denote the initia
l and culmination point of the struggle, that lasted for almost 90 years.
Just recently, a cultural programme was organised at the Lok Kala Manch, by a young local theatre group, Canvas, in association with an online Bengali community, Bengali@Delhi NCR.
The evening began with an interactive session, actually a seminar, on “Freedom, Nationalism and Revolutionary Theatre – Utpal Dutt – Reverberating Crosswinds ”.
Dutt does not need any introduction. Those who are not theatre buffs, will remember him for his Bollywood success. And those who are, will remember him as a revolutionary genius whose combined sense of effective stagecraft and accurate analysis of the diverse shades of characters was a major contributor for his legendary success. Modern theatre gained a dimension in his hands after he began to work for the stage.
The speakers were Minoti Chatterjee, Principal, Kamala Nehru College, Bishnupriya Dutt, daughter of Utpal Dutt, and a faculty of the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, her departmental colleague, Soumyabrata Chaudhury, and Professor Soumitra Basu, from the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. The seminar touched upon various facets of Dutt’s theatre. Bishnupriya told us about his stagecraft, Basu touched upon his concept and treatment of time, which was sometimes linear, sometimes surreal.
The discussions were followed by a theatrical performance by Canvas, interestingly called “Bimukti” or emancipation. It dealt with our inherent sense of bondage, which still clings to each of us even after so many years of Independence. The characters were real-life, and had come together for the sake of a theatre production. The ‘drama within a drama’ situation in fact helped to outline the conflict of our present time. Each character was fighting his own ghost, his own chains that hindered him from reaching his happiness. At the end, each one was awakened enough to recognise and break away from his restrictions.
The theme had faint reverberations from the story of the Wizard of Oz, where the four visitors had conquered their fears and got his own grail. Over all, a good production.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu