Koraput. Feb 8: In a historic effort, Nandanik, for the first time as a theatre group from the Koraput region of Odisha, staged a play after lockdown titled, Asantu Banchiba, on 7th February 2021 at the Rabindra Sanskrutik Parishad campus, at Koraput.
The play conceptualized by Sourav Gupta and designed by Monideepa Gupta was based on the theme of Covid-19 awareness. The play artistically depicted the process of Covid-19 virus affliction on human body and the steps to contain it. Young artists from Koraput region performed in the play.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented mile stone in the history of the world which has jeopardized all normal social activities. The world is learning to live in a different lifestyle comprising masks and physical distance. As a responsible cultural institution, we felt that we should make people aware about the dreaded novel corona virus and the ways to contain it.
In fact, Nandanik is the first theatre group of Koraput and south Odisha to stage a play after the lockdown. We did online theatre festival but our main target was to get back to physical theatre practice and after much pain & effort we have been able to prepare a play through rehersals. We are following medical guidelines during rehersals as well as in the performance. Audiences were supplied with masks & sanitizers,’ said Saumendra Swain, the treasurer of Nandanik.
‘The play Asantu Banchiba tells us not to live in fear but to learn to adjust to medical guidelines and live life positively We intend to stage this play further in various villages of Koraput district so that the tribal people are continuously made aware of the threat of Covid and they should be able to fight with it. That is why the play has been designed in a minimalist way so that it may be staged anywhere without much preparation & expenses.’ Said Monideepa Gupta, the designer of the play and secretary, Nandanik.
‘The theatre and performing arts sector is worst hit in covid and this performance is also a way to revive the spirits of theatre, especially, in remote places like Koraput, basically it is the aim of Nandanik.’explained Dr Sourav Gupta, the playwright & founder of Nandanik.
The programme was inaugurated through lamp lighting by Shri Narayan Panda, litereteur, Dr Jayanta Swain, Academic and Shri Gupteswar Panigrahy, senior theatre artist of Jeypore. One minute silence was observed in memory of deceased theatre stalwarts Shri Bijay Mohanty, Shri Ajit Das and Shri Bansi Kaul.
The play was staged among limited audience seated as per physical distance norms and everyone was given hand sanitizers. The audience comprising teachers, doctors, literary personalities, lawyers, social workers and different walks of life appreciated Nandnik’s humble but historic effort.
Gouri Prasad Rath, eminent playwright, Nimai Sarkar, Ex-MLA, Malkangiri, Rabi Satapathy, eminent poet, Sunil Biswal, eminent Engineer and Dr Ganesh Prasad Sahoo, Faculty of Odia were among who placed their observations on the play.
Established in 2014 by Dr Sourav Gupta, a faculty at the Central University of Odisha and Monideepa Gupta, Nandanik organizes regular theatre activities including staging plays, seminars, workshops, lectures, publishing and has established Koraput in the theatre map of India.