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Samudaya’s Janasamskruti Utsav

This and beyond

Samudaya’s Janasamskruti Utsava showcased some thought-provoking plays

PERIOD PLAYA scene from Kalyanada Koneya Dinagalu

The process of creating, examining, re-creating or pulling down what had hitherto been established as the ‘truth’, has always been exciting, especially for creative writers. It is said that while texts are constructed about myths or legends, such a technique is generally employed. Eminent literary critic Meenakshi Mukherjee elaborates upon this idea in her work, “The Twice Born Fiction”.

The interest in Basavanna and Bijjala, has led many writers to explore the era which saw the rise of the Vachana movement. The play “Kalyanada Koneya Dinagalu” is one such attempt. The script penned by Ka.Vem. Rajagopala, directed by Shashidhar Bharighat and Venugopal Haleyur, was staged recently at the Ravindra Kalakshetra, as part of the Samudaya Janasamskriti Utsava-2010 in Bangalore recently.

The hankering after power, the influence that the religious heads wield upon the workings of the state and the politics, projecting war as inevitable and labelling those who oppose it as traitors, are some of the issues towards which the play draws our attention. The play raises several questions, and one line that lingers on is “ Dharmavembudondu Vastuvitte Yavattu Yendadaru?” (Was there ever anything called the Dharma?). However, the presentation of it was not powerful enough and the performance of the actors, except a few was sans energy. The pace of the play plummeted towards the end. Shridhar as the Raja Guru Kriyashakthi, no doubt did justice to his role but the intonation, movements, body language and energy of Bahuroopi (Ashok) and Basavanna (Venkatesh Prasad) on stage was remarkable. Music by Pichchalli Shrinivas lacked force and dragged in several instances.

The set was apt.

Kannada litterateur K.P. Poornachandra Tejaswi’s novel “Jugari Cross”, adapted into the frame of a play and directed by Nataraj Honnavalli, was also staged during Janasamskriti Utsava.

The scene shifts between Devapura and Jugari Cross and unravels the working of the dark world of mafia and smuggling.

Though at the outset the play is humorous, the irony cannot be escaped. It throws light on the greed that is latent in human beings and the impact of what is termed as “modernisation’ on the lives of people in a village.

The Kuddus Express bus scene was hilarious and Rajesh as the conductor of the bus had the right expression and the role seemed tailor-made for him. Also Prakash as Kutti, Sridhar as his associate and Maltesh as Iqbal, the corrupt forest guard were brilliant. But Kunta Rama’s acting was par excellence. However, the chorus or the team of narrators lacked synchronisation and energy. Also, the role of Suresha, donned by Venkatesh Prasad, demanded a better body language.

The performance of the team as a whole appeared more like a run through to the audience.

The set was simple and apt but lighting was haphazard. Music hardly made an impact.


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