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International Theatre Festival kicks off

CUTTACK: From Saturday, the Millennium city would lay out a kaleidoscopic canvas of dance, drama and music with performers from across the world converging here to take part in one of the biggest events of amateur theatre and folk arts in the country.

The India Theatre Olympiad and International Theatre Festival, which will be held till September 25, will for the first time showcase theatre of East European countries like Romania and Poland.

Theatre troupes from America, Brazil, Canada, Peru, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh are also set to perform in the International Theatre festival.The 21-day festival this year would also focus on the theatre, dance and other folk art forms of the North Eastern states.

The objective is to bring the states with their unique culture and folk traditions to the mainstream.As many as 60 troupes from Assam, 25 from Manipur and over 10 from states like Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland are participating in the Olympiad.“There is a wide perception of alienation of the North Eastern States from the cultural mainstream of the country. Ours is a small effort to bring their vivid and rich theatre, drama, dance and music to the forefront by providing the canvas for them,” said Prof Kartik Chandra Rath, general secretary of Utkal Yuva Sanskrutik Sangh (UYSS), which is organising the fest for the 19th year here.

To add to the performances, eminent theatre personalities from the north eastern states would be feted on the occasion.Veteran actor, director and theatre organiser Jugal Chandra Dharma of Manipur would be accorded with Natyaratna award along with Manipuri actress Yungkham Chandani Devi, Horokhaidam Kusumlei Devi and theatre personality Salam Birendra Singh.

The multilingual amateur festival would this year see performance of more than 150 plays. Over 3,500 artistes comprising playwrights, actors, directors, musicians, dancers, critics and coordinators would converge in the millennium city.

The All India Dance and Music competition would bring together 1,000 artistes of classical folk and traditional dance and music, Prof Rath said.

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