Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An Evening's Enchantment

Sunday evening saw us at Gyaan Manch, for a performance called "The Pebble and the Taal Tree" by The Action Players. They did several short plays based on stories by the Bengali author Bonophool. Since many of the performers are hearing and speech impaired, the plays are a wonderful combination of mime, narration, music and dance.
A Google search revealed an excellent post on The Action Players by DGS in Benares. I quote part of this very informative article:

"Begun by an American-trained mime artist, Zarin Chaudhary, over 20 years ago, the group is composed of deaf students from around Calcutta. They perform adaptations of Bengali and Hindi plays, as well as poetry and folk tales. They were in the midst of an adaptation of a set of Bengali short stories when I dropped in on them a few weeks ago.

The group is made up of mostly 17 to 25-year-olds, many of whom are veterans of the school for the deaf in which the group is hosted, and where Chaudhari initially taught mime years back (she still teaches mime in and around Calcutta at other schools). The group grew out of Chaudhari’s classes, giving very dedicated students a chance to perform their mime pieces for a formal audience."

"The Pebble and the Taal Tree" was a wonderful experience. From the elegant simplicity of the sets, lights and costumes, the wonderful live music, to the impeccable narration, it was flawless. The actors were the most expressive performers we had ever seen. Our engagement with the performance was total. Some of the stories were tragic. A couple of the funny ones, like "Jagattarini and the crow" and "About Parul" had the audience in splits. What was most wonderful was after the show was over- the players came and sat on the edge of the stage, and the audience was invited to meet them. Since the Players had given us so much joy, telling them how much we had had enjoyed the show was the least we could do.

There are two more performances scheduled: one is on Saturday, 16th January, and the next is on Friday the 22nd. Tickets are available at the School of Music, and at the venue (Gyaan Manch) on the days of the shows. Readers in Kolkata, do try and see this wonderful troupe.


Uttara said...

They sound wonderful. Also glad you had a good time and are managing to find funt hings to do at this stressful time.

Lekhni said...

Since many of the performers are hearing and speech impaired, the plays are a wonderful combination of mime, narration, music and dance.

Wow, I wonder how much more difficult it must be for a hearing impaired person to dance - they cannot hear the music or fall in step with the rhythm.

Sue said...

Zarine aunty is a wonderful experience in herself. What I like best is her refusal to believe that you can't do better if you just tried a little harder. I think it brings forth wonderful TAP performances like this one. :)