TODAY -
Rajarshi Bhagyachandra in Bharat Rang Mahotsov
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Manipur Information Centre

New Delhi, October 24 2009: Banian Repertory Theatre's magnum opus - Rajarshi Bhagyachandra written by Prof M.C.Arun of Manipur University and directed by M.C.Thoiba has been selected for participation in the 12th Bharat Rang Mahotsov to be held from January 6 to 22, 2010 in New Delhi under the sponsorship of the National School of Drama.

This will be the second performance of the play staged in the National Capital after making its first appearance at the Akshara Theatre, New Delhi on March 15 this year on the closing day of the three week-long festival- Romancing India's North East organised by the Akshara Theatre.

Sources from the National School of Drama stated that the Selection Committee selected around 50 plays for the 12th Rang Mahotsov out of nearly 400 that the School had received.

Plays from other countries would also take part in the 17-day long festival, the country's biggest theatre event.

Rajarshi Bhagyachandra produced in 2005 was a widely acclaimed Manipuri play for having a new dimension in production style and creating provocation to the audience in paving the way for a new outlook of Manipuri contemporary society.

Rajarshi Bhagyachandra depicts the crucial period of the 18th century in the history of Manipur.

Manipur was on the threshold of change.

New realities and the challenges of its expanding boundaries were heralding the need to emerge from its cocoon of traditional beliefs and values, and of a new paradigm.

The second half of the 18th century belonged to Rajarshi Bhagyachandra who was a man ahead of his times; a poet and a visionary who perfected a unique blend of Vaishnavism and Manipuri culture and created Ras Lila; and a soldier and a king whose relentless war campaigns elevated Manipur to a major player in the region.

In the play, the life and times of Rajarshi Bhagyachandra evolves from a fierce debate between Bidhu, a status-qouist and Amita, a firebrand radical.

The debate centered round the much-touted theme of war and peace, tradition and change, and of power and politics in the backdrop of 18th century Manipur.

The debate also turns into a quest for understanding contemporary situations of conflict and changing realities.

The director of the play MC Thoiba stated, "The play is an experiment in blending historical events and its interpretation, maxims and dialectics, and meaning and justifications." MC Thoiba, a renowned theatre personality of Manipur is known for his productions of historical based plays.

He successfully directed historical based plays like Andhya Yug, Kalinga, Phouoibi, Shakhangkhidraba Lanmi (Unknown soldiers), Treaty of Yandaboo, Munbikhraba Leingak (Lost kingdom), Ipu Thangal and Kumudini.

His play - Mayol Hundraba Yenning (Disrupted Spring) participated in the Rang Swarn Golden Jubilee Theatre Festival, 2003 organised by National Sangeet Natak Akademi at New Delhi and 6th Bharat Rang Mahotsav 2004 organised by the National School of Drama at New Delhi.

His latest production -Brahmagi Yathang Che (Brahmarata), which was later renamed as Laibakki Wa was performed at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad on March 19 this year in the four-day multi-lingual national drama festival (March 16-19) which featured nine plays (originally in Telugu) of renowned playwright and five times Nandi Award winner Sri D.Vizai Bhaskar translated into different Indian languages viz.

Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Manipuri and Kannada.

He also serves as a regular theatre columnist in the Telegraph.

MC Arun is a non-conformist thinker teaching social anthropology in Manipur University .

He has two books in English namely Family in Manipur and People living in HIV/AIDS to his credit.

Besides his academic and research works, he is a critic and analyst of Manipuri theatre.

His major interests are political anthropology, history of ideas and social problems including gender issues.

He emerged as a playwright from his debut play-Rajarshi Bhagyachandra.

His other plays are Who is afraid of Nongmeikapam Sanajaoba, Kumudini, Ipu Puya Thadokla and Ashalatagi Hakchang.


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