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Manipur pays tribute to Tagore

Imphal, Nov. 4: A three-day national mime theatre festival organised by an Imphal-based group will pay tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on the bard’s 150th birth anniversary.

The festival will begin on November 10 with the play Man versus Machine by Nisabda, a socio-cultural organisation of Guwahati. The 45-minute play, to be staged at Manipur Dramatic Union hall here, has been directed by Pranjal Gogoi.

Besides the team from Assam, groups from West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan and Manipur are taking part in the festival organised by the Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, Imphal.

Of the eight performances, five plays are based on songs, poems and writings of Tagore.

Do Kadam from Jaipur will enact the play The King and the Beggar based on Tagore’s Gitanjali while The Mimer from Kerala will stage Khokababur Pratyabartan based on Tagore’s The Child’s Return.

The Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory will speak on Tagore’s melodies and his songs.

The organisers will also hold a mime theatre workshop from November 6 to 12 as part of the festival. Crafts and masks relating to mime theatre made by Kanglei artistes would be put on display as part of the festival and workshop.

A programme will be held where students will dance to the songs of Manipuri singer Uttam.

The group will be organising the festival for the second time, the first edition being the East Zone Mime Theatre Festival in 2010.

“We are holding the festival to promote it in Manipur and also expose mime lovers to the performance of other groups from different states so as to have a look at the mime theatre trend of the country,” said festival director Yumnam Sadananda, who runs the Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, the only mime theatre group in Manipur.

This group has performed in various parts of the country and abroad, including Korea, Armenia, Macedonia and Greece. The group has produced 15 plays, including three masterpieces — Cheitheng (Agony), Mirel Mansinga (The Spirit of Soul) and Love Your Nature. Mirel Masinga is a tribute to Irom Sharmila’s indomitable spirit.

Sharmila will complete 12 years of her hunger strike against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act tomorrow. However, this play will not be staged during the festival.

“The plays here are dominated by Tagore’s writings. We want to pay tribute to the great bard as the country celebrates his 150th birth anniversary,” Sadananda said.