an evening of dissent
two texts - one timbre
Principal Text: Samudra Kajal Saikia and Mahasveta Devi
Support Text: Steven Berkoff
Directed and Designed by Parnab Mukherjee
With Saraswati, Srimoyi, Sonja and Savitri
Music by Gino and Parnab
At New Creation Dance Studio , Auroville
October 13 and 14, 2006
Shows at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.
About the director:
Mr. Parnab Mukherjee is a media activist by profession. He is an independent conceptual artist, tactical media artist, workshop facilitator, creative mentor and video artist. He promotes counter culture, writes and directs plays, curates festivals, designs media and theatre interventions, acts in installation performances and works on a range of issues concerning autism, hyphenated nationalism, de-notified tribes, displacement and rehabilitation after riots.
He has worked with an English fortnightly, an English daily and a Bengali daily.
Mr. Mukherjee has directed more than 40 productions all over the country for major theatre groups and campuses including three international collaborations. He has been declared by Sunday Times (2004) of The Times of India as one of the top-20 theatre directors of the country and was the only alternative director in the list. For the inaugural B.V Karanth Memorial Campus Drama Festival (2003) organised by National School of Drama Students' Union, Mr. Mukherjee was awarded as the best designer. He has taken part in more than 50 festivals all over the country that includes film-festivals, theatre-fests, community initiatives, demonstrations and sit-ins, inter-faith meetings, media workshop meets, intimate and street play fests and art and installation camps.
He has worked with specific issues and causes concerning resistance including concerns of visually challenged, specific issues concerning autism advocacy, conditions of Chharas in Ahmedabad, C.K Janu's struggle in Kerala, closure of a number of tea-gardens in the Darjeeling-Doars-Terai belt, human rights atrocities and Armed Forces Special Power Act in Manipur with special reference to Irom Sharmila, narratives of child sexual abuse and human trafficking, an acclaimed cycle of 11-plays on Gujarat with specific reference to the riots, the lack of rehabilitation of the 1984 riot victims, paedophilia in Goa, narratives of AIDS victims and identity formation in the north-eastern states.
Mr. Mukherjee has authored five books and he is currently working on the life and times of the cabaret legend Miss Shefali.
As a well-known soloist, Mr Mukherjee has directed and performed seven full-length solo performance texts. His earlier solos include: These trafficked Texts (three self-written texts on the issue of trafficking), Headpieces Filled With Straw (Ruskin Bond's Angry River , Godse's last testament , and two self-composed pieces called Are you feeling cold Nasreen and Why I want to commit suicide ), This land is cactus land (R.K Narayan's Eeshwaran , Premchand's Idgah in English translation by Khushwant Singh, Montoo Rakshit's Lawrence D'Souza and David Hare's Via Dolorosa ), And the Dead Tree Gives No Shelter (Mahavseta Devi's Breast Giver , Choli Ke Peeche , Etoa Munda Wins the Battle and The Why Why Girl ) and a double bill called From the Fringe (Salim Al Deen's Hargaj and Shahjad Firdaus' Kanangan) . He has also produced a series of solo sketches and performances on Gujarart riots and has been directed by Sanchayan Ghosh in three installation projects.
Mr. Mukherjee is the artistic director of Best of Kolkata Campus - a non-profit, non-registered collective of campus theatre activists working on non-proscenium spaces since 1992. The collective apart from their own productions has been the starting point of all solos by Mr. Mukherjee and has organised a international festival of solos. The aim of the collective is to do agit-prop theatre that is political but without any party affiliations.
I didn't realize yet what it was…Kind of Divine's gift. First time in my life I felt so clear the presence of art, the very moment of creation. It was so intensive because we had only 10 days to rehearse. Actually I can't call our meetings “rehearsals” – it was always a bit of physical exercises and a long talk about everything. What have we got out of this conversation? Nothing but being a team, one body, total surrender.
I fell in love with physical theatre. It's true – through the body you can explain more than through all words…
A little bit about Ophelia and O
It was interesting to work as Ophelia in a modern character & experience.
To take her out of her time, out of her stereotyped image of a
submissive & ignored
young woman into a questioning being who revolts against her suffering and
abuse, who dares to go mad to break the bonds of conventional behavior & demands
us to review her relationship with Hamlet, with man.
So the play was provocative
in that sense, almost brutal in honesty, using a lot of props ( mirror, pipes,
cloth, ropes & masks etc...) & body work.
Parnab was just great to work with, funny, very intelligent & bright, always
tearing at life, obliging us to reinvent our characters at each performance.
He gave himself entirely to his project with a lot of energy & needed our complete
He was a performance in himself actually !!