Twenty-sixth March, 2013 saw the end of six-day Nattyamela (theatre carnival) organised by Prachyanat Theatre Troupe. The Nattyamela, inaugurated by mothers of threatre artistes, was dedicated to the memories of deceased President Zillur Rahman.
Prachyanat, formed in February 1997, quickly established itself as an avant-garde theatre organisation within the first few years of its inception. Today the name has come to be associated with youthfulness and radical experimentation in theatre and performance art. For the past 12 years Prachyanat has also been running a school with concentration in acting and design.
As part of its year-long celebration of 15 years of activity, Prachyanat had organised a few programmes which included Ondorjatra (self-journey), Street-theatre Festival, and a few workshops. Between 21-26 March, full-length stage plays, performance art, installations, orchestral music, and light and sound show was held at the Shilpakala Academy premises. Prominent theatre groups of the country such as – Dhaka Theatre, Aranyak, Nagorik Nattya Shamproday, Theatre, Theatre Art Unit, Prangone Mor, Shubachan, Nattyakendra and Prachyanat – showcased their works at the carnival. Five different artistes and one theatre group — Sanjay Chakravarti, Saleh Mahmud, Harun-ar Rashid Tutul, Tejosh Halder Josh, Farah Naz Mun, and Prachyanat Lab — presented performance arts each day before the regular stage plays. Orchestral music by Classical Music Orchestra, Sparsha Classical Instrumental Orchestra, and Prachyanat Music Ensemble added flair to the programme everyday.
One interesting aspect of this Nattyamela was honouring ten distinguished foreign guests who had made significant contributions to the improvement of living for the people of this country. Among the recipients of Nibideta Bondhujan Shommanona were — Valerie Ann Taylor, Dr Edric Baker, Julian Francis, Lucio Beninati, Brother Guillaume, Hiroki Watanabe, and Mae Watanabe. Nattyamela also conferred Nibedita Nattyajan Shommanona to ten aspiring theatre workers from different theatre groups. This year Prachyanat’s Laljatra, a procession held every year to commemorate the dark night of March 25, 1971, became a part of Nattyamela. The procession started at the Chhobir Haat and ended at the Shilpakala Academy premises. The final day saw the Prachyanat’s own production Raja ebong onnanya, written by Rabindranath Tagore. The programme ended with fireworks and flying of fanus (gas lanterns).
The writer is Director (Academics), Prachyanat School of Acting and Design.