Theatre consciousness in small towns is limited to school and college annual day celebrations, and it has become a challenge to do serious theatre in the midst of formalist comedies. Keeping this in mind, the members of Balmanch who have been working with children and theatre, decided to call their theatre for youth "Rang Utsav".
With positive theatre activities and by making an attempt to adopt the totality of theatre, the group has successfully performed plays in several parts of India. They have participated in 'Bharangam', New Delhi, All India Kalidasa Samaroh, Ujjain, National Theatre Festival, Vishakapattnam, and South Regional Cultural Centre. They have also presented shows through the medium of sound and light.
Folk items to be performed
Malwa Group Dance ‘Sanja’ - All through the 'Kaiwar Maas' (7th month of the Hindu calendar), from the first day of 'Shraadh' till its final day of the moonless night, every virgin in the Malwa region makes a wish for a suitable husband and in-laws. To fulfill her desire she draws different types of beautiful folk figures on the main wall of the courtyard with cow dung, and decorates them with colorful flowers and polythene shapes. At night the women visit each other's houses in groups, singing and offering prayers to goddess 'Sanja', while wishing for a bright future. These dances are performed exclusively by women and men do not participate in them.
Flowers and Leaves Group Dance - In the month of 'Baisakh' (the second month of the Hindu calendar), virgin girls of the Malwa region enact the 'swang' of the bride and the bridegroom daily. Each night they go to a garden in groups and offer a variety of flowers and leaves to Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. These offerings are made to the accompaniment of musical instruments like the dhol, amidst rhythmic dancing set to different beats. The women sing songs signifying the 'shringar rasa' and dance the 'ghumar and 'gangaur' in groups. This dance is performed only by women and the only function of the men is to play the dhol. The dance is based on the different beats of Malwa, and the music combines the essence of other folk rhythms and forms (like the Aara, Rajwadi, Matki, Multani, Indouri, Kaharwon and Dadra) within itself.
Jhula Song and Dance - During Shravan maas, occasions like the green amavasya, aonvla navmi and savni have great importance for the people of Malwa who celebrate them with great fanfare. On this day women and children form groups and cook and eat their food under trees, in meadows, or on riverbanks. On such occasions swinging on a 'jhoola' (swing) is of great significance, and girls and women accompany each other in dancing, swinging and singing. The shravani songs contain descriptions of the appeasement of God Indra, nature, agriculture and 'shringaar' (love and affection).This dance is performed exclusively by women.
Kangwala Dance - The kangwala dance is performed by members of tribes from Mathura and Vridaban who had traveled from Brij and settled in the Malwa region, making it their home. Over the years they have assimilated the cultures of Brij and Rajasthan giving it a new avatar, and expressing it through their songs, music and attire. The typical member of this group wears a dhoti, an angrakha, puts a peacock feather on his cap, hangs a cloth bag on his shoulder, holds a 'khartal' (long iron tongs with cymbals which make a musical sound when they clash) in one hand and a lajhi in another and bears a ' Yadu Vanshi tilak ' (clan founded by Lord Krishna) of sandalwood paste on their forehead. They Kangwalas travel from village
to village and house-to-house singing sonnets and dancing. Their Malwa sonnets are about 'shringar', 'bhakti' (devotion), the comic, and issues ranging from the local to the domestic to the national. They are essentially meant to be sung and danced to on stage.
Maach - Maach is yet another folk dance of the Malwa region. It is based on several folk stories like those of Raja Harishchandra, Raja Brahatari and others. The maach is performed only by men who also don the role of women characters. The item is also a sort of musical folk play that begins at night and continues till early morning.
Tejaji - Tejaji, like maach is a famous form of Malwi folk drama. The tale of Tejaji which is presented through song and dance, is about a snake god who stings Tejaji on his tongue. The drama is performed during the 'Bhadav Mah' (the sixth month of the Hindu calendar) and commences at the snake temple where the snake god is appeased. Like maatch , this too has an all-male cast that plays the role of women characters as well. This dance drama is
performed all through the night.
Deepesh Jadhava, Shubham Parmaar,Ankit Dodiya, Payal Kale, Divya Trivedi, Roshan Parmaar, Aayushi Aadhekar, Ankit Barod, Barkha Sharma, Disha Shinde, Ajey Barod,
Abhishek Rami, Aniket Gehalot, Vijay Chawda, Nandan Chawda, Pankaj Aacharya , Mayaram Jabi, Jagdeesh Dhakad, Ambaram, Jayesh Pramanik, Rajendra Chawda (Team Leader)
Rang Utsav: 20/2, Shastri Nagar, Ujjain (M.P.),
Rajendra Chawda 09827445665
* Programme subject to change
Venue: NSD Premises Bahawalpur House, Bhagwandas Road, ND-1
Enquiry: 011-23389054 (23389402, 23382821 Ext. 37)