Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama an autonomous body of Ministry of Culture, Government of India in collaboration with Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, Imphal is organizing National Mime Festival at Imphal from Feb.8 to 12. My group Martand Foundation, Udaipur and Rainbow Society, Jaipur represented Rajasthan during this Festival. In all, there are 13 groups participating from India. This was my first visit to Imphal. I presented Mime “Hurdle full Honey-moon” on Feb.9. with my wife Kiran Janve. The objective of this mime was to provide healthy entertainment. A newly wedded couple is seeking happiness every moment ... traveling, eating and enjoying, but comes across hurdles evoking situational comedy. Spectators keep on guessing what will happen next and enjoy every scene. This was an amazing experience for us too. I love to make people happy and healthy. Laughter is the best medicine, but this laughter neither hurts anybody nor compromises with the quality.
A theater workshop is also coinciding with this festival in which students of National Mime Institute, Kolkata are learning various aspects of theatre including the martial art of Manipur. I had an opportunity to interact and share some of the exercises to enhance facial expressions on Saturday morning. I appreciate the grasping power of the students of IMI and young theatre enthusiasts of Manipur. I could witness the presentations of different teams. Mime Academy, Guwahati under the able direction of most professional artist Moinul Haque presented “Voice of Silence”. Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory, Imphal presented mime drama “Love your Nature” directed by Dr. Y. Sadanand Singh. Madhya Pradesh Natak Lok Kala Academy, Ujjain rendered two mimes “Bhakti men Shakti” and “Ambedkar” directed by Jitendra Tatawal. Anubhav, Kolkata presented “Jagran”(An awakening of an inner soul)directed by Krishan Dutt. I could see rehearsal of Mime play “Meera” produced by Rainbow Society, Jaipur directed by Siraj Ahmed Bhati and missed other productions like “Manjuli” by Brahmaputra Cultural Foundation,Jorhat,Assam directed by Shilpika Bordoli, “Evom Prem” by Soma Das of sometime Theatre,Kolkata, “Kathakali” directed by Dev Fauzdar of Natya Kiran Manch, Mumbai, “Overcoat” directed by Sabyasachi Dutta,Jalpaiguri Srishti Mime Theatre,Jalpaiguri, “Shamarak-Mgamaak(Un-dead) by Raag Tarang Mandal,Imphal. The festival will be concluded with the presentation by Indian Mime Theatre, Kolkata’s mime play “Niru Gonsaier Chhata” directed by Padmashri Niranjan Goswami. I have seen this play last year during National Mime Festival, Kolkata and is a wonderful production. My visit to the stalwart of Indian Theatre Padmbhushan Dr. Ratan Thiyam’s Chorus Repertory Theatre became made my visit significant though we could not meet him personally as he lost his beloved mother a few days back and was very busy in rituals.
National Mime Festival Imphal will last till Feb. 12 and will play a pivotal role in popularizing and building better understandings among Mime artists of North Eastern and other states of India. .