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Arunachal Rang Mahotsav: A Theatrical Voyage To The Past and Present (4-Day Theatre Festival)

17 Jul,2023 05:51 PM, by: Posy Lui
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Unfolding the rich tapestry of Arunachal Pradesh's past and present, the Arunachal Rang Mahotsav, a captivating four-day theatre festival, is set to take centre stage in four major cities across India: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Guwahati. The event, scheduled from the 18th of July to the 11th of August, promises to provide an engaging window into the state's transformation from the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) era to contemporary times.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Shri Pema Khandu and Deputy Chief Minister, Shri Chowna Mein have enthusiastically endorsed this unique cultural venture. They have extended a warm invitation to everyone to witness the journey of Arunachal Pradesh, from its NEFA days to its present-day status as a thriving state, through these evocative theatrical performances.

The festival's four compelling plays, titled 'Arunachal Ek Safarnama', 'Chowpha-Plang-Lu', 'Poju Mimak', and 'Ninu 80', are meticulously designed to narrate the state's odyssey in a captivating theatrical manner. These performances are not only a testament to the state's vibrant cultural heritage but also an opportunity to share its untold stories with a wider audience.

The festival kicks off in the capital city of Delhi, where the iconic Kamani Auditorium at Mandi House will set the stage ablaze with the inaugural performances. On the 18th of July, theatre enthusiasts will be treated to the compelling play 'Arunachal Ek Safarnama,' which takes the audience on a captivating journey through the state's rich history from its NEFA days to the present era. The following day, the Kamani Auditorium will witness the gripping tale of 'Chowpha-Plang-Lu,' a play that delves into the Tai-Khamti revolution, showcasing the valour and resilience of the people against foreign rule.

Continuing the artistic extravaganza, the Shri Ram Centre, also located at Mandi House, will host the thought-provoking play 'Poju Mimak' on the 20th of July. This play sheds light on the heroic struggles of the Abors (now known as Adis) during the Anglo-Abor War, highlighting their unwavering spirit and indomitable courage. Lastly, on the 21st of July, the Kamani Auditorium will witness the theatrical masterpiece 'Ninu 80,' which pays homage to the Wancho Warriors and their significant role in defending the land during times of adversity.

The theatrical journey will then move to the cultural hub of Mumbai, where the festival will continue to mesmerise audiences with its diverse and compelling performances. The renowned Ravindra Natya Mandir in Prabhadevi will be the stage for the enthralling play 'Arunachal Ek Safarnama' on the 25th of July, followed by 'Chowpha-Plang-Lu' on the 26th of July, which will transport viewers back in time to witness the Tai-Khamti revolution.

On the 27th of July, the Savarkar Auditorium in Dadar will come alive with the riveting play 'Poju Mimak,' shedding light on the heroic struggles of the Abors during the Anglo-Abor War. The festival will culminate in Mumbai with the captivating performance of 'Ninu 80' on the 28th of July, paying tribute to the indomitable Wancho Warriors.

The city of joy, Kolkata, will witness the grandeur of Arunachal Rang Mahotsav from the 2nd to the 5th of August, 2023. On the 2nd of August, the CHOWPHA-PLANG-LU show will be taking place at the EZCC in Kolkata. Followed by the ARUNACHAL-EK SAFARNAMA show on the 3rd of August and the NINU 80 show on the 4th of August, both held at the same venue. On the 5th of August, the EZCC in Kolkata will be hosting the POJU MIMAK show.

The final destination of this cultural caravan is Guwahati, where the NINU 80 show will be held on the 8th of August at the Shri Shri Madhavadeva International Auditorium. The Srimanta Sankaradeva International Auditorium will host three shows starting on the 9th of August with POJU MIMAK, followed by the ARUNACHAL-EK SAFARNAMA show on the 10th of August, and the CHOWPHA-PLANG-LU show on the 11th of August. With a lineup like this, make sure you mark your calendars and come experience a range of exciting performances in these culturally vibrant cities.

The Arunachal Rang Mahotsav is more than just a theatre festival; it's an initiative aimed at reviving and promoting the state's rich cultural heritage. The plays will breathe life into the tales of valour from the Tai-Khamti revolution, the Anglo-Abor War, and the Nyinu Massacre, eliciting a deep resonance with the sentiments of our nation. Arunachal Pradesh is using theatre as a pilot project to bring alive its untold stories and share them with the rest of the country. With an aim to spread awareness about the state's unique history and cultural heritage, the festival will feature plays that depict the journey of Arunachal Pradesh from its NEFA days to the thriving state it is today.

The festival serves as a powerful platform to share the rich history and resistance against foreign rule by the tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh, a narrative often overlooked in the annals of mainstream history. This festival is a significant step towards spotlighting these stories and ensuring they echo across the country, thereby enriching India's cultural heritage. The festival will not only entertain audiences but also serve as a platform for artists and theatre-makers to showcase their talent and bring attention to Arunachal Pradesh's rich cultural heritage. The grand theatrical spectacle of Arunachal Rang Mahotsav promises to be a captivating and enriching experience for all. Whether you're a history buff, a theatre enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and inspiring cultural experience, the festival is not to be missed.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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