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Ojapali elements make play more interesting


GUWAHATI, May 15 � In view of the audience response to its production Dushyant- The Liar that was based on the rhythm of Ojapali, Sarsa, a theatre group has decided to come up with plays that would include more folk elements.

This play supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India presents the story of Kalidas�s Abhigyana Shakuntalam in a different perspective exploring the characters of Shakuntala and Dushyant and maintaining that Dushyant was a liar and a hypocrite.

Asim Kumar Nath, who scripted and directed the play said that inclusion of Ojapali movement in Dushyant- The Liar made the play more endearing to the rural folks.

�Ojapali is one of the oldest performing arts of Assam and it combines singing, dancing, gestures and dramatic dialogues. I have been including movements from Ojapali in my plays because I have found that the common people can easily relate to a play when it has folk elements,� said Nath adding that Assamese culture with its rich tapestry of art forms has been an inspiration for Sarsa to experiment with the design and themes of its productions.

It needs to be mentioned here that Sarsa encouraged by the audience response to its Dushyant- The Liar is deliberating to stage the play in different parts of the state particularly in the areas that have a rural ambience. Though the play deviates from the original as far as delineation of the character of the mighty king Dushyant is concerned, the viewers have been receptive towards the message that the play had intended to deliver.

�Our play highlights how Dushyant exploited a rustic girl. Viewers get the liberty to interpret the play from their own view point because the play offers the scope to do so,� said Nath observing that the rural audience interpreted the play as a conflict between urban ethos and rural innocence.

Nath further said that Ojapali movement intensified the emotional buildup in the play. He mentioned that theatre lovers appreciate it when the meaning is depicted through physical movement as there is not a moment of dullness.

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