Canfest 2011: Gitee Natya Karnabadha Enthralls Audience

Dhenkanal based Indian Institute of Mass Communication has sent a seven member team of students to cover Canfest, a national theatre festival organized by Canmass at Paradeep from February 19 to 28. Here below is their first report.

Folk theatre (jatra) was revived by a scintillating performance of Karnabadha by Sanskruti Vihar in Canfest 2011.

Based on the epic Mahabharat, the gitee natya, written by Ganakabi Baishnab Pani, chronicles the sixteenth day of the war. The group which includes a number of advocates, tried to highlight the ancient culture of Odisha.

The story showcases a passage from Mahabharat where Draupadi requests the Pandavas to avenge her dishonor. A furious war ensues and Bhima kills Dushashan. The gitee natya’s plot proceeds to the death of Karna at Arjun’s hands.

Written in the late 1980s, the drama was directed by Narayan Singh and music provided by Chandra Shekar  Mishra.

Girija Shankar Panda, an advocate from Odisha High Court who played the part of Dushashan commented that it is a challenge to communicate complex emotions through dance and music.

The age-old story received a fresh look, as humor was added in the cameo by Chetana Mallik and Kumari Pinky in order to make the play interesting for one and all.

T K Sethi, a member of the audience and an employee of Odisha Police enjoys this form of theatre so greatly that he took special leave to attend the program.

The 18 year old dancer, Somjeet Sethi’s talent was appreciated by the spectators.

With technological advancement, folk theatre faces a threat from mainstream media and to overcome this handicap, the group made an effective use of light, sound and music effects. The intention of the director was to revive and advance the traditional culture of Odisha through drama.

Sanskruti Vihar Cuttack, established in 1963 has performed in Agra, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai and has won National awards for acting and dance.

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