Amit Majumdar, co-director, Upasana, tells us about their upcoming festival Srutir Aashore, which takes place on February 10 and 11
Upasana’s ‘Srutir Aashore’, the festival of vachick arts, celebrates voice modulation and brings to the city, plays, enactments and interactions. It will conclude with an award ceremony. Amit Majumdar, co-director, Upasana says, “We celebrate the art of voice modulation. That’s the reason we are not calling it Srutir Natak but Srutir Aashore. It’s about the various kinds of voice modulation like that needed in a speech, jingle or a debate — it’s about anything that comes from the voice and gets to your ears.”
The two-day festival will take place on February 10 and 11 at Sawai Gandharva Auditorium and Muktangan Exploratory Science Centre respectively.
Majumdar says that the concept was very popular in West Bengal, before the TV revolution happened. “They were earlier known as radio plays. And, it was interesting to hear the plays as they created the atmosphere where you could imagine the story. The Bengali radio play artists took it to the stage, which was more challenging,” he said.
He says that concept is known in Maharashtra as Nava Natya. “We thought as Probashi Bengalis, we should promote this art form. So eight city clubs came together for the festival,” Majumdar says and adds that they started off four years ago with small audio plays of 20-35 minutes each and the following year approached All India Radio to participate in radio plays.
As for this year’s programme, Majumdar says that they are felicitating Pradip Ghosh, reciter or abrittikar with Sombhu Mitra Award and Madhav Abhyankar, who is known for his role in Ghashiram Kotwal.
“No matter what kind of cultural programmes we do, we always have some social initiative attached to it. It could be through financial aid or taking up causes. So a few years back, we felt that we should felicitate those who were good performers but could not do well professionally,” he says.
On day one of the fest, two Bengali and a Marathi short play will be put up. One of the plays has been adapted from Rabindranath Tagore’s immortal poem Karna Kunti Sambad. Another play Rin Mukti will be presented by Paschim Pune Banga Parishad.
“In addition to that, two voice artists Molly Dutta and Tapas Maity will also present their acts. We are still working out details of the Marathi play,” added Majumdar.
Dutta will also present modified version of Tagore’s poem Krishnakali, which takes up the cause of the downtrodden and Maity will put up a programme called Premey Prapyasa (Love Without Expectation).”
On day two of the festival, they have invited individuals from across the city to showcase different forms of srutir or voice modulation. “It’s going to be an intimate interaction,” says Majumdar, adding that the festival is targeted at a niche audience.
“This festival will be of interest to those who have an inclination towards this art form. We have also started inviting Marathi audience for the festival,” he concludes.