Wednesday, February 6, 2019

NYAYE KE BHANWAR MEIN BHAWARI- a play by Theatre Thinker Manjul Bhardwaj

NYAYE KE BHANWAR MEIN BHAWARI - Challenges the oppression of patriarchy & its system.
रंगचिन्तक मंजुल भारद्वाज का नाटक न्याय के भंवर में भंवरीशोषण और दमनकारी पितृसत्ता के खिलाफ़ न्याय, समता और समानता की हुंकार है !
#TheatreofRelevance #change #Play #NyaykeBhanwarmeinBhanwari #ManjulBhardwaj

रंगचिन्तक मंजुल भारद्वाज का नाटक “न्याय के भंवर में भंवरी”

रंगचिन्तक मंजुल भारद्वाज का नाटक “न्याय के भंवर में भंवरी” शोषण और दमनकारी पितृसत्ता के खिलाफ़ न्याय, समता और समानता की हुंकार है !
#TheatreofRelevance #change #Play #NyaykeBhanwarmeinBhanwari#ManjulBhardwaj

Monday, October 15, 2018

‘Artists’ attain enlightenment through the radiance of their art and not through the cravings of their belly.-Manjul Bhardwaj

‘Artists’ attain enlightenment through the radiance of their art and not through the cravings of their belly.

-         Manjul Bhardwaj (Theatre Philosopher-Thinker)

Financial earning and livelihood of an artist

 ‘Food’ is inevitably fundamental need for survival of every living being in this universe which is secured primarily through soil, water, plantation, meat or other minerals that are prerequisites for our body to be healthy, living being to fill their stomach and survive. Nature has allocated or provided enough resources for every living being. Except for the human beings every living being sustain in harmony with the nature or in accordance to the ‘system’ set up by the human beings. Yes, for sustenance man essentially needs to create wealth or monetary foundation.

Humans are civilized, they have constructed civilization, built a ‘system’, established a ruling power, decorum and each ‘system’ has its unique indicative commandment or in other words, code of conduct and laws are formulated. Under the colourful fantasy of the word ‘employment’ our government brandishes populist dreams. Every authoritative system and power set up governs through these administrative tools and formulas.

Man, quintessentially have come to be the most ‘civilized’ of the lot and so has the swell of their ever multiplying relentless appetite compared to rest of the living beings. The more one is developed, modern, popular, dictator or democratic; insatiably furthermore grows their relentless ‘stomach’- right from the world’s oldest democracy, ‘USA’ to the world’s largest democracy, ‘India’. The reason behind this is the illusionary perception of ‘greed’ disguised as ‘need’ and ‘development’; and not the actual obvious size and form of the ‘stomach’.

The deceitfulness of this hegemonic era of absolute power coerces illusions of the scientific age, commercialisation, profiteering, ‘buying and selling’ technique evolved through science and its methods. Entire earth belongs to nature….but the ‘developed’ man fails to accept this fact, rather the ‘developed’ man functions basis the formula that “earth is his possession”.

Hence, to fabricate the ‘need’ into necessitated ‘greed’ thousands of news channels around the world competes 24/7 for ‘profiteering’ by ripping off the resources of the ‘universe’. In such situation handful of people thrive on lavishness while others slog to make a living. Yet, the man proudly declares oneself as ‘learned and civilized’ and the nature ‘laughs’ on his idiosyncrasies.

From the era of Adam to the current age of ‘scientific civilization’, humans depend on their physical prowess for survival. In each facet of evolution’s ‘foot, wheel and wings’ era, man’s physical labour played vital role in financial earning.  In Adam era, superiority was decided basis ‘physical prowess.’ The allocation of privileges and properties were defined by the measure of one’s strength.

The evolution of intellect descended the superior role of ‘physical power’ to the lowest most strata of ‘economic’ earning. Man whose source of income is totally based on their ‘physical labour’ is on the margins of ‘civilized and literate’ society, the ones who resort to the skill along with the ‘physical labour’ are better placed… who practises earning through ‘sexual’ interrelations are in a ‘better and worse’ scenario….the ones who function in accordance to their intellect are on the top most strata of the ‘societal’ hierarchy; which deduces that there are four ways to economic earning in current human era.

1. Physical labour and skill

 2. Gesture/expression and skill

3. Sexual behaviour

4. Consciousness, intellect and thought!

How to fortify economic earning of art and artists?

Art is conscience (awareness), a rebellion, a medium of humanizing human beings and sustain humanity in them. In past and present, many ‘systems’ have been manipulating art and artists in their forum to advertise and propagate their authority, the ‘system’ ensures to resource materialistic fruition and luxury to these artists. In today’s times it is aptly named as ‘grant, fellowship or grant in aid’. Since ‘art and artists’ are known to be rebellious so they are in constant disputed struggle with the authority, and being people oriented ‘artists’, they sustain amongst the ‘masses’ by the means of subsistence practised by the ‘masses’. And are oppressed by the despots….prevailing in form of either the government or the society!

Materialistic growth, greed, power, fame and glamour have disoriented the artists. Autocrats have meticulously conspired to garb ‘art’ as mere means of livelihood, and artist into a hungry horde striving to fill their bellies. The system plotted this for the obvious imperialistic oppressive reasons so that ‘authoritarians’ keep exploiting the masses and the artists who’ reasons’, artist who spread awareness amongst the masses, artists who believe in art as the supreme medium of consciousness, to go extinct…these are the methods of ‘system’ to suppress the uprising against them.

They construct a crowd of art and artists who get entangled in the crumbs of the slice of pie offered by the ‘system’! Such a society is created by the authoritarians where ‘art and artists’ remain mere showbiz who are perceived as ‘inferior’ class; or in the form of an ‘object’ for consumption.

Artist denigrates like a decadent leprous itch, educated illiterates, fame lusted ‘middle class’ who are desperate to consume everything and experience pleasures at all cost. This oppressive system ‘runs on this middle class’. Epitome of ‘greed’ is the middle class, incomplete knowledge, incomplete ‘thought’, incomplete life, and so unsatiated is the ‘middle class’ yet laps dreams to acquire the whole world. In aspirations of these colourful dreams the ‘middle class’ breeds in the megacities that are curse in the garb of ‘development’.

The quest to achieve their dreams drives the ‘middle class’ to perfect their pretentious act of eminence in the ‘crowd’. The ‘middle class’ is consumer of all kinds of prosthetic market, proficient absorber of all kinds of abuse, devotee and seeker of “sabka saath sabka vikas” - development and companionship of all. Unfortunately this ‘middle class’ fails to break this vicious cycle of ‘there is a little and there is a need of a little more’, trapped in its own pretentious dreams and wants, the middle class sings to the tunes of ‘development’ and yet is incessantly ‘exploited’.

The ones who have been ever liberating and bear the potential to salvage the middle class from the consuming circle of exploitation is the art of the aware ‘artists’! 

Regrettably this middle class is the blind follower of capitalist system that cunningly conspires to indicate ‘art for the sake of entertainment’. Such over credulity drives them to propagate the gang of artists with expertise in promotion of ‘hedonism’ facet of art. With the flash of one SMS, the ‘middle class’ bestows fame and stardom upon these artists. But middle class appears to be the gravest foe of ‘artistic conscience!

There are swarms of artists mobbing, believing in ‘art for the sake of entertainment’ breeding in the ruined islands of so called developed metro cities. Dancing to the tunes of the ‘middle class’ yet it reaches nowhere same as the directionless ‘middle class’. Wandering in its own illusionary maze, this puzzled ‘middle class’ leverage the ‘wheels’ of the systems’ exploitative dominance.

Purpose of an artist is not to merely fill their  belly. Of course, that does not indicate that an ‘artist’ does not require basic necessities for livelihood. The one who claims to be an ‘artist’ must as well know the art of subsistence; except the ones queuing in the crowd of the employment seekers. An artist must understand the purpose of ‘art’, they must understand the conspiracy of the ‘devastation’ in the name of development....Conspiracy of the ‘system’, they must think beyond the crumbs of the grants offered by them, must break the rigidity of the social/cultural consciousness.

Artists are beyond their meagre ‘body’ that exhibits various forms of skill rather they are socially aware personalities with splendid ‘consciousness’, who through their art, are constantly breaking vicious cycle built by the exploitative forces of the ‘middle class and the system”, because art exact humanity in the man.

Today artists need to affirm the strata that they prefer to place themselves in for ‘financial’ procurement.

1. Physical labour and skill

2. Gesture/expression and skill

3. Sexual behaviour

4. Consciousness, intellect and thought!

Join hands to save humanity and humanness by embracing consciousness of art and its rationally committed manifestation. Advocate the artistic wing that nurtures the humanity of the mankind in that art.  Condemn the pitiful grants and release oneself from the employment seeking crowd; because an artist is liberated by the radiance of his art and not the cravings of his belly.

Kalameva Jayate!( Long live art !)
 - translated by Smriti Raj

Theatre Thinker Manjul Bhardwaj Sculpting University of Life through Theatre –Dhanajay Kumar

Manjul equips playwrights with an avante garde genre. He pulls them closer to the happenings in the society and brings them face to face with the experiences, environment and background of the survivor; thereon he liberates the writer…

Manjul Bhardwaj’s Theatre of Relevance philosophy breaks through the dimensions of the stage and re-establishes theatre in the accessibility of common man and its implementation in day to day life. His plays are beyond the realm of entertainment, it intrigues, questions, pivots you to your thought processes and invoke you to set your own parameters of rationalising and reassessing your environment, the society. This is Manjul Bhardwaj’s own cultivation


 To celebrate the 25 years of Theatre of Relevance philosophy, 3 days theatre festival and Theatre summit was organised on 10, 11 and 12 august 2017 in New Delhi.

Manjul Bhardwaj commenced his theatrical journey as a usual theatre practitioner. Those days witnessed his passion for theatre and aspiration to be better, but he lacked the vision for theatre, that would pave the path towards his goal, and which he desired to sub-consciously reach. Although he had imbibed theatre art but he was experiencing conflict in the contemporary theatrical practises.
In the 60s, Indian history witnessed emerging artistic revolution in form of theatrical art, ironically confined to the boundaries of Delhi’s National School of Drama. Other cities were struggling to keep theatre alive through amateur dramatics societies and groups. Theatre’s identity remained nothing more than just a show. Although theatre artists were performing plays but true spirit of theatre was slowly buried.
Theatre was becoming a medium to either grab a role in television or cinema or to keep oneself simply self-content through it. Manjul Bhardwaj was searching for a third dimension than the existing two. In restlessness, he not only studied Bharatmuni’s theatre philosophy, “Natyashastra”, also researched on international theatre thinkers and scholars, and realised that global theatre thinkers emphasised on ideological aspects in comparison to both performance and behavioural facets. Whereas, behavioural aspects needed more attention because of the fact that theatre has infinite potential to enkindle mass revolution

Evidently, for some reason, theatre halted to the bounds of script and actor. Limiting theatre to its technicality and repertoire assuage the creative possibility and capability of attaining theatre excellence. It is an intentional ignorance of the substantive potential of theatre. Theatre deserves to go beyond the predictable. Through the churning of these thoughts Manjul Bhardwaj cultivated Theatre of Relevance that moulds five definitive dimensions.

1. Theatre, which is committed to making the world more “Better & Humane” through its creative excellence.
2.    Theatre, in which art is not just for art sake but is relevant to the context of the society and fulfils its social responsibility.
3.    Theatre, which caters to human needs and provide itself as a platform for             expression.
4.    Theatre, which explores itself as a medium of change/development.
5.    Theatre, that comes out from the stereotypical ‘limits of entertainment’ to become a way of living.
The course of societal processes does not limit Manjul Bhardwaj’s tryst with artistic and entertainment aspects of theatre and one observes him taking the legacy of renowned theatre thinkers like Bharatmuni along with the international thinkers Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Antonin Artaud, Brecht and likewise. The Theatre thinkers before the era of Stanislavski emphasised on script, however Stanislavski emphasised on acting rather than playwriting, and he formulated scientificism in it and evolved it from the world of imagination to the grassroots of reality.

 He believed that unless the acting is authentic and convincing, the intended effectuality of presentation or production will not be realised before the audience. Hence, he had innovated proficient technique for the actors to regulate their emotions and body movement basis which the artist could enact their role to utmost authenticity irrespective of given situations or impact of audiences’ presence.

While working with the artists on their acting skills, Manjul invents the dimension of humane technique and brings forth the factual characters of the script in form of the actors, so that the core momentum and sensitivity of the script is effectively spelled before the audience and the play reciprocates with the audience to its fullest impact.

Manjul evolves a new dimension to Stanislavski’s theatre philosophy through his phenomenal process, while keeping the magnitude of play writing intact. Like Brecht, he equally values play writing and before the theatre performances he engages the actors in an intensive workshop where he brings the artist closer to the theme of the play, its gravity and series of contextual incidents, through which the artists processes the story holistically, and that emancipates their dramatis personae to real life.
They conceptually analyse all the aspects of relevant occurrences. Artists imbibe and then express their learning. This exploration gives way to the evolution of the play. The changes in the script attained through this participative approach reflect the reality of the audience and their life, liberating it from being mere writer’s story.
Here, it is imperative to understand that Manjul enables the play writer with the explorative scope of reflection and finesse between the realm of truth and imagination. Manjul is observed forwarding the philosophy of Antonin Artaud herein. Artaud had an unconventional perspective about play writers as compared to existing theatre thinkers. He believed to begin with detachment from the script and then voyaging along its expanse, thought process and expressiveness; which is vested in the playwrights’ phenomenal writing style and language.

 Manjul strives to transform the audience into participants who emerge to experience the performance as the reflection of their own struggle, observations and truth of life. In addition to acting, he brings forth playwright’s credibility to its epitome, all of this for the reason that audience is the epicentre of Manjul’s theatre performances.

Manjul proclaims that audience is first and foremost theatre person. He believes that theatre performance is impossible without its audience and for this reason he handpicks the subject of his play from the issues surrounding his audience. Herein, Manjul’s methodology bears close resemblance to Meyerhold, a Russian theatre thinker.
Audience was exceptionally significant to Meyerhold. His stage was totally devoted to his audience and irrespective of the response of the critics; he valued the perspective of his audiences the most. Meyerhold believed that audience is an equal stakeholder of theatre without whom concept of the stage is nullified. However, he did expect time and maturity from his audience.

He asserted that the audience in shortage of time commitment for a play performance are sheer disrespect to the stage, performing ground of the artists. But Manjul overtakes Meyerhold’s thought by defying the agony of searching for the audience or inviting the audience, rather he comes to be the need of the audience. He chooses theme of his plays relevant to the audience and establish a stage wherever there is an audience rather than wandering far for a stage with a constant concern of being in audiences’ reach.

 Apart from being an actor, Meyerhold was a writer and director. He believed that absolute devotion is the essence of direction. The director is an amalgamation of a play writer, an actor, a painter, musician and an electrician. Need be, he should be well versed carpenter and a tailor too. Manjul seconds this thought. He seeks diversity and dynamism from a theatre person. Acknowledging Meyerholds’ methods, he facilitates theatre training in the exploration of attaining completeness in theatre artists whilst evolving his own pedagogy.

Human cognitive processes that were confined to the bounds of human behaviour by western theatre scholars, was disillusioned by revolutionary French theatre thinker Antonin Artaud and he put forth ground-breaking idea to human salvation, which is popularly known as “Theatre of Cruelty”. Artaud believed in deconstructing the existing societal system as the first step and thus cleansing its roots, only then his principles would fully support his theatrical vision.
In this course, Artaud resisted the performances of already written plays. He clearly trusted that the scenes should be directly created onstage unlike rehearsed. In that process all the onstage available resources should be utilized. Manjul Bhardwaj, however, does not defy existing plays instead Manjul equips play writers with an avante garde genre. He pulls them closer to the happenings in the society and brings them face to face with the experiences, environment and background of the survivor; thereon he liberates the writer.
Like Artaud, Manjul approaches with the process of unmasking the actors rather than masking the actor with the defined character, so that the actors artistically releases themselves from their own form and master the craft of unifying with the characters, both at the imaginary and realistic level, and experientially enact the pain, joy, struggles, inhibitions, and likewise various emotional expressions to its utmost genuity, so that the characterization transcends from fictional to non-fictional.

 For Manjul power of theatre is beyond entertainment for audience, and mere medium of contentment for the artist and related theatre fraternity, rather he perceives theatre as the catalyst to life changing process and socio-political revolution. Even Meyerhold and Brecht held on to this notion. Thereon, Manjul not only practices this notion but he modestly integrates with the soul of theatre practitioners and audience.

He blends himself in their thought process through the medium of his theatre practices and performances, and not only does he churns their perception, rather he ignites the need for change, spark for revolution and awakening in them. In this process, he does not extend a definite solution to audience and theatre practitioners; on the contrary he sculpts the acumen to choose the creative and virtuous path.
Brecht never practised the existing ideas without rationalising them. He theorized that the experimentation once undertaken with complete awareness reveals the practices in the societal system, however if exercised unwisely then one fails to justify its application. For this reason the learning process must be bred methodically and actors must learn along with other actors.  Evidently, smallest social unit is not an individual but a dyad.
Our existence is defined by co-developmental approach. Manjul pursue this method beyond the rehearsals, mostly it is vigorously implemented in his workshops. These theatre based interventions varies from children workshop, theatre artists or government officials’ workshop. While exercising so, Manjul plants the seed of theatre in participants who are not even closely connected to the theatre practices.
He awakens theatrical awareness in them, which enables the person to transform from audience to theatre practitioner/performer; and builds conviction to perceive theatre beyond the medium of entertainment or expression but a platform for inner change. This experience instils vigour to revolutionize socio-political challenges and prepares to lead through the darkness into the light.
Manjul initiates extraordinary experiments with the audience. He does not consider the audience simply as an overwhelmed group of people applauding the performance; rather he regards the participation of the audience in the performances. During one of his performances, his actors hands over ash in the palms of the audience,  while extending the ash in their palms, the actors orates that the ash is of that girl’s funeral pyre, who was burnt in the greed for dowry by their in-laws yesterday.

The audience is caught perplexed. They experience sudden gush of multiple emotions flooding through their senses. Evidently audience is no more an audience now, rather they are transformed into a patron and analyst of the concepts revealed over there. Manjul conducts such experiments in his performances frequently.

Manjul does not lean on the availability of a stage for his theatrical performances; on the contrary he creates stage wherever he identifies appropriate need for one, a narrow lane, field, school premises, slum areas and smallest space where few can converse is also converted into a stage by him. Because he asserts that even two people suffice for a theatre performance.
Translation By Smriti Raj

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Theatre Thinker Manjul Bhardwaj's Play ‘Rajgati” creates the consciousness of changing the 'political scenario' of India

The Play ‘Rajgati” creates the consciousness of changing the 'political scenario' for the creation of equality, justice, humanity and constitutional order!
-Sangita Kheora Thakur

2nd October, 2018 was well spent by watching a play Rajgati at Shivaji Mandir , written & directed by Manjul Bhardwaj ,  Initiator & practitioner of  Theatre of Relevance philosophy.
The play " Rajgati " very beautifully recreated the pre independence fighting for freedom struggle  & post-independence happenings in chronological order to show the deteriorated state of affairs in AZAD India. During freedom struggle each and every Indian fought against the Goras & their only agenda was to free the country from the clutches of Britishers. The people .... Men, women, young boys & young girls of all religion/caste & strata fought equally to achieve the common goal. Then how cum today the country stands divided into man, woman, different religions, castes fighting against each other.

It is really sad that generation today cannot differentiate between Bhagat Singh, Gandhi ji & B.R. Ambedkar. It is then understood that they don't know the who's who of the country's freedom fighters & what roles did they play in freedom struggle against Britishers. Who is Karl Marx?  Why Understanding of his theory is important. Is Karl Marx relevant today? Is this the time to review the implementation of his theory to improve socio -economic situation of the country or world?

India was always an agricultural based country. So lot could have been done if right policies were introduced. Farmers are going hungry inspite of having their own farms. The play highlights the plight of farmers. How globalization is a conspiracy against Indian farmers, youth & development.  Generations passed by without jobs. Literacy levels dropped & moral values eroded.

What is patriotism???? Is the most asked n confused question!!!

The women empowerment needs to be redefined now and after 72 years of being independence, women face the worst....  lack of opportunities, rapes, violence & still economically dependent.
Is this the India, we fought for, for so many years & suffered!
This 90 minutes play is very well written & directed, will help today's generation to understand the political journey of 72 years of free India from time to time, changes & changing faces of the politicians & the politics.

The cast Ashwini Nandedkar, Sayali Pawaskar, Komal Khamkar,Yogini Chowk, Tushar,Swati Hrushikesh Patil, Prasad Khamkar,Priyanka Kamble & Sachin Gadekar were very energetic throughout the play and these  young performers so good in memorizing the lines and delivering range of characters at ease were in sync with the director's vision.

I am sure Manjul Bhardwaj will take this political reformative play to the Young generation, student’s community & create awareness for rightful thinking about Politics to save the idea of India!!!

#PlayRajgati #ManjulBhardwaj

“थिएटर ऑफ़ रेलेवंस” के 6 क्लासिक नाटकों ने बदला भारतीय रंगमच का ‘चेतनात्मक’ परिदृश्य -मंजुल भारद्वाज

जन सहयोग और सहभगिता से “थिएटर ऑफ़ रेलेवंस” ने भारत और अंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर जनसरोकारी मुद्दों को मंचित किया है ! 2012 में महिलाओं पर होने वाली ‘यौन हिंसा’ के खिलाफ़ नाटक “छेड़छाड़ क्यों?”, 2013 में मानवीय संवेदनाओं में ‘इंसानियत’ को खोजता हुआ,मनुष्य को भाषा,जेंडर,क्षेत्रवाद आदि जकड़नों के चक्रव्यहू से बाहर निकलता हुआ नाटक ‘गर्भ” , 2013 पानी के निजीकरण के ख़िलाफ़ नाटक “ड्राप बाय ड्राप :वाटर”, 2015 में कला और कलाकारों की उन्मुक्तता के लिए नाटक “अनहद नाद :Unheard Sounds of Universe”, 2017 आधी आबादी की न्यायसंगत पुकार “न्याय के भंवर में भंवरी’, 2018 भारतीय में राजनीति के परिदृश्य को बदलने वाला नाटक “राजगति” !

दर्शक सहयोग और समर्थन से इन 6 क्लासिक नाटकों ने (“छेड़छाड़ क्यों?”, ‘गर्भ” , “ड्राप बाय ड्राप :वाटर”, “अनहद नाद :Unheard Sounds of Universe”, “न्याय के भंवर में भंवरी’ और “राजगति” )भारतीय रंगमच का ‘चेतनात्मक’ परिदृश्य बदला है!
सभी प्रतिबद्ध और समर्पित #कलाकारों का अभिनन्दन और शुभकामनाएँ! #थिएटरऑफ़रेलेवंस के प्रतिबद्ध #दर्शकों को सलाम!

NYAYE KE BHANWAR MEIN BHAWARI- a play by Theatre Thinker Manjul Bhardwaj

NYAYE KE BHANWAR MEIN BHAWARI - Challenges the oppression of patriarchy & its system. रंगचिन्तक मंजुल भारद्वाज का नाटक “ न्याय के...