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'Kathayatra' to explore the art of story-telling

Source : The Times of India

PUNE: 'Kathayatra', a three-day programme to celebrate stories, will be held at the Balgandharva Rangmandir from December 7 to 9. Noted story-teller Geeta Ramanujam, Yakshagaan artist Radhakrishna Urala Kota and actor-director Girish Karnad will guide the participants.

Story is losing its place in our fast-paced, technology-studded modern life. Grandmother tales are vanishing fast with grandmothers who are moving away from modern nuclear families.

To bring back the glory of stories, Bhaashaa, a voluntary organization working for the preservation and enhancement of regional languages has organised 'Kathayatra' for the second year in succession.

A statement issued by Swati Raje, president of Bhaashaa Foundation, said, "This is a serious attempt to explore the phenomenon story through mediums like dance, drama, narration, discussion, demonstrations, academic research papers, workshops, quiz performances and many more ways, for adults and children."

There are two verticals in 'Kathayatra' this year. Special events would take place at Balgandharva Rangmandir while an academic conference will be organized in association with the Symbiosis International University at ELTIS, Model Colony, where scholars, academicians, professors, school teachers and students will explore story through the theme "Regional stories - colours and textures". This conference will be held on December 7 and 8 from 9 am to 5 pm. The first day of 'Kathayatra' will start with the story of 'Gangavataran'. The mythological tale of the birth of river Ganga will come alive through a fusion of santoor and kathak.

Madan Oak from California will play the santoor along with a troupe of dancers from Shambhavi's school of kathak. It will be followed by reading of stories of master writers by actor Chandrakant Kale. 'Saudagar', a socio-political satire by master director Bansi Kaul from Bhopal, will be the highlight of the opening day.

On December 8, a story-telling competition has been organized for grandparents. It will be followed by a comedy play for children, 'Qisse Afanti Ke' by Rangvidushak, Bhopal. Debaroti and Debashish Chakravarty, a couple working with children in Kolkata, will hold a workshop in the afternoon on "weave your own story".

In the evening, a folktale from Karnataka will be told with the help of Yakshagaan, a traditional folkform of Karnataka. Story-teller Geeta Ramanujam and Yakshagaan artist Radhakrishna Urala Kota will present the story. Actor Girish Karnad will talk to the audience on 'Adgulya Madgulyachya Goshti'. After that, a dramatic interpretation of Ramayana, "About Ram", will be presented through puppetry animation and dance by puppeteer Anuroopa Roy. The last day of 'Kathayatra' would begin with a puppet show, 'Kansa', which will be performed by the artists from Katkatha, New Delhi. A story workshop in English, Hindi and Marathi for children would be conducted by Prasanna Hulikavi and Radhika Ingale. In the afternoon session, film director Soumitra Ranade would give an audio-visual presentation on 'Story behind Cinema'.

The evening session will have Madhyam group from Pune conduct a reading session on 'Mhais', a well-known story written by noted humorist P L Deshpande, followed by 'Kargil ki Kahani' - a soldier's story which will be presented by Veerchakra awardee Col Lalit Roy. An inter-school state-level quiz competition will be held between 9 am and 5 pm which is based on the topic 'Indian mythology'. Entry to all the programmes is free.