Government spotlight on northeastern performing arts

August 3rd, 2011 - 8:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Various autonomous organisations under the ministry of culture are engaged in the study and documentation of theatre in the northeastern states, Union Minister of Culture Kumari Selja told the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.

In a written reply, she said the “Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) has documented many of the traditional theatre forms of the northeastern region”.

“As part of its efforts to preserve cultural traditions of the region, the SNA has set up a north-eastern centre in Shillong. It has also set up a Sattriya Kendra in Guwahati which looks after the Sattriya tradition of Assam, including the Ankiya Nat theatre of the state,” she said.

Kumari Selja said, “As part of their academic schedule, the students at National School of Drama (NSD) are also taught about the traditional theatre forms of the northeast.”

“The NSD also has an active out-reach programme in the northeast under which theatre workshops are organised, plays are mounted and cultural forms are documented as part of its training activities. The National School of Drama also organises an exclusive theatre festival, called the Poorvottar Natya Samaroh, for showcasing plays of distinguished directors and major traditions of the North East,” she said.

The minister said the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) at Dimapur was operating a “Theatre Rejuvenation Scheme” to preserve, propagate and support indigenous theatre groups in the region.

The NEZCC has also been organising traditional theatre festivals, experimental theatre festivals, theatre shows and theatre workshops in different North-Eastern States.

Given the extensive range of activities in the field of theatre that various institutions under the ministry of culture are already carrying out in the region, there was currently no plan to establish a Regional Institute of Research and Development for Dramatics (RIRDD) in Assam, Selja added.

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