Lecture Series by Heisnam Kanhailal on ‘Contemporary Cultural Expression’

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in association with Shadhona – A Center for Advancement of South Asian Culture,  organized a lecture by noted art theatre personality Mr.  Heisnam Kanhailal from India on “Renewal of ancestral tradition for a Contemporary Cultural Expression” as part of series of public lectures on Indological Studies on  Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Gulshan 1, Dhaka.

Mr.  Kanhailal  founded Kalakshetra Manipur in 1969. Since then he has been continuing experiment with tradition for an alternate theatre. He broke a new trend of theatrical expression in contemporary Indian theatre. He worked with Badal Sircar in 1973.  However, he didn’t sacrifice his own individuality. In the process his alternative theatre could be indentified with the live theatre that he ultimately conceived as the ‘Theatre of the Earth’.

His major and remarkable creations were: TAMNALAI (1972), KABUl KEIOIBA (1973), IMPHAL ’73 (1974), PEBET (1975), HURANBAGI ESHEI (1977), LAIGI MACHASINGA (1978), MRITYU SHWOR (1984), MEMOIRS OF AFRICA (1985), RASHOMON (1987), MIGI SARANG (1991), KARNA (1997), DRAUP ADI (2000), NUPI (2002), DAKGHAR of Tagore (2006), UCHEK LANGMEIDONG (2008), SHADOWING THE WILD WOMAN (2011) etc.

He has conducted around 15 major workshops in the last twenty years for the actors from different cultural backgrounds in the country. He also produced a short theatre film “PEBET” in 1985. The film secured the Best Short Fiction Film in the International Short Film Festival held in  Kolkata.

He has been  awarded several prestigious awards like “Sangeet Natak Akademi Award” in 1985,  “Sangeet Natak Akademy Ratna Award” in 2011, “Padmashree” the highest civilian award  by Government of India in 2004. He was  also awarded different Fellowships like Jawaharlal Nehru National Fellowship, Emeritus Fellowship, a research project by Ford Foundation and a research project by Theatre works, Singapore to study performance tradition in Indonesia and Malaysia.

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