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KHABAR

Aabaha organizes International Theater Festival

By Chaitali De, Atlanta, GA, February 2021

Atlanta-based theater group, Aabaha organized an International Theater Festival. Planned as a global event, the festival was hosted digitally on December 5, 6, 12 and 13 of 2020 where twenty-four groups from nine different countries participated. Ten groups were from across the U.S., while others were from India, Bangladesh, Canada, England, France, Sweden, Netherlands, and Dubai.

Aabaha, a nonprofit organization registered in the state of Georgia, is a group of drama enthusiasts from Atlanta who have come together to nurture their passion for drama and entertain the audience at the same time. Always looking to collaborate with various groups to exchange their thoughts and views, Aabaha strives to explore narratives in alternative ways to reach audiences instead of traditional forms of theater.

The current pandemic situation opened a new dimension for them to use the digital platform.

Considering the constraint of executing full length dramas, the group came up with the idea of performing short-length web-based shows which are easier to execute, smoother for online telecast, and better for capturing the audiences’ attention.

In this format, the first production of this group was Astitwo (Existence) under the direction of Kallol Nandi which was earlier performed at the 6th South Asian Theater Festival. Soon they had another production, Swadhinata Dibas (Independence Day) in their repertoire.
Armed with that experience, members of Aabaha decided to engage others as well and reached out to other theater groups which led to the International Theater Festival. The most noticeable groups performed in this festival were Purba Paschim by Soumitra Mitra, Dwitiya Swatya by Suman Sengupta, Padatik by Vinay Sharma, and Jibon Sonket by Aniruddha Kumar Dhar. The festival, which ran without any technical glitches, was received with applause from the audience and has encouraged Aabaha to continue hosting the International Theater Festival as its annual event.

Atlanta-based theater group, Aabaha organized an International Theater Festival. Planned as a global event, the festival was hosted digitally on December 5, 6, 12 and 13 of 2020 where twenty-four groups from nine different countries participated. Ten groups were from across the U.S., while others were from India, Bangladesh, Canada, England, France, Sweden, Netherlands, and Dubai.

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http://www.khabar.com/magazine/around-town/aabaha-organizes-international-theater-festival


RADIO BANGLA

নতুন মাধ্যমে আন্তর্জাতিক নাট্য উৎসব

 

RBN Web Desk: বর্তমানে জীবনধারণের প্রায় সমস্ত বাহ্যিক উপকরণ যখন ডিজিটাল উপায়ে মানুষের কাছে এসে পৌঁছচ্ছে তখন বিনোদনের অন্যতম প্রাচীন মাধ্যম থিয়েটারই বা বাদ যাবে কেন। এই অতিমারী আক্রান্ত বছরে সেই ধারাকে অবলম্বন করে বিভিন্ন মাধ্যমের শিল্পীরা নিজেদের প্রয়োজনেই উপস্থাপনার নতুন আঙ্গিককে অনেকটা এগিয়ে নিয়ে যেতে সমর্থ হয়েছেন। 

যে কোনও নাটকের ক্ষেত্রে প্রথম ও প্রধান শর্তই হলো তা দর্শকের সামনে অভিনীত হতে হবে। কিন্তু বর্তমান পরিস্থিতিতে যখন দর্শকই অনুপস্থিত তখন থিয়েটারকে বাঁচিয়ে রাখতে অন্য মাধ্যমের সাহায্য নেওয়া ছাড়া উপায়ান্তর থাকে না। রঙ্গমঞ্চে অভিনীত থিয়েটারের নিজস্ব ঐতিহ্য থাকলেও অন্যভাবেও তা উপস্থাপিত হয়ে থাকে, যেমন মুক্তাঙ্গনে অভিনয় ও পথনাটিকা। বর্তমান অবস্থায় তাকে আরও এগিয়ে নিয়ে যাওয়ার সময় এসেছে।

আটলান্টাস্থিত বাঙালিদের তৈরি নাট্যদল ‘আবহ’ এই নতুন প্রযুক্তিগত মাধ্যমে আয়োজন করতে চলেছে ‘ইন্টারন্যাশনাল থিয়েটার ফেস্টিভ্যাল ২০২০’। বর্তমান পরিস্থিতিতে নাট্যশিল্প ও শিল্পীদের বাঁচিয়ে রাখার উদ্দেশ্যেই ‘আবহ’র কর্মী তথা শিল্পীরা এই অভিনব উদ্যোগ নিয়েছেন। 

এ বছর এই নাট্য উৎসবের মাধ্যম ও উদ্দেশ্য কিছুটা আলাদা। বর্তমান পরিস্থিতিকে মেনে নিয়েই ভবিষ্যতে এগিয়ে চলা, নতুন মাধ্যমে নাটককে নিয়ে পরীক্ষা নিরীক্ষা করা, সারা পৃথিবীর নাট্য উৎসাহী মানুষের সঙ্গে যোগাযোগ স্থাপন করা ও প্রযুক্তির সাহায্যে পৃথিবীব্যাপী এক দর্শকমণ্ডলী তৈরি করাই এই মুহূর্তে মূল লক্ষ্য হওয়া উচিত বলে উৎসব কর্তৃপক্ষ মনে করছেন।

নতুন মাধ্যমেও অভিনয় অনুষ্ঠিত হবে মঞ্চেই। তবে তা দর্শকের পরিবর্তে ক্যামেরার সামনে অভিনীত হবে। মঞ্চসজ্জা, আলো, মেকআপ ও সংলাপ দর্শককে অডিটোরিয়ামে বসে নাটক দেখার অনুভূতি দেবে। এবারের নাট্য উৎসবে ‘আবহ’ দুটি স্বল্পদৈর্ঘ্যের নাটক পরিবেশন করতে চলেছে, যা ইতিমধ্যেই দর্শকদের দ্বারা সমাদৃত। 

করোনা পরিস্থিতিতে প্রেক্ষাগৃহ বা দর্শক উপলব্ধ। তাই সেটা মেনে নিয়েই ‘আবহ’ এই অভিনব উৎসবের আয়োজন করেছে। চারটি মহাদেশের মোট দশটি দেশের পঁচিশটি নাট্যদল অংশগ্রহণ করতে চলেছে এই উৎসবে। এই অনলাইন নাট্যোৎসবে অংশগ্রহণ করছেন কলকাতা, মালদহ, লন্ডন, প্যারিস, ওয়াশিংটন, আটলান্টা, শিকাগো ও আরও বিভিন্ন শহরের নাট্যশিল্পীরা। 

আজ, আগামীকাল, ১২ এবং ১৩ ‘আবহ’র ইউটিউব চ্যানেল ও ফেসবুক পেজে লাইভ স্ট্রিমিংয়ের মাধ্যমে দেখা যাবে সবকটি নাটক।

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KHABAR

Aabaha presents International Theater Festival 2020

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 6, 12, 13, 2020 AT 1 PM EST – 4 PM EST

Aabaha will host an anniversary event as theater festival. A show for everyone to enjoy and a place for theater enthusiasts to hangout.Aabaha is a theater group based in Atlanta, Gerogia, USA. It is a nonprofit organization registered in the state of Gerogia, USA. Aabaha strives to be a platform to various forms of theater, preserve and adopt the tradition of theater to changing times, create social awareness using theater, encouraging cultural exchanges between people of diverse
ethnicity and languages. Aabaha has organized an International Theatre Festival (Online), which will be aired on December 5 , 6, 12 and 13 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time of USA. Twenty-six (26) organizations from ten (10) countries of four (4) continents will present their theatres in this festival. Majority of the theatres will be in Bengali, with 1-2 in English and 1-2 in Hindi and/or Hindi and English mix.

Many eminent theatre groups will present their shows in this festival. Purba-Paschim, Padatik, Longhon Rekha from Kolkata, Jiban Sanket from Bangladesh, ECTA, EPIC Actors, Ebong Thetrix from USA are to name a few.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/AabahaDramaGroup/

http://www.khabar.com/events-calendar/Aabaha-presents-International-Theater-Festival-2020/


NRI PLUS

Atlanta’s Aabaha pushes artistic boundaries with worldwide digital theater festival

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE Atlanta, GA, October 29, 2020: As the world reels with uncertainty spooled by an unprecedented pandemic, people and even companies are engaging with digital technology in increasingly inventive ways, putting it at the very core of what they do for work or pursue passionately as hobbies. Atlanta’s Aabaha, a theater enthusiast group decided to push boundaries of artists and the audience with an International Theater Festival slated for December 5,6,12, and 13 December 2020. The festival will feature performances from twenty-five groups across four continents and ten countries, in predominantly Bengali, few English, and a couple in a mix of English and Hindi languages.

“Not bound by the traditional methods and structure, we bring emotion and narratives in alternative ways with a hope to reach audiences far and wide,” says Kallol Nandi, founder of Aabaha. Opening up a new dimension for the creative minds in this enhanced world, Aabaha is experimenting with both form and content of plays, encouraging innovative efforts while holding true to social accountability and artistic integrity, says Nandi.

The attempt for the initiative, Nandi says, is to explore various possibilities and collectively collaborate on discovery about a new format of theater. The International Theater Festival 2020 aims to connect theater enthusiasts around the world, to accept the changes that are obvious in the near future, experiment with the new form of digital theater, and reach out to the global audience using technology.

“In this COVID situation, proscenium theatres will not be possible in 2020 and 2021, 2022 is the best-case scenario. Additionally, everything is moving into the computer, PDA, phone etc. irrespective of the pandemic situation. So, with the combination of the push due to COVID and the pull of going on the net, we came up with this idea of doing the theater festival online,” said Nandi.

So, what lies at the core of creating a digital space for theater? “This form of acting is acting in front of the camera and not in front of the audience,” explains Nandi, adding that it is not to be confused with acting for movies. This form demands some modifications in its setup, lights, makeup, and dialogue delivery. The actors continue to act as if they were on stage, only the audience is replaced by cameras.

Nandi assures that the viewers will watch “theater” and not a movie.

The attempt to maintain purity of theater, Nandi says comes with technical challenges. “Directorially it is a challenge to not fall for doing a film and hold the purity of the theatre form. At the same time, we must take advantage of doing it in front of the camera, so that the disadvantages get compensated by the advantages. Ultimately it will be a newer/another form of theatres.”

Just as the entertainment industry as a whole is reevaluating the viability of traditional methods of entertainment and media, so is the theater. Traditionally meant for live performances with instant gratification of audience responses, performing arts suffers when neither the auditorium nor the audience is available. It is then necessary for the art to adopt. As Nandi notes, proscenium theater has and will have its own place and its own glory. It is also true that other forms of theater such as open-air theater, third theater, street theater, that broke out from proscenium theaters exist and have gained wide acceptance. The online presentation of theater, a contraction to the traditional, still in its nascent stage, is now emerging.  “It is yet to go through many iterations before taking a final shape. At Aabaha, in addition to live shows, we have embarked on a journey to experiment with this new form of theater,” stated Nandi.

Members of Aabaha have produced two short plays in the digital format. You can find more information on https://facebook.com/AabahaDramaGroup/ or http://www.aabaha.org/

As performing arts explores its avenues in the digital arena, only the audience can decide how far the attempts of artists and theater enthusiasts succeeded in maintaining the purity of the art form. Check out the International Theater Festival and decide for yourself.

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