Dramatic representation of Bawa Kali Veer’s miraculous life staged

A scene from Dogri play Kali Veer staged by Samooh Theater at Abhinav Theater on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A scene from Dogri play Kali Veer staged by Samooh Theater at Abhinav Theater on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Lalit Gupta
JAMMU, Mar 19: Samooh Theater’s presentation of Dogri play ‘Kali Veer; successfully provided an overview of Duggar’s deified folk hero’s miraculous life and great deeds of valor, at the Abhinav Theater, here today.
Directed by Ravinder Sharma, the play was staged as fourth production in the ongoing Dogri Theatre festival being organized by North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, in collaboration with J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
The play in verse, reiterated poetic prowess of the playwright Dr Gian Singh, and his fidelity to the form and style of Bawa’s ballad-Karaks, sung by the folk singers since ancient times. The mythological narrative of Bawa’s life unfolded in episode starting from his childhood, youth and friendship with Gugga Chouhan, love for horses, their arrival in Bengal, Gugga’s enticement by Rani Surgala, their marriage, abduction of old women’s cows by a Muslim robber, defeat of the enemy in the hands of Kaliveer, release of cows, and chastening of an evil spirit etc.
Play’s design being reflective practices associated with ritualistic veneration of folk heroes and deities such as Kali Veer, used Bawa’s Kakrak as backdrop to connect one to another episode of Bawa’s life story. The Spartan stage was enlivened by young actors attired in period costumes like churidaars, achakans, turbnas, kamarbands and dress worn by native Dogra men and women.
Notwithstanding pitiful state of the maintenance of Abhinav Theater’s Control Room, especially the sound controlling console, leading to uncontrolled and sudden surges in volume of sound and background musical scores-the only saving grace was the aesthetic light design which succeeded in highlighting the emotional intensity of individual scenes.
The actors in the play were Gautam Kumar, Ajay Tamangh, Sandeep Manhas, Chetan Charak, Vinay Sharma, Shivalika Attri, Radhika Sharma, Neeraj Sethi, Shiv Bhora, Shubham Kumar, Sakshav Raina and Aardhiya. Melodious Karaks were sung and composed by Surinder Manhas. Music was operated by Avinash Lakhnotra, choreography by Rohit Bains, lights by Pankaj Sharma,sound by Lokesh Chander, make up Shubam Singh Nag and Yeshvinder Bali, set executed by Sandeep Thakur and senior theater actor Janak Khajuria supported the production team.
Tomorrow, Rajneesh Gupta’s play ‘Mangoo Di Shabeel will be staged under direction of Kumar Binny.