Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ramkali-Good Woman of Delhi

Zenith presents
The Good Woman of Delhi
(Based on Bertolt Brecht’s Play “The Good Woman of Setzuan)
Musical -Dance Theatre
Adapted in Hindi by Amitabh Srivastava
The Choreographer – Sooraj Katoch
The Producer - Ritu Soni Kapoor & Sooraj
Lyrics by Piyush Mishra
Composed by Dr.Sangeeta Gaur
Music design/arrange by Sandy
1. "Brechtfast in Ballimaran" - Time Out
Shilpi Marwaha (Ramkali / Ramlal), Susan Brar(Raju Sexena)
Viren Basoya,Rishi Soni,Bajrang Bali Singh,Ritu Soni ,Puneet Verma, Radhika Soni,Geeta Tamta,Rajender Saini Rinku,Surjeet Bansal Hrithik,Reema Katoch ,Sonam ,Shivangi
Shilpi Marwaha (Main actress-Ramkali/ Ram Lal)
Active in D.U.Campus theatre.Known for her social activism,talented & intelligent young actress. Associate editor ATR (news letter).Core member of Asmita's Street theatre group,coordinating theatre workshops. known for her performances as chameli Jaan in Moteram ka Satyagraha,Rambha in Girish Karnad's Rakt Kalyan & Narayani Amma in Unsuni,based on Harsh Mandar's book & scripted by Mallika Sarabhai.
Susan Brar (Hero of the play-Raju Sexena)
Susan Brar is Role model for young stage actors. Energetic & committed young actor.known for his performances as Javad in Mahesh Dattani's Final Solutions,Mama in 30 days in September,Surat Singh in Swadesh Deepak's Courtmartial & Indra in Doodnath Singh's Yama-Gatha. Recently he acted in Film Summer 2007 with Sikender Kher.Arvind Gaur's favourite young Actor.Working with Asmita theatre from last eight years.
Viren Basoya ( Main supporting actor-waterseller,Bachan Singh)Incharge & coordinator theatre workshops of Asmita Theatre group. Intelligent , talented & honest young actor.famous for Jagadava in Girish Karnad's Rakt-Kalyan, Kabir in Bhisma Sahani's play, Inspector Pahuja in Operation three star,adaptaion of Dario fo's Accidental death of an Anarchist,Jatin in Unsuni ,& Major Ajay Puri in Courtmartial.Active in Street theatre movement.
Bajrang Bali Singh (Supporting hero-Sabbir miya)
One of the best actor in Delhi.Delhi audience know him as Bikash Roy in Courtmartial,Basvanna in Rakt-Kalyan,Babban in Final Solution,Nikose in Log- bag, Bhura in Amma Tujhe Salaam & Inspector S.P.Verma in Operation three star. Powerful speech & excellent diction.Basically he is director's Actor.
Rishi soni (Police Inspector-supporting cast)
Energetic Actor & Choreographer of Asmita Theatre.associated with Zenith Dance Academy.known for his performances as drownmanin Log-baag , Dr.Gupta in Courtmartial & Harlayya in Rakt-Kalyan,Basically he is also director's Actor.
Puneet Verma (god-star of the play)
Energetic actor known as walking talking encyclopedia of Theatre.famous for his performances as Moteram in Premchand's story, Subedar Balwan Singh in Courtmartial,Madhubaras in Rakt Kalyan & Swami in Unsuni.Core member of Asmita's Street theatre group & coordinating theatre workshops.
Ritu Soni Kapoor (god-star of the play)
Actor / Producer A finance consultant by profession.She is a talented actress,dancer & Choreographer.Delhi theatre walla knows her as Moteram's wife in Moteram ka Satyagraha,street girl in Nag Bodas's Amma Tujhe salaam,sabziwali in Unsuni,Lalitamba in Girish's play Rakt-Kalyan.Ritu is also a winner of the famous Sony Boogie - Woogie award.
The Adaptaion – Amitabh Srivastava
A post graduate from National School of Drama, Amitabh “Bobby Bhai “ has been involved in the world of theatre for over 25 years.He has worked with some of the great theatre directors like E. Alkazi, B.V. Karanth, Fritz Benewitz (Germany), Barry John, Ranjit Kapoor, Amal Allana & D.R. Ankur.Apart from being a theatre & film writer and director,he is also a talented actor and has acted in over 75 plays. Amitabh, or Bobby as he is better known,is the Founder Member of Delhi’s prestigious theatre Sambhav.
The Lyricist-Piyush Mishra
Piyush Mishra is an actor,playwright,lyricist,script & dialogue writer and a well known film actor.After his graduation from National School of Drama (NSD),In1986,Piyush Mishra started his career as a theatre actor and went on to write and directed several plays as a part of Act one group.In1996 he joined Asmita Theatre Group and performed around 200 shows of his energetic & brilliant one man show- An Evening with Piyush Mishra.He wrote lyrics for Asmita's popular plays-Operation Three Star, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Madhavi (solo by Rashi Bunny),Kanpur ki Aurat bhali etc.Piyush also acted as Maniac in OTS, an adaptation of Dario Fo's play Accidental Death of an Anarchist directed by Arvind Gaur.Piyush isalso known for his life-time performance in Swadesh Deepak's Court Martial as Surat Singh, first with Ranjeet Kapoor(1991) and later under the direction of Arvind Gaur(1996)

The Composer – Dr.Sangeeta Gaur
Dr. Sangeeta Gaur,disciple of late Mahadev Govind Deshpande,late Bhai ji Vinay chandra Mugdal,Mrs.Krishna Bist & Pt.Sukhdev Chaturvedi, is truly an epitome of Indian music M. Phil. in Brij Sangeet & doctorate on ‘Hindustani Classical Music and Changing Aesthetic Values’.Trained classical vocalist,specialized in Haveli Sangeet,Thumri, Chaiti, Hori and Sufiana-Kalam and recipient of Ministry of HRD’s Fellowship for research in Haveli Sangeet. As music director with Asmita,She has been composing theatre music of all the shades,Some of these plays traveled many cities of USA, Australia,Russia,UK,France,Edinburgh Fringe festival and also invited to performed in Bharat Rang Mahotsava (NSD), Sangeet Natak Academy National Festival,Old World Mahindra Theatre Festival and Nehru Center Festival.
Music design/arranger- Sandy
Santosh kumar Singh known as Sandy is Freelance young Music designer and sound arranger. He design theatre music for all major organizations of India like National School of Drama & Sri Ram Centre for arts . Recently he did music for Rosomon,Aurangzeb,The Traitors,Rabia etc.His sound Design for City of Djiin's was appriciated.He worked for films -Ammu(National award for best film.2005) & Latent lava.Now sandy is designing intresting & innovative music for Arvind Gaur's new play Ramkali.
The Choreographer- Sooraj
Sooraj the Dance Magician has been practicing for the last sixteen years.Innovative and showman of the Dance world. Internationally fame young dance Choreographer Sooraj is a born dancer.A few of the big names in Bollywood choreographed by Sooraj includes-The Big B: Amitabh Bachchan, Anil kapoor, Boman Irani for Bollywood ka Boss, Koena Mitra. Isha Kopikar ,Malaika Arora Khan and many more.The man who is the face of Zenith. He is who; many refer to as the dancing bone of the academy. A fire ball of energy and guru of freestyle dancing, Over years Sooraj has led his team of choreographers and the academy and has given it the much required impetus. He has developed his own style Of dancing and is looked upon by all his students & fellow choreographers. Sooraj has choreographed all the songs in the play with his versality, innovative ideas & inexplicable natural talent.
Director’s Note
“Long have I looked for the truth about the life or people together, that life is crisscrossed, tangled and difficult to understand; and when I had done so, I told the truth as
I fount it ..”
Ramkali- The Good Woman of Delhi is an adaptation of the play “The good woman of Setzuan” a Bertolt Brecht’s play that won appreciation and high morale regard from the critics of theatre. While this is just an attempt to bring out more contemporary issues through the medium of a thought provoking play, it has not just been an experience but – a never ending long lasting memory at Zenith.
The reason of selecting such a challenging play (both-for actors and the director) is the fact of being able to find a new interpretation & meaning to this powerful play every time I happen to do it. Also, it sets new parameters of thinking- for an actor to be able to bring out a character in its truest form. It also train an actor through a powerful speech work, energetic body movements and also creating a blend of the physique and the psyche of the character on the actor.
During the three months of workshop, there were debates on bringing out the Brecht’s alienation theory in a more organized manner, which was later incorporated in the process of the play.
Like any didactic play it raises the question of deciding who is the wrong and
the right and who is worthy of happiness and who isn’t. Brecht’s most powerful concept of immediate distraction and then sudden balance, makes the play even more interesting, To conclude this play is energetic, innovative, sharp, contemporary and full of music & dance.
Brecht leaves the ending open to the audience-

“What is the answer?
Nothing’s been arranged.
Should men be better? Should the world be changed?
Should we have better gods?
Or should there be none?
Ladies and Gentlemen, in you we trust:
There must be happy endings…
there must, must, must !”
To those born later …
You who will emerge from the flood Which we have gone under.
Remember When you speak of our failings The dark time too
Which you have escaped. For we went, changing countries
oftener than our shoes...
Through the wars of the classes, despairing
When there was injustice only, and no rebellion.
Think of us…”

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