Nachhimoner Pala: Mingling folktales with contemporary elements | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 22, 2012

Nachhimoner Pala: Mingling folktales with contemporary elements

The pala is popular in greater Kushtia region. Photo: STAR

“Nachhimoner Pala” recounts the story of an innocent woman's pains and woes inflicted on her by her vicious in-laws. For 12 long years after her marriage she is not allowed to see her husband, who has been packed off overseas by his parents on ostensible business.
The aforementioned theme is pretty much common in our traditional folktales. Based on this theme, Shalak Nachhimon Natyagoshthi from Kushtia staged , “Nachhimoner Pala”, at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on April 21.
The tale kicked of a five-day folk theatre festival organised by the academy.
State Minister for Housing and Public Works Advocate Abdul Mannan Khan inaugurated the festival as chief guest. Prior to the staging, director general of the academy Liaquat Ali Lucky made a brief speech highlighting the necessity of nurturing our traditional theatre forms.
Although “Nachhimoner Pala” incorporates common elements of a folktale, it is quite contemporary in its form.
The depiction of the story is set in a contemporary time. There is was a sequence of the marriage ceremony. Although it is a royal wedding, the arrangement has features usually seen in a contemporary rural wedding.
The selection of costumes also had contemporary elements. The actor, who played the role of the husband, wore a royal outfit but put a pair of Nike shoes on his feet. There were couple of other performers who wore T-shirts and trousers. However, the lead characters wore colourful attire.
The cast and crew were all males.
The pala has been directed by Rezaul Haque Shalak. According to the troupe members, the pala is usually staged for seven to eight hours. However, a shorter version was staged at the Shilpakala Academy. They also pointed out that a local vehicle called Nachhimon in the greater Kushtia region has been named after the popular character from the tale.
Today, Tilai Loko Theatre from Parbatipur, Dinajpur will stage “Kandoni Bishhor”. Nabin Chand is the director of the production. The staging will start at 7pm.
The five day festival will also feature other indigenous theatre forms including ashtak gaan and shong pala.

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