Bandish: A vivid narrative of artistic freedom repressed

Bandish: A vivid narrative of artistic freedom repressed
Highlights

While the word \'Bandish\' means restriction, when used in a musical context, it becomes a composition. Juxtaposing the two meanings of the word, a new musical drama \'Bandish 20-20,000Hz\' explored the several restrictions and bans put on artistes throughout the history.

New Delhi: While the word 'Bandish' means restriction, when used in a musical context, it becomes a composition. Juxtaposing the two meanings of the word, a new musical drama 'Bandish 20-20,000Hz' explored the several restrictions and bans put on artistes throughout the history. Performed as part of the ongoing theatre festival Aadyam, the play staged at Kamani Auditorium here was set in the backdrop of a celebratory function commemorating 70 years of India's independence.

Directed by Purva Naresh, the play tells the story of yesteryear's baithak singer Beni Bai (Nivedita Bhargava), nautanki singer Champa Bai (Anubha Fatehpuria), and helper Munnu (Danish Hussain). Having been witness to the boundaries set by the rulers before and after independence, the three protagonists connect the earlier artistic repression with the current scenario where artistes are restricted by social media trolls, threats and other similar boundaries built around them. "In each period artistes have to face limitations and boundaries.

This is not about the present day and age, but has always been there. Although, this play is not a satire on today's political and societal scenario, for it has not been shown in that style," Purva told PTI. Speaking about the restrictions on artistic freedom, a politically sensitive issue, the director said that why should we be afraid when the play is about conquering your fears.

"The play is about facing and rising above your fears. It concludes with the characters coming face to face with their fears and they are not afraid anymore," she said. Since it was a musical drama, Purva said, all the actors were chosen based on their singing capabilities.

Eminent singer and musician Shubha Mudgal directed the music sequences in the play including Bhartendu Harishchandra's 'Mangalacharan' and Kaifi Azmi's couplets. The play also forayed into experimental light effects. While in a usual setting half of the stage is turned dark to portray flashback, the team used light effects for such instances in 'Bandish 20-20,000Hz'.

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