Guwahati, Mar 19: The ’5th Annual Ankiya Bhaona Meet’ enticed locals and theatre lovers in Assam, as the popular theatre group attempted to rejuvenate Assam’s traditional form of drama ‘Bhaona’, during the five day drama festival.
Saranga Pani Bordoloi, a participant on Monday said, “Till now, we have received a positive response and a lot of inspiration from Bhaona. The motive of our mentor was to work for the upliftment of the society. Through Bhaona we are trying to bring a new and positive change in the society and we are successful in it.”
The five day long traditional drama (Bhaona) meet is being held from 15-20 Mar h in Rukmini Gaon, Guwahati, Capital city of Assam state. This year, six dramas of Srimanta Shankardev, would be performed at the festival.
An advocator of traditional Assamese culture, Jagannth Mahanta, said that people are getting attracted to Bhaona.
“People are now getting attracted towards dance and theatre. First there is the realization that people can earn their livelihood by taking up traditional theatre and plus drama has been incorporated in academic curricular, like school and colleges and part of higher secondary syllabus. In this way, serving and gaining knowledge of their traditional culture, people can live their life,” said Mahanta, retired lecturer and advocator of traditional Assamese culture.
Bhaona is a traditional form of Assamese drama, a form of entertainment with religious elements that spread message of humanity among the masses. The simple drama generally centres on themes like victory of truth and ultimate victory of the good.
Artist participating in an act said that they are trying to bring a positive change in the society through Bhaona.
The artists generally perform characters of demons, kings, mythological kings and soldiers. The artists could be seen in heavy embellished traditional costumes and makeup.
The history of Assamese Drama begins with the plays of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568), a saint and versatile genius who revived the Assamese culture.
Traditional Assamese theatre is losing its foothold in the modern society but pioneers of Assamese theatre are hopeful that Bhaona would not lose its identity with the changing times.
Bhaona is an integral part of the Assamese culture society and is well appreciated by the rural Assamese society.
However, with the changing trends in theatre, these days, Bhaona is being promoted in Guwahati and other parts of the country by cultural departments to showcase its rich tradition and importance in the society.
Actually Bhaonas are held in Satras, where Satriya culture is being practiced. The great Assamese Saint Sankerdeva promoted satriya culture in Assam and its adjoining areas in the 15th century. Music and dance play an important role in Bhaona acts. (ANI)