With Bangalore being the hub of both classical as well as contemporary theatre, it comes as no surprise that some of the most eccentric theatre festivals are held here. From classics, modern to even avant garde, the city has nurtured some of the best ‘theatre’ talents over the years. Keeping the tradition alive, KYN Natakotsva will showcase five of Dr K Y Narayanaswamy’s popular plays in the city starting today. Apart from being an established writer and critic Dr Narayanaswamy represents a whole new generation of contemporary playwrights who swear by originality. “He is also one of the most talented poets of this generation and we thought it was necessary to introduce his work to the public. After lengthy discussions, we decided to focus just on his plays,” said Revanna of Bhagavataru who is organising the festival.
Narayanaswamy’s path breaking efforts to adapt an epic novel Malegalalli Madhumagalu by laureate Kuvempu to the stage is one of the biggest and most challenging theatre experiments in the country.
KYN, as he is popularly known in the literary circle, penned down 40 songs for this nine-hour play directed by noted theatre personality Basavalingaiah and the music was composed by Hamsalekha. Recently, when the play was staged in Bangalore, nearly 20,000 people watched it at Kalagrama on the Janna Bharati Campus of the Bangalore University.
Unlike the great Kannada playwrights of modern times like Chandrashekhara Kamabara, Girish Karnad, Lankesh and HS Shivaprakash among others, KYN has developed a distinct style where characters from the past, present and future are juxtaposed against each other.
“Traditionally, Kannada plays always focused on subjects of contemporary relevance, whereas KYN’s Pampabharatha far exceeds this style by being discursive,’’ said theatre critic P N Umesh The play deconstructs and reconstructs history from oral and cultural memory instead of written or transcribed history. “I have been trying to develop a new style by breaking the concept of time and space by intertwining characters,’’ he said. His PhD thesis Neeradeevige is considered as an important milestone in understanding cultural associations that we have with water. His other notable plays include Kalavu, Kaivara Nareyana, Vinura Vemana (Telugu), Shudra Tapasvi (Telugu translation), Hulisere, Anabhigna Shakuntala, Male Mantrika (adapted from English), and Chakraratna. These plays are representative of Kannada theatre’s search new frontiers in experimental theatre.