Playwright: Sunil Choudhury
Director: Ruma Dasgupta
Group: Sri Chaitanya Opera, West Bengal
Duration: 3 hrs
Jatra is a popular folk-theatre form of all the Bengali speaking areas of the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh and the Indian states of Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Tripura and West Bengal. The word ‘Jatra’ means journey or travel. The origin of Jatra, intrinsically a musical theatre form, is credited to the rise of Sri Chaitanya‘s Bhakti movement. Chaitanya himself played Rukmini in the performance of Rukmini Haran (The abduction of Rukmini) from Krishna‘s life-story, a first definite presentation of this theatrical spectacle. The performance, which lasted through the night in 1507 AD, has been described in Chaitanya Bhagavata, Chaitanya’s hagiography by a disciple Vrindavana Dasa Thakura.
Being cursed, the eight demi-gods, Ashtabasu, were born as the children of Ganga, the queen of Hastinapur. She sacrificed seven of them but when it came to the eighth, Debabrata, the King did not let her to do so. Having taken certain severe oaths, Debabrata was honoured by the name Bhishma. He conquered the province of Gandhar, imprisoned the King along with his hundred sons and made the princess marry his blind nephew. The king’s elder son, Shakuni, survived and decided to avenge Hastinapur. Thus came about the fierce battle called Mahabharata at Kurukshetra.
The Jatra Pala named Ganga Putra Bhishma is based on the world-famous Indian epic The Mahabharata. Our work is a theatrical version of the basic thoughts of the epic which unfolds the dialectics of war and peace, hatred and love, greed and sacrifice. The play is not only meant as a biographic tale of Ganga’s and Bhishma’s life and sacrifices, but also an analysis of the salutary instructions in the epic.
Ruma Dasgupta, the eminent personality of Bengali Jatra stage, is a professional actor, director, composer and teacher. She has been on the professional Jatra stage as an actress since 1981. Smt. Dasgupta has acted-in and directed more than hundreds of Palas. She has received many awards and felicitations and is an honourable member of West Bengal Jatra Academy in which she has trained many students through workshops. At present she is the director of Sri Chaitanya Opera, a company of progressive Jatra performance.
Sunil Choudhury, the eminent Jatra personality of Bengal, is a professional playwright, director who has written many successful Jatra Palas like Prithibir Pathshala, Rongini Champaboti, Taalpatar Sepai, Ogo Bishnupriya, Dhuli, Noti Tarasundori etc. He has received many awards and felicitations including the Dishari Award from West Bengal Journalist Association.
The descent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the culture of Jatra in the Bengal province. Sri Chaitanya Opera is dedicated to His path of harmony and peace by preaching love. The Opera was founded in 2015 by the veteran benevolent of Bangla Jatra, Shri Swapan Debnath and his S.P.S. Enterprise. Around fifty artists and workers, including their families, are fully dependent on the Opera.
Cast & Credits
|Shakuni||Amit Kanti Ghosh|
|Byasdeb, Drupadraj, Narak||Amit Kumar|
|Rishi Dhoumya||Ashok Banerjee|
|Dhibar Raj Ghandhapani/Shalyaraj||Haradhan|
|Synthesizer Player||Pranab Dutta|
|Flute Player||Sunil Ghosh|
|Maity Table, Dhol Player||Sachin Majhi|
|Percussion Player||Rabindra Jana|
|Octopad Player||Prabir Haldar|
|Sound Control||Ram Mondal|
|Light Projection||Haru Kundu|
|Backstage||Lakkhi, Shambhu, Robi, Sirajul, Babulal|
|Property Management||Dulal, Sudarshan|
|Music Director||Swapan Pakrashi|
|Light & Sound||S. Sargam|
|Oﬃce Manager||Tapan Pramanik, Gora Mondal|
|Represented by||Kanak Bhattacharya|
|Main Adviser||Shri Swapan Debnath|
|Produced by||S. P. Enterprise|
|Group Managers||Narottam Bhattacharya, Nihar Ranjan Ghosh|
|Main Field Manager|
|& Group Conductor||Haradhan Roy|
Sri Chaitanya Opera
386, Rabindra Sarani
M: +91 9836026444