Rang Vidushak

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 Rang Vidushak
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Article

Colourful clown theatre from India

Rang Vidushak is a theatre group and a Theatre institute - a ´laboratory for clown-theatre´. What began as a little group of enthusiasts, dedicating their evening hours to creativity, became an independent theatre group in 1986. It came to be known as Bansi Kaul´s Rang Vidushak. It formally became a society with founder members as also executive and general council members. Rang Vidushak is delivering colourful performances from their acknowledged Indian street- and folk theatre, built on humour and laughter. A journey through clown-collages and folk adventures from the treasury of Asian stories.
Rang Vidushak believes in a philosophy of celebrating life. In cosmic Time the pause between birth and death is not even the smallest fraction of a second. This short pause must therefore be celebrated. Celebration is in laughter and laughter summons collective peace. Therefore performances by Rang Vidushak bring with them an air of festivity, colour and laughter.

From its very inception, Rang Vidushak has constantly tried to turn away from the beaten path. It sees the need to laugh at the social system that it is very much a part of. Through its performances Rang Vidushak makes an untiring effort to bring back silenced laughter. As a performing group it takes upon itself the responsibility of articulating that which often is not spoken of. Through its performance it becomes the voice of the common man who has a million questions in his mind but is never really able to speak of them.

The use of colour mirrors the myriad emotions that one experiences within. The body emotes creating through this its own vocabulary, its own language. The performance itself to the onlooker may therefore seem highly ´stylised´. The rendition of a play may through the sense of celebration take on a stylised character, but what remains as a base to all this celebration are the burning social issues one is confronted with everyday. The idea is not to make an attempt to reform but to question the society one lives in.

Rang Vidushak has over the years attracted actors, dancers, choreographers, poets, playwrights and people from diverse disciplines, emerging as a vibrant collective of artists. It has taken on the character of a shrine - a centre where the artist comes to enliven different aspects of his acting, develop his artistic personality and gain personal encouragement.

Based on principles taken from the performing and non-performing art-forms, on indigenous sports, childhood games, rhymes and riddles, the lilt of dialects, the ballads of minstrels, the toughness of akhadebaazi and the flexibility of natgiri, Rang Vidushak has developed a training methodology.

Rang Vidushak has evolved a body language that attempts to cross-linguistic barriers through this methodology. The resulting idiom has given birth to a distinct performance style and has lent the group its strength of character.

Rang Vidushak now exists full time core group, which spends the entire day experimenting with movement, colour and form. The group´s workplace has become a ´laboratory for clown-theatre´. The evening group on which Rang Vidushak was founded and the core-group today co-exist within the space of this laboratory.

Under the guidance of Bansi Kaul, the theatre group Rang Vidushak has brilliantly incorporated folk idioms, into its production, available within and outside India in several languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Singhalese.














Author: Karin Bergquist

Bio

1984: Rang Vidushak was established along the lines of the Shaliya Rang Karm.

Since then Rang Vidushak has performed over 375 shows.

Rang Vidushak has conducted over 70 workshop all over the country within a span of eighteen years. Over a thousand actors have been trained by Rang Vidushak during the last eighteen years.

Works

Kahan Kabir

Production / Performance,
2002
The performance is based on the mystic verses of the legendary poet Kabir. Bansi Kaul was present at the inauguration with his group. Born in 1949 in Srinagar, Kaul has developed a new idiom and performance language. He has experimented with theatrical spaces by playing with form, colour and sound.

Merits

With gradual increase in the number of dramas the number of organized shows also began to increase. At the same time with the help of the research grant given to Mr. Kaul the organization began to expand and flourish.

During the last five years, the organization has received monetary support by the Ford Foundation and India Foundation for the Arts.

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)