NSD`s Bal Sangam fest to begin on Children`s Day

New Delhi: For the first time, the Bal Sangam programme of the National School of Drama in the national capital will bring together 21 groups from across the country, with special focus on the northeast and folk theatre.

The week-long festival will begin Nov 14, Children`s Day.

Bal Sangam is an outreach programme by the Sanskaar Rang Toli, also known as Theatre in Education (TIE), of the National School of Drama (NSD), and will take place within NSD premises.

This year is special because TIE celebrates its silver jubilee.

The focus this time is on the northeast, a region the theatre school has so far not been able to penetrate.

"We get special funds for this region. So far, only two states have participated in this festival. We realised there was a gap, and hence thought the best way to utilise funds and extend our reach was by having special focus," Abdul Latif Khatana, founder member and present chief of TIE, said Thursday.

"It being our silver jubilee, we are having 21 groups, unlike in previous years, where the maximum we had was 15," he said.

According to NSD director Waman Kendre, theatre is a great learning medium for children to explore and be sensitive towards issues. Such activities and festivals are a wonderful platform to not just perform, but learn, travel and share, he said.

"I have always believed that theatre makes a person sensitive towards issues, and an active participant of society," Kendre said, stressing that theatre skills boost powers of communication.

"Theatre brings in all these qualities and if children are introduced to this wonderful world, they become better human beings," he said.

The cultural fiesta will have folk dance, martial arts, acrobatics, street-play performances and also acts like juggling, magic shows, and puppet shows.

Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal will find representation at the performances. There will also be workshops at the week-long event, set to end Nov 20.