20 States, 140 Teams Bring Chitkara University’s National Theatre Festival Rangrezz Alive With Intriguing Storylines and Stellar Performances
Intriguing storyline, invigorating performances, fascinating forms, and distinctive voices – Chitkara University's National Theatre Festival, Rangrezz-2019, had the perfect blend of these, and more. The 2-Day National Theatre Festival was held on September 27-28, 2019, at Chitkara University, Punjab campus, with over 140 teams participating from 20 states across the country. This year's theme for Rangrezz was 'Light to Enlighten'.
In a traditional lamp lighting ceremony, Hon'ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University; declared the National Theatre Festival – Rangrezz 2019 open, along with Guests of Honour - Mr. Vishal Batra, Retail Business Head - North, ICICI Bank; Mr. Rajnish Sharma and Mr. Maninder Singh.
Speaking on the occasion, Hon'ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University; said, “Chitkara University's National Theatre Festival - Rangrezz, aims to provide a National-level platform to the next generation of budding performers, to showcase their artistic abilities, while at the same time ensure artistic enrichment by cultivating a connect with our rich cultural heritage." Adding that, “We believe complementing extra-curricular activities with education, goes a long way in helping students develop a well-rounded personality.”
India’s prominent theatre personalities, including Ms Shinjini Kulkarni, Kathak Dancer & granddaughter of Kathak Maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj ji; Mr. Robin Das, Eminent Actor, Director & Professor, National School of Drama; Mr. Chintamani Biswal, Theatre Artist and Actor; Mr. Manoj Singh Tiger, Eminent Theatre Artist; Mr. Sandeep Bhardwaj, Film Actor & Theatre Artist; Mr. Anshuman Singh, Theatre & Film Artist; and Mr. Rajan Arora, Theatre Artist; were in attendance for Rangrezz-2019, to enjoy the performances and judge the participants.
Talking about Chitkara University’s unique initiative to encourage and promote Performance Arts in today’s ‘digital’ times, Mr. Anshuman Singh, prominent Theatre & Film Artist, said, “I believe each one of us has talent – but to get a huge platform like Rangrezz to display it, is a huge advantage. Back in our days, I wish we had a National-level platform like Rangrezz, where we could be recognised or encouraged for our talent. Congratulations to Chitkara University for bringing to us this truly unique initiative, year after year.”
With a complete focus on the next generation of budding theatre artists and directors, the impressive line-up of the National Theatre Festival saw multi-lingual plays in English, Hindi and Punjabi, marked by various trends in the Indian society, on Day-1. The professional and astounding acting, captivating dialogues, myriad of emotions, intense social messages woven into tales, and unforgettable music & dance performances left everyone in the audience speechless. It was indeed watching raw cinema unfold right before your very eyes! Performance categories included, Stage Play (Proscenium), Street Play (Nukkad Natak), Fringe Theatre, Monologue, Stand Up Comedy; and a variety of fun events including Flip Tic Tac Toe, Brownian Tennis, Tug of War, Zorb Ball Battle, Minute to Win It, FIFA (Singles), PUBG Tournament, PUBG Solo, Bottle Flip Challenge and Pool Tournament.
Day-1 concluded on a high note with students grooving to hit Punjabi numbers of renowned Punjabi singer-actor Ranjit Bawa, as he set the stage on fire at the University campus. His electrifying performance charged hundreds of students & faculty with energy as he sang hit numbers - 'Yaari Chandigarh Waliye', 'Jean', 'Dollar Vs Roti', 'Ja Ve Mundya', 'Jatt Di Akal', leaving everyone dancing into the late hours!
Speaking about the unique selling proposition of theatre, Mr. Chintamani Biswal, Theatre Artist & Actor; said, “Theatre is, of course, a reflection of life. The plight, sorrow, helplessness exhibited by the performers on stage sometimes ends up closely mirroring our life – sometimes giving us a very important social message or hitting us with hard facts.” He added that the performances he reviewed at Chitkara University were “each a masterpiece in its own respect”.
Rehearsing their street play while waiting for the judges to visit, students of one the participating team explained what theatre spells for them. "Drama is a platform that allows you to be who you are not, and adds something new to your personality each time you perform a different character! A sweet mix of creativity and talent,” the enthusiasts exclaim.
Student performances continued all day long on Day-2, culminating in a grand show splashed with live performances by India's prominent theatre personalities and Rangrezz judges. The highlight of the evening was a very special Kathak dance live performance by Ms Shinjini Kulkarni, Kathak Dancer & grand-daughter of Kathak Maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. It was a treat to watch her weave magic on stage with swift twirls, rhythmic foot movements, expressive motions and elegant stances. Next, Mr. Robin Das, Director & Professor, National School of Drama; addressed the students about the importance of Performing Arts in personality development; while theatre artist Mr. Chintamani Biswal created a live painting; and actor & theatre artist Mr. Anshuman Singh performed a moving act.
The National Theatre Festival – Rangrezz 2019, concluded with a glittering prize distribution ceremony where Hon’ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University; gave away the prizes to the winning teams and honoured the judges for their valuable time and contribution to Rangrezz. The first prize-winners, included, Stage Play category - Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) , Moga; Street Play category - Team Mukhauta from Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Science, Delhi; Fringe Theatre category - Kudrat, Parth & Mohit from Chitkara University, Punjab; Monologue category - Prasann Juneja from Shaheed Sukhdev College, DU; and Stand-Up Comedy category - Nishant Kumar from State Institute of Engineering & Technology, Nilokheri.
In her closing address, Hon'ble Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University; said, “This year, 140 teams from 20 states across India were a part of Chitkara University’s Annual National Theatre Festival Rangrezz – and we are absolutely delighted to be able to provide this platform to our budding artists. I would like to congratulate everybody for putting up a spectacular show.”