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Rutwikk Steals The Show

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
By Vijay Shanker

The '8th Theatre Olympics', organised by National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, presented Rangpeeth Theatre's "Mohe Piya" on the first day of the festival held in Mumbai at the Nehru Centre Auditorium. Based on the play by Mahakavi Bhasa, "Mohe Piya" is a musical dance drama that created a lasting impression on the packed audience.

Mohe Piya (Hindi), directed by Prof Waman Kendre is an excellent theatrical dance production that stands out for its quality of music, dance, drama and characterisation that touches the heart of  spectators with a tragic ending. Incorporating the story of Ghatokacha, who stops a family of Brahmins from moving forward in the forest, as he is seeking  a person to be offered to his fasting mother Hidimba. The middle son of the five volunteers to be Hidimba's feast. As his last wish the son goes to the river to quench his thirst but does not return. Ghatotkacha calls for him and his call is answered by Bheema, who too is Madhyama, the middle one of the Pandav family, who agrees to replace the Brahmin boy, provided he defeats him and takes him captive, After a fierce battle between the two, Bheema is taken  captive for his famished mother. Hidimba recognises Bheema to be her husband and the father of her son and refuses to to accept him back.

Rutwikk Kendre as Ghatokacha steals the show with his excellent.dramatic performance, doing full justice to the character, the audience is really taken aback by the tragic ending. Renuka Bodhankar as Himdimba is another powerful performer for her acting and dialogue delivery. Suhas Suryawamshi as Bheema was apt and impressive in his performance. the choreography in the Kathakali style by C. Gopalakrishnan and Anil Sutar was powerful, particulalry the scence of battle between Bheema and Ghatokacha wherein they don't get physical but they create such an impression that the audience feels that a real fight is on, without touching each other, which was the most impressive act of the whole presentation.

The musical quality of the play, wherein the actors move in perfect co-ordination of rhythm, harmony and synchronization, althogh some of the female characters looked quite heavy on the stages, neverthesless played their parts quite well. The other characters include Abhisek Konrondika, Apelsha Jadhav, Vishal Jadhav, Shamal Rokde, Raghvendra Manerikar, Amol Jadhav, Raju Shende amongst others.

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