Director : Piyal Bhattacharya
Writer : Shudraka
Translation : Sayak Mitra
Group : Chidakashkalalay, Centre of art and divinity, Howrah, W.B.
Language : Multi Lingual
Duration : 90 Mtns.
Never before staged, Padmank Gatha is an adaptation of “Padma Prabhritakam”, a Rupaka (10 types of play accordingly ‘Natyashastra’) by famous Sanskrit playwright Shudraka. An apt example of a ‘Bhan’, a model of the Western concept of monologue. The character ‘Samvatsar Vit’ is the learned common one, he heard a lot of teachings, and he goes on to render the picture of the society while he encounters characters that represent various stratum of the societal structure, which finds its relevance in today’s social model. ‘Bhan’ is the category of Rupaka that was modelled to communicate social evils and increase awareness amongst the common mass.
The story takes us through various facets of society and sheds light upon many issues which are usually less discussed, but Vit takes it up with ease. It blatantly opens up the hypocritic attitude of our society towards the prostitutes, whereas the society leaves no chance. Thus, through the supposed light mood the play conjures a serious inner-atmosphere within the viewers and leaves room for pondering within them.
A consummate artiste and also a painter, sculptor and costume designer Piyal Bhattacharya has been engrossed in the research and practical reconstruction of the complete performance system of Natya, from the perspective of Natyashastra for the past 20 years of his life. He completed 6 years diploma course in Kathakali Vesham (Kathakali acting) from Kerala Kalamandalam under the supervision of Kalamandalam Balasubramanyan, 2004. While in Kerala, he also learned Kathakali vocal under Kalamandalam Madambi Subramanyan Namboodiri, Cheruthuruthy.
He studied Rasa, Bhava, Chitrabhinaya and Samanyabhinaya of Natyashastra under Dr. K.D. Tripathi; Musicology under Dr. Pradeep Ghosh, Dr. N. Ramanathan and Indrani Chakraborty; took initial training in Rudra Veena under Subir Mishra; went to Myanmar to learn the migrated tradition of Indian Harp, surviving as Saung Gauk under U Win Maung, at Gitameit Music Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, 2016.
It is has been his sole endeavour to uphold the ancient tradition of performance as envisioned by him under the name of “MARGA NATYA”, a sincere effort of research and reconstruction evolved from the practice of Nritta, Geet and Abhinaya based on Bharata’s theatrical system of performance, based on the Natyasastra.
He was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi junior fellowship grant on ‘Ekadasha Natya-sangraha of Natyashastra’ 2010; ICH fellowship for ‘Safeguarding Intangible Cultural heritage’, granted by Sangeet Natak Akademy, 2014; Tagore Scholarship by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, 2019-2020; Kalasarathi Award, Sri Sri University, Bangalore, 2022 and many more. At present he is taking advance training in Dagar style from Ustad Bahauddin Dagar.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this institution is committed to preserve and serve the traditional art and culture. This artistic endeavour is the brainchild of Piyal Bhattacharya, who has dedicated his life to determine and preserve the practice and propagation of Ancient Indian Art forms. This is primarily founded upon the practice and performance based on the wisdom of Bharata’s Natya-system explored in Natyashastra. This has been envisioned and researched into a form of practice named as Marga Natya.
Established in 2013 standing amidst the babel of modern society, this institution endeavours to build consciousness about the richness and the importance of Guru-Shishya Parampara and self-improvement within all. A deviation from the modern practice of inviting actors to form a theatre group, here, individuals go through an enriching experience where they are given an opportunity to bloom. Not only are involved in resurrecting the lost tradition of Bharata’s practice of Natyashastra, they are fulfilling the essential meaning of practicing Indian Classical Art. This is not a mere art form, this a way of life, a parallel culture where the disciples develop into artistes who can contribute in the society by enriching the Indian Heritage.