NATI BINODINI

Nominated for:

BEST PLAY > DIRECTED BY AMAL ALLANA AND PRODUCED BY
THEATRE AND TELEVISION ASSOCIATES (DELHI)
BEST DIRECTOR > AMAL ALLANA
BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT > AMAL ALLANA AND SALIMA RAZA
BEST ACTRESS > SALIMA RAZA
BEST SUPORTING ACTOR (MALE) > JAYANTA DAS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR ( FEMALE) > SWAROOPA GHOSH
SONAM KALRA
NATASHA RASTOGI
AMITA AILAWADI
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY > PREETI VASUDEVAN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN > AMAL ALLANA
BEST STAGE DESIGN > NISSAR ALLANA
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN > NISSAR ALLANA
BEST SOUND DESIGN > KABIR SINGH

A play in twelve parts based on the autobiography “Aamar Katha”. The narrator, the elderly Binodini, reflects on her fate, from her beginnings in abject poverty and an imminent future in the sex trade, then rescued for a life in the theatre. The vicissitudes of her life are complicated by a seemingly inescapable fate, in spite of the training of unique guru, Girish Ghosh. She finds herself obliged to live a double life as kept woman and actor. Her commitment to her theatre vocation is further disappointed by betrayal and a crisis in faith. The memories of her finer moments are stained by her shame and exploitation. Girish Ghosh remains noncommittal about her autobiography. Mourning her departure from the theatre, and other losses, she experiences a revelation and the presence of the Almighty.

Biographies

AMAL ALLANA


Amal Allana is a graduate of the National School of Drama, and followed with a two year apprenticeship at the Berliner Ensemble and other theatres in the GDR. She has directed over fifty plays for the stage, several plays and serials for television, designed costumes for stage and film, curated exhibitions, researched and written on theatre and engaged in various related activities. Concurrently, she has taught theatre direction at prestigious institutions in India. Her plays are as deeply ‘Indian’ as they are truly ‘international’, because she has a vision that transcends narrow definitions of culture and nationality. A meticulous observer of the ‘human condition’, she combines a passionate understanding of individual psychology with a world view that enables her to reflect the universality of human experience.

She is currently Head of Acting at The Dramatic Art & Design Academy (DADA) and Artistic Director of Theatre & Television Associates, New Delhi. Amal Allana is the present Chairperson of the National School of Drama, New Delhi.

PREETI VASUDEVAN


Preeti Vasudevan, artistic director and choreographer, is one of India’s leading performers and choreographers. Ms. Vasudevan’s ground-breaking work in the contemporary idiom stems from her foundations in Bharatanatyam, Indian classical dance, combined with cross-training in other eastern and western movement and theater styles. She is the recipient of international awards and recognitions and was main faculty at 2004 American Dance Festival. Preeti holds an MA in Dance Studies from the Laban Centre in London, specialising in choreography and movement analysis.

She has received many Fellowships, including the Indiana Arts Commission, Individual Arts fellowship, USA, and a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, USA, 1999, and has been recipient of a Cultural Exchange Scholarship from Takasaki Arts Center College, Japan, 1994. She received a Special Award for Outstanding Performance at the Pongal Dance Festival in Chennai.

Preeti is the founder and artistic director of Thresh, an international collaborative multimedia arts group.

SALIMA RAZA


Salima began her stage career with the Delhi Art Theatre production of Kanjoos in 1958 for which she received the Best Actress Award. She followed with the Delhi Natya Sangh Best Supporting Actress Award for Dinner with The Family in 1960. She was a founding member of Yatrik. She played the main roles in Yatrik’s Azar Ka Khwab, one of their most popular productions. She also played the main role. in Lilette Dubey’s Aatmakatha. In the 90s she joined Theatre and Television Associates and has since then performed in Char Chaughi, Sonata, Erendira and Nati Binodini.

Salima has acted in over twenty-five plays in India and abroad in Hindi Urdu and English.She has been closely associated with radio and T.V since 1955 in India and abroad. Salima wrote, directed and acted in the film Dhaage Prem Ke, a landmark film on communal harmony.

She presently teaches speech in theatre at The Design and Dramatic Art Academy (DADA) in Delhi.

JAYANTA DAS


Jayanta Das is a seasoned theatre, television and film actor. From the age of 16 he acted in, and directed, many plays in Bengali and Hindi nationally. He has performed under the direction of leading directors including Dr. Habib Tanvir, Shri M.K.Raina and Shri.Rajinder Nath. He has co-acted with Shri Om Puri, Shri S. M. Zaheer. Jayanta was a member of the theatre group Players with Frank Thakurdas, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ravi Baswani and Dinesh Thakur.

He has been recipient amateur Awards for acting and directing over an extensive period. He has also acted in feature films, and made voice-overs for BBC Documentaries and Trans World International Sports Features.

SWAROOPA GHOSH


Swaroopa Ghosh performed professionally on Kolkata stage throughout her college days and afterwards with major Bengali directors like Asit Bose, Bivas Chakraborty, Anjan Dutt, Sohag Sen and others. When she moved to Delhi in 1989 she was selected for the National School of Drama Repertory Company, which afforded her the opportunity to work with directors Fritz Bennewitz, M K Raina Bhanu Bharati, Ranjit Kapoor and Ebrahim Alkazi.

After leaving NSD Repertory she commenced with Yatrik Theatre and Joy Michael, an association that remains current. Therein, she worked with directors like Avijit Dutt, Bhaskar Ghosh and Joy Michael. Swaroopa later joined Alkazi’s Living Theatre, which marked a turning point. Around the same time she worked with Barry John, and Zuleikha Choudhury, who opened a new way of theatre to her. She found the confidence to do experimental work and performed the hour long monologue “The Chase”-a piece from Stefen Berkoff’s Decadence. In 2004 she became associated with Theatre and Television Associates and began working under director Amal Allana, performing in Erendira and Nati Binodini.

She has taught drama in schools and directed plays for children, some gaining awards for Inter school Projects. She conducts theatre workshops and has taught movement and mime theatre to deaf children for nearly 6 years. She teaches IGCSE level drama at The British School and ‘emotive expression’ at Nissar Allana’s Dramatic Art and Design Academy. She has also had much experience working in television.

SONAM KALRA


Sonam has had many opportunities as an actress, the most challenging and exhilarating of which, has been Nati Binodini, with Amal Allana. She has played the female lead in a Teamwork Production, Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan, a musical directed by Sanjoy Roy, and played the female lead in The Heart of The Matter, a play about cancer, directed by Sita Raina.

Sonam has anchored TV shows such as The Real India Travel Show and Wheels for the BBC as well as Musafir Hoon Yaaron for Star Plus. She does voice-overs and sings jingles for radio and television advertisements and continues to work as a freelance copywriter to support her artistic endeavours. She believes she is a work in progress, has one life and wants to live it to the fullest.

NATASHA RASTOGI


Natasha has extensive acting experience in theatre, film and television. She has performed in a number of plays directed by Amal Allana: Nag Mandal, Erindra as Erindra and Nati Binodini. She may be also be remembered for her role as Sona Verma in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival. Her film and television credits extend to serials, telemovies and commercials.

In 2004 she resigned as drama teacher of the Modern School in New Delhi. She has choreographed and directed musical ballets involving two hundred and eighty children for 12 years, which were professionally scripted and recorded. Natasha designed the costumes and sets for each of these musicals. For the past 2 years she has worked with Sahitya Kala Parishad and MMI directing plays and musicals for schools.

AMITA AILAWADI
PREETI VASUDEVAN
NISSAR ALLANA


Born in 1946, Nissar graduated at the Grant Medical College in 1971. The same year he also started designing theatre sets and lights, beginning with Bertolt Brecht’s play, A Man’s a Man. Since then he has designed over seventy sets and lighting for plays, television and special events. Nissar worked in Berlin as a scenographer assistant at the Schaubuhne with the famous designer/director team Karl Ernst Herrman in 1975. He was appointed as Fellow of the Theatre Department in 1978 at Punjab University.

Nissar has worked as scenographer and lighting designer with directors like Amal Allana, Richard Schechner, Rolf Stahl, Egil Kipste, Zuleikha Chaudhari and other directors. He was set decorator on Richard Attenborough’s film, Gandhi.

Nissar has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and is presently director of a theatre academy, DADA, The Dramatic Art & Design Academy (DADA), and producer of Theatre & Television Associates.

KABIR SINGH


Kabir Singh gained a Diploma in Audio Engineering, at the School of Audio Engineering (SAE), Mumbai 2006.

Kabir has an impressive list of professional productions that he has designed sound for that includes the Amal Allana directed Erendira And Her Heartless Grandmother, The Mahabharata Project directed by Zuleikha Allana, which traveled to the Prague Quadrennial in 2003 and to the Bonn Biennale, Germany (2006). He has been sound designer for outdoor events and installations, and has worked as sound designer for Varun Narain in street and puppetry theatre. Kabir has designed sound for live events such as a sound and light show at Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur directed by Nissar Allana (2004). He has dabbled in sound for several short films. His sound works has extended to fashion events such as the Ramp Show for Lakme India Fashion Week (2004). He has also been involved with the Gere Foundation seminar event to increase AIDS awareness (2004). He has taught at university level at Rai University, New Delhi in a course about the “Aesthetics of Sound Design” to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Kabir moonlights as resident DJ at The Mezz in Friend’s Colony, Delhi.

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