The inaugural function of the 9th Asia-Pacific Bureau Meet being hosted by the National School of Drama (NSD) was held at the Abhimanch auditorium NSD. Students, Teachers and Directors from 14 participating schools across 10 countries along with the NSD students, faculty, staff and artists graced the occasion to inaugurate the week long exchange program.
The event kicked off with a serene performance by the legendary flautist Pt. Rajendra Prasanna in raag Bhairavi. Following this, the directors of the guest schools including Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, NSD Society, Prof. Waman Kendre, Director NSD, lit the lamp for an auspicious opening of the meet. The directors representing the guest schools across the Asia Pacific region on stage included- Mr. Mohammad Israfil (Department of Theatre and Perfomace Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh), Dr. A.S Hardy Bin Safi (School of the Arts, University Sains Malaysia (USM) Minden Penange, Malaysia), Dr. Amanda Morris (Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore), Mr. KO Hessun (Korea National University of Arts, South Korea), Mr. Ricardo Abad (Ateno De Manilam Philippines), Ms. Masako Ito (Miyazaki) (TOHO Gauken College of Drama and Music,Tokyo, Japan), and Dr. Farindokht Zahedi (University of Tehran, Iran).
Shri. Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson, NSD Society said in his welcome address, “I welcome the students, teachers and directors of the participating schools. It is a matter of great joy that the present ABP meet of schools is taking place in National School of Drama. We live in a changing world where technology has intervened in all spheres of our lives. In this culture, art becomes an inevitable part of refined understand of philosophy of life. Therefore, theatre is a serious and responsible creative act.”
Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “In India we have a guru-shishya parmpara, i.e teacher-disciple relationship whereby we not only teach the skills of an art to students but also handover the values of life. With our different and varied culture, I believe Asia Pacific region has a lot to give to the world and which is why we need to come together. Today, the goal of the arts is not just teaching, but much more than that. The society is in fragments and the threat of war is looming large in parts of the world. It is our responsibility to lead by the example of “Hume Yuddh Nahi Buddh Chahiye” (We don’t want war, we want wisdom). That is why it is important that we don’t just create artists, but we also have to create responsible global citizens who’ll spread the message of peace. It’s a challenge before us, and all the creative institutes of the world.”
In her vote of thanks, Prof. Tripurari Sharma , Professor NSD, who is heading this year’s meet, said, “In the coming week, our knowledge is set to expand through listening, speaking, watching and sharing. These bonding of curiosity will take us far as individual drama schools and together as a region. I sincerely thank all the participating schools present here.”
The first year students of NSD performed a contemporary dance piece, ‘An unfit’, symbolizing an individual’s struggle for acceptance in a programmed society.
Shantanu Bose, Assistant Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs, National School of Drama anchored the inaugural show.
Gong Baorong, Director of UNESCO-ITI had sent a message congratulating NSD for hosting the 9th APB Theatre Festival and the 10th Directors’ Conference 2016. He had said, “NSD has always shared with us its great achievements on student training. We believe that by participating in the activities organized by NSD, we will learn much about Indian culture and its contemporary theatre.”