Monday, July 13, 2009

Seminar on Tiatro is right initiative

Seminar on Tiatro is right initiative

The first ever national seminar on overall development
of Konkani Tiatro being held at Margao today under the
joint auspices of TACT Institute and Goa Konkani
Akademi, comes as a tribute to the rich artistic
traditions of this part of the country and more so in
respect of stagecraft. It is an acknowledged fact that
Goa is the mother of Marathi theatre because Marathi
dramas were being held here much before this form of
entertainment took roots even in Maharashtra. It is
also a matter of pride for Goans that they developed
and evolved a parallel theatre called Tiatro over a
century ago though Marathi drama and Tiatro
represented the then clear divide between Hindu and
Christian community. Luckily, the barriers of religion
are crumbling fast in the field of performing arts and
particularly stagecraft. Credit goes to Wilmix Wilson
Mazarello and Sharon for taking the initiative to
expose Tiatro to a critical scrutiny. We salute all
those great souls, who established lofty standards of
entertainment through Konkani down the decades.

The presence of Damu Kenkre, theatre expert and film
actor, who is a Goenkar but whose creative abilities
flourished in Maharashtra, and Erik Ozario, musician
and theatre expert from Karnataka, a leading figure
for organising the first world Konkani conference held
in Mangalore, augurs well with the spirit behind
today's event, which every Goenkar need support
wholeheartedly. Because, it is today that probably
Tiatro may break a new path and emerge even stronger
than before as a form of mass entertainment. Tiatro's
potential as a literary activity must also be
acknowledged in full measure. That justifies the
participation of the Konkani Akademi in this unique
event. It is a matter of satisfaction that Tiatro
continues to enjoy tremendous patronage despite the
dawn of electronic media. And, yet there is always
scope for improvement even in Tiatro presentation and
to that extent intellectual interaction is inevitable.
The era of musical Marathi dramas is almost over
nowadays. But, Tiatro continues to sizzle with music.
Probably, `Natak' may have to learn something from
Tiatro. And so far as the stagecraft is concerned,
Tiatro may have to benefit from `Natak'. From thematic
point of view `Natak' is much more advanced than

Lucasinho Caridade Ribeiro, a Goan lad from Assagao,
was the grand master of Tiatro. That was the time when
Zagor and Khell, then prevailing forms of
entertainment among Christians, had degenerated into
vulgar entertainment. Lucasinho, a man of finer
qualities, had been to Bombay in 1980 and this visit
to the metropolis proved to be the biggest landmark in
the cultural life of Goan Christians as it was he who
after witnessing the performances of Italian Opera
Company thought of penning down the text for the first
Tiatro, which he presented on 17 April 1892 at the New
Alfred Theatre. The name of this maiden Tiatro was
`Italian Bhurgo' and the group formed to organise the
show was called `Goa Portuguese Dramatic Company'.
From then onwards Tiatro probably did not have to look
back. Thus, Bombay became the birthplace of Konkani
Tiatro. And, it was Lucasinho himself who brought
Tiatro to Goa and held the first performance at his
birthplace Assagao in 1894. Obviously, Tiatro and
Khell-Tiatro substituted Zagor and Khell steadily but
not totally because Zagor and Khell are still extant
and these traditional forms have been given a fresh
lease of life by the state Kala Academy.

So far as `Natak' is concerned it was also evolved
from Zagor. But it passed through two more stages
namely `Kala' and `Dashavatari' over a period of 400
years, so far as the Hindu community was concerned.
The earliest handwritten Marathi play dates back to
1818 in Goa and the playwright was Raghunath Shet
Sawant. The lengthy title of the play was
`Vidushak-Haridas, Sankasur-Haridas and Kansa and
Chanur' and the first performance was held at Sri
Samsthan Shantadurga, Dhargalim in 1825. Then we have
a drama company formed under the banner of
`Ramnath-Damodar Prasadik Natak Mandali' in Margao in
1831. The first woman Marathi playwright was also a
Goan, Sonabai Chimaji Kerkar. Her first play was
`Kshatrapati Shivaji' and it was written in 1896. In
Maharashtra, the first Marathi play is credited to
Vishnudas Bhave of Sangli. The maiden performance of
the drama entitled `Sita Swayamwar' was held on 5
November, 1843. Today's seminar could draw upon Goa's
rich cultural traditions.

courtesy: Gomantak Times

Also view 100 Years of Tiatrs History

Gaspar Almeida
To Goa with Love
Expressions - log in to

Nov 7, 2001

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