A psychological play “Asha” was staged by Minerva Liberal Arts at Kenya Brahma Sabha Hall on Saturday. 1st September 1956. The audience which included Nairobi’s eminent citizens was presided over by Mr. Abdul Gaffor Sheikh who in his eloquent speech appreciated the formation of a society like Minerva Liberal Arts, which caters for the tastes of art-loving people in Nairobi. “Asha” is the story of a man who in pursuit of “Hope” departs with“Peace of Mind” and to regain which, he struggles hard but disappointment greets him where-ever he goes. He keeps on hoping against hope that one day “happiness” would embrace him.
Looking through the critic’s eye, the role of Jagyasu – Harbhajan Singh, stole the show. Once again this artist has lived upto his reputation and gave a fine performance. Another character that caught my eye was Shakar Mian – Duli Chand, who as a faithful servant added humour to the Poetical Symposium. Lighting and Music left much to be desired, the Music though sweet, was prolonged far too much in the second scene. The budding artists should take full advantage of the material they have and the guidance available from experienced men like Harbhajan and give to the public something that is aesthetic enjoyable and cultural.
A psychological play, Asha, was staged by Minerva Liberal Arts at Kenya Brahma Sabha Hall on September 1. Mr. Harbhajan Singh, who is no stranger to Nairobi audiences, and is the chairman of the society, took a leading part, another player was Mr. Duli Chand, and the play was presented by Mr. Mohinder Bhalla, the society’s secretary-general. In his presidential address Mr. Abdul Ghafur Sheikh spoke appreciatively of the formation of a society of this kind.
Madame Umadevi Chowdhury’s farewell performance, prior to her forthcoming European tour, promises to be full of new ideas and the new dances that she gathered from her short trip to India at the beginning of this year.
The programme, Jhankar, which means “the sound of the dancing bells,” is composed of three stories. The first story, Ranee and the Magic Flute, is story of the unsophisticated village folk of India. The ballet is full of country dances of India displayed in the profuse colours of their costumes. The presentation of this story will be new and never seen before in a ballet. The technique of presentation is based on the lines of old Sanskrit plays of the well-known play-writer Kalidasa. Harbhajan Singh, the best actor of the Drama Festival of 1955 will play one of the leading roles.
The second ballet, Princess Daymanti, is built on the foundation of Hindu mythology and is at times tinged with imagination to lend grace to the ballet. It is in this ballet that Madame Chowdhury’s best pupil, Usha Madan, is given an opportunity to show her talents in traditional dancing and expression.
Savitri is the concluding story of the programme. It is embroidered on the canvas of ancient mythology, with the threads of traditional dances and gestures.
Many sparkling traditional costumes, head-dresses and ornaments, that have been specially brought from India for this particular occasion, will be displayed in their full beauty.