During the winter months Sri Chinmoy will frequently visit other countries, together with many of his students. One feature of these trips is the inventive and soulful plays put on by Sri Chinmoy's students. I dont go on these trips myself so it was a pleasure last week to gain posession of DVD's of some of these plays made by Niriha.
The first play we watched was one directed by Kaivalya from London. The opening scene showed three mountaineers from different countries attempting to climb a mountain, but the weather is too much and they're down to their last tin of canned beef...
From this simple premise, the story opens out to include a mountaintop ashram and a wonderfully colourful Indian village scene, complete with scheming elders, haggling salesman and some over the top Bollywood theatrics courtesy of Bijon - I'm afraid the poor lad may end up getting typecast in that role for ever!
I really like plays (and films) like this where one starts out with something simple, maybe one or two characters, spins it our into a whole cacophony of voices and happenings and at the end is able to rein it all back to the simple premise it started out with. The play itself was very atmospheric and the combination of music, lighting and costumes really evoked the different locations very well. It's a remarkable achievement since I'm told that the actors involved usually put on a play of this magnitude about once a week and that the average rehearsal time is typically no longer than a day!