NSD bans Polish play after nude scenes draw flak

Bhubaneswar: Nude scenes in a play enacted by a troupe from Poland at Rabindra Mandap here yesterday has invited criticism from the women activists even as the National School of Drama (NSD) has banned the enactment of the controversial play across the country.

Activists of the ‘Sachetan Nari Manch’ resorted to road blockade and burnt banners of various drama groups before locking up the main gate of the Mandap today.

“The scene, which was seen in the play yesterday, is not acceptable in a culturally rich State like Odisha,” an activist said.

On the other hand, Odisha Natak Academy has apologized for enactment of such a play and promised to avoid such plays in future.

“The NSD has put a ban on the enactment of the play across the country. The premier drama institute took the decision following sharp criticism in Odisha” Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy secretary Dhirendranath Mallick said.

“If the play hurts the cultural sentiments of the art lovers, we apologize on behalf of NSD”, he added.

Odisha Natya Sangha also disapproved of the scenes in the play. “Such plays should not be enacted on stage in Odisha. This is against our culture. We will ask NSD not to select such drama for Odisha,” Natya Sangha secretary Abhhinna Routray said.

Meanwhile, Odisha Tourism and Culture minister Ashok Panda on Saturday said a notice would be served to the National School of Drama (NSD) to furnish a report over enactment of “nude scenes” by a Poland-based troupe here.

“The act could have been presented in a suggestive manner instead of resorting to nudity. A report will be sought from the NSD authorities over the incident,” he said.

“Odia culture doesn’t allow any nudity. There has to be a degree of restraint in showcasing such work and to breach that is against our culture. There are other non-explicit ways of portraying such subjects,” Panda added.

Poland-based theatre group Alexander Jiereko enacted a play ‘Sonaka’ at Rabindra Mandap here on Friday evening. Drama lovers, who were witnessing the play, found themselves in a somewhat awkward situation as an actress took off her dress till her waist to portray the character she was playing.

The drama was showcased as part of the ongoing national theatre festival organised by NSD in collaboration with the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademy and the state Culture department.