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Mar 8, 2019
Mar 8, 2019
segal theatre

Image and Design by Shilpi Gulati

Friday 8 | 5:30pm | Segal Theatre

India | 2018 | 72 minutes | directed by Shilpi Gulati and Jainendra Dost
Bhojpuri with English Subtitles

Naach is a form of traditional folk theatre from Bihar, India. In this tradition, male artists
often cross dress as women on stage and are referred to as ‘laundas’. The most
legendary name in this tradition is Bhikhari Thakur’s— who was an actor, playwright,
and a social reformer popularly known as the ‘Shakespeare of Bhojpuri.’ The film
follows the last four Naach performers to have worked him and creates a visual archive
of a performance tradition. As they share their plays, songs and a lifetime of memories,
they immerse us into the world of folk theatre where we begin to see a glimpse of
budhau – the old man, himself.

Photo by Vishwa Gulati

Shilpi Gulati is a filmmaker and research based out of New Delhi.
Her body of work largely engages with themes of gender, oral
histories and performance traditions in regional communities in
India. Her film The Parsi Story (2014) won the National Film Award
for the Best Ethnographic Film and her other works, Dere to Delhi
(2012) and Taala Te Kunjee (2017) and Naach Bhikhari Naach (2018)
have been screened at various festivals internationally. Shilpi
is also an actor and a workshop facilitator with pandies’ theatre,
an activist group working with women and children using theatre
as social therapy. Shilpi is a PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru
University and is currently at Columbia University on a Fulbright