50. -: Under the Sal Tree project –

A festival of Celebrating Traditional Rituals through Theatre

In Assam, the military controls the population and there is little room for manoeuvre for intellectual and cultural development. Inspired by the indigenous dances and rituals, Bandung Duppa developed theatre forms within the region’s own tradition. Every year fellow theatre-makers from the immediate area come to Rampur to show each other’s results at the Under the Sal Tree festival. The festival serves as a melting pot, showcasing exciting forms and dances in a quest to develop the identity of the people of Assam. Choreographer Dayna Martina Morales explored the transition from old rituals to new dance forms from the perspective of movement. In , she did this at AsocYat in . Based on this experience, she gave workshops and exercise training at Badung Duppa in India in 2009.

North-east India consists of seven different states, mostly inhabited by indigenous people. The region has about 100 different tribes and has a very rich cultural diversity. Each tribe has their unique rituals and cultural tradition. However, the present time has taken its toll and the tradition is being eroded by modernization in the name of modern education, globalization, competition for living and so-called civilization. At present, modern culture leads to the loss of cultural heritage and identity. Obviously, questions arise about our locus-standi, or how we are able to identify ourselves in a cultural context.
Therefore, some initiative towards the preservation of our tradition is required. The project was our humble attempt for sensitizing.
Change is an integral part of development. However, change does not mean the destruction of the tradition. It is rather the reinvention of the tradition in the present context.
Rituals are the core of our cultural heritage. In this project, we took up an in-depth study of rituals and traditions. A thorough analysis and justification with the context will be done. We then explored the possibilities of modelling these rituals in theatrical expression for sensitizing the general public.
Globalization and information technology have shrunk the world. Dominant economic and socio-cultural groups are influencing minority groups to such an extent that they are losing their identity.
Our rituals are the backbone of our cultural identity. Therefore, reinvention and revitalization of our rituals are a must for retaining our cultural individuality
Our main objectives:
To study and reinvent rituals in the present context.
To popularize and preserve our rituals.
To create a theatrical form for authentic expression of such rituals.

Partner organisation: Theatre group Badungduppa
Executors TE: 2
Local artists: 20
Target group: General audience of the surrounding communities
Audience: 4000
Performances: 4
Volunteers: 50
Participating Organizations: Theatre Embassy.
Finances: Theatre Embassy, ICCO
Theme: Belief

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