In a world of conflicts with ever widening chasms between every individual and society, there is an urgent need to re-establish meaningful social condition through music, dance, art and theatre.
Natana was established in 2001 to involve children and youth in performing arts later grew as a professional group. Natana approaches theatre rooted in folk, history, mythology and in local traditions through contemporary means. By making young minds to learn dance, music, painting and film appreciation, Natana seeks to pass on the cultural experiences of a generation to a new audience.
Natana children repertory as well as adults repertory company has participated in many National and International theatre festivals and also presented shows in various villages of Karnataka, in almost all the districts and also in metropolitan cities like Bengaluru, Kolkotta, Mumbai, Vijaywada, Tiruvanantapuram ,New Delhi, Assam, Tura, Meghalaya and many more.
In every summer, around 300 children come under a roof to engage themselves in literature, Music, Make up, Folk forms, theatre acting and many other creative activities under the training of experts in ‘Raja Maja’, a theatre oriented workshop. Quite a good number of children from orphanages, slums and children with poor economic background are being engaged in the program to bring them into the mainstream.
An intimate and fully equipped theatre school and auditorium with 240 seating capacity has been constructed by Natana with plenty of hardships and financial crisis in Ramakrishna Nagar Mysore where the theatre education is given for youths and children throughout the year.
Kannada theatre has secured a unique place in the rich heritage of Indian theatre because of its variety, diversity, essence of regional folklore and its traditional qualities. Despite of having several potential branches like the professional theatre, rural mythological theatre, amateur theatre, etc; it has allured the theatre loving audience through its unique acting style, body movements along with the musical quality in it.
NATANA is the dream project of Mandya Ramesh, an actor, director and a complete theatre personality who has been working in theatre since 36 years. ‘Natana’ is moulded with the modern thoughts, professionalism and experimentalism of modern theatre schools and repertories; enthusiasm and energy of rural folk theatre; and intellectuality of urban amateur groups. Study, demonstration and exhibition of Theatre and its sub streams like literature, music, dance, painting, films and other art forms is the main objective of Natana. In the society where the human relationships have lost its value and ever changing social scenarios affecting the humanity, it is our sincere and humble effort to induce our inner cultural sensitivities in a group of likeminded people assembling together and involving in cultural activities. Natana is working seriously to pass the rich heritage of theatre to our younger generation for the betterment of the society as well as individual.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, Natana was launched as a theatre school decades ago and was developed as a reregistered cultural institution. In an effort to achieve our objectives, Natana has been involved in various activities and projects.
VARIOUS ACTIVITIES OF NATANA
It is the theatre based summer workshop for children where they are educated as well as entertained in various dimensions focusing on the wholesome personality development of the child. It aims at involving children in theatre and other cultural activities at a very young age. Children learn theatre acting, singing, various traditional and folkdance forms, crafts, mask making, rural games and many more. There will be professional trainers and resource persons who handle the various topics in the workshop. In addition to various classes, children will also interact with the celebrities and achievers of various fields who will be visiting the workshop regularly.
Among 300 children who take part in the summer camp over 150 children are from orphanage, slums, remand homes, children of sex workers, children who need special attention, refugees, children from remote and socially challenged areas and children who are financially weak. It is the strong conviction of Natana to bring these children to the mainstream of the society and to make them culturally rich.
In order to support and recognize senior most theatre personalities and to honor their service towards the theatre field Natana has started to felicitate them in the name of Natana’s president N. Subrahmanyam every year. This ‘Natana Puraskara’ is given during the time of Raja Maja in order to inspire young minds by introducing great achievers and personalities.
Natana team has performed in many places including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Meghalaya, Guwahati, Tura, Kasaragod, Vijayavada, Thiruvanthapuram, Nagithihalli, Sanehalli, Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya, Udupi, Gangavathi, Bellari, Dharawad, Gadag, Beedar, Davanagere, Sirasi, Shimoga, Tumkur, Mangalore, Moodbidri, Hassan, Chikmagalur Gulbarga, Koppa, Raichur, Kodagu, Chitradurga, ctc., Natana has performed more than 3000 shows across the nation.
In 2017 Natana has staged ‘Chaamachaluve’ and ‘Sayo Aata’ in the prestigious ‘Singara samskrithi Sammelana’ held in Singapore.
NATANA NATAKOTSAVA AND SEMINaR
Natana organizes national level theatre festival in the month of July every year where Natana’s productions along with the theatre productions of national and international fame will be staged at Natana. During this festival a seminar is also conducted in the name of well-known theatre personality K.V.Subbanna in which many scholars and theatre persons participate.
DASARA RANGOTSAVA AND FOLK PERFORMANCES
Dasara which comes in the month of September or October is a state festival now. Natana organizes the theatre festival during Dasara where Natana’s major productions and also social, mythological, historical, folk and modern plays of various theatre groups are staged. Natana is known for ‘Ranga Navami’, a nine day theatre fest, ‘Dvadasha Rangotsava’, a twelve day theatre fest and ‘Panchadasha Rangotsava’, a theatre fest with 15 different plays being performed during this occasion. Along with our productions hundreds of other artists and many other theatre groups also perform in the festival.
At the same time folk teams from all over the country will perform the dance forms of Manipur, Assam, Tamil Nadu and traditional art forms like Kalari, Yakshagana, Doddata, Sannata, Mudalapaya, Puppet show, Veeragase, Kamsale, Puja Kunitha , Gotipova and many more during this festival. Famous folk experts and artist perform as well as teach their forms to our artists. These folk and traditional performances organized by Natana have captured the hearts of the audience.
THEATER MUSIC CONCERTS
Our artists are trained to sing the songs of company theatre, mythological theatre, Kanda and Seesa padyas, modern theatre songs and many other types of theatre music. Natana team is capable of singing more than 300 theatre songs of different kinds. They give theatre music concerts and provoke others to learn these songs. Theatre music workshops are also arranged for the interested people.
Natana artists have given many theatre music concerts in prestigious national level festivals.
THEATRE INTERACTION PROGRAM
Natana invites popular and senior actors, directors, theatre personalities, writers, folk artist and they will interact with the students and artists of Natana and also with general audience. Our artists will learn more about their successful career, theatre experience and seek their guidance.
The professional artists and the students of Natana Theatre School will stage the plays on every Sunday. These shows have not only become very popular but also succeeded in bringing new audience to theatre. This process has provided an opportunity to the actors to have a face to face interaction with the audience.