June this year brought what might have just been the first lip-lock between two male actors on stage in the city. Getting It Back, was a poignant and a funny skit about a confused lover turning up at the doorstep of his other half ‘demanding his love back’. Although, the original play by John Cariani was based on a man and woman, this time, the couple was two men, who were in a relationship for 11 years.
“We are making a statement about LGBT issues but in a simpler way,” said director R.K. Shenoy, of Dramanon. Designer and actor Ganesh Nallari, who played one of the lead characters in the play, added that the beauty of the play was that it was accepted by the audience and nobody thought it was awkward.
Months later, Dramanon's annual skit competition had several contesting groups portraying same-sex couples. While the 12-minute skit A Midnight’s Clear enquired how “God made love and we defined it” with the story of a gay couple who meet after several years during a medical emergency, No Play portrayed the dynamics of same-sex relationships in an already familiar format of having a ‘no’ follow every dialogue.
World’s a stage
Also in June, Sutradhar’s Vinay Varma took Hyderabad theatre to a new height. The actor and director was invited by Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC, and the Society of Friends International, London, to stage his play Main Rahi Masoom.
While there was a steady flow of dance performances held in the city, the year also saw a lot of academic and intellectual work done in the field of art. The tone for the year was set with the formation of a dancers’ collective called Natyasangrama.
The group consisting of senior dancers including Geeta Ganesan, Dr Yashoda Thakore and Sanjay Joshi among others, primarily focussed to creating platforms for artistes to perform and on bringing about awareness for the need for revival. “We followed through with our plan to have one event every month. Most of the events also included seminars and discussions on the roots of an art form to the more contemporary concerns of revival,” said Geetha.