NSD, Polish drama academy ink agreement

New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The National School of Drama (NSD) and Poland’s Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy Monday signed a memorandum of understanding for institutional exchange programme relating to theatre students, teachers, experts and productions.

The MoU, valid for four years (2012-2016) was signed by NSD chairperson Amal Allana and the Polish varsity’s vice-chancellor Andrzej Strzelecki in the presence of the Polish ambassador.

Poland is also the international country of focus at the ongoing 14th Bharat Rang Mahotsav of the National School of Drama.

Announcing the MoU, Allana said that the ‘exchange programme is designed to explore teachers, experts, students as well as traditional, folk, contemporary theatre, performances and related exhibitions in each other’s country on a reciprocal basis’.

The MoU has been designed around seven major exchanges, Allana said.

Under the agreement, Polish experts will hold workshops in direction and puppetry with final year students of the drama school for two weeks while teachers of Kalaripayattu, Thang Ta, Chau and Parsi theatre from India will visit Poland for three weeks of intense training.

A team of three teachers, who are experts in Indian performing traditions, will visit Poland for six weeks and a teacher of acting from the Warsaw Academy will come to India for six weeks.

The school of drama will send students fellowship productions to theatre festivals in Poland and the academy will respond by sending Polish productions to NSD festivals.

Both institutes will send a director and designer to India and Poland respectively for a month to hone their skills and learn new methodologies, Allana said.

‘I think the first point is mutual cultural exchange. We believe that that such contacts enlarge your horizon and helps us understand cultures. In the National School of Drama, they teach different things and in our academy, they teach different things. We can expand the range of our skills with this education exchange,’ Strzelecki told IANS.

‘It is not only about human exchange but also people-to-people contact,’ he said.

The dean of Polish Theatre Academy’s faculty of direction, Jaroslaw Kilian, said his institution was looking to learn ‘vocal techniques, special kind of singing and puppetry from India’.

‘We have a department of theatre science and puppetry which will benefit from contact with the National School of Drama. We cannot say whether traditional Indian culture can influence Polish artists, but they would love to know,’ Killian told IANS.

‘The MoU is the most important bilateral agreement that the National School of Drama signed. I have been visiting the Polish Theatre Academy for the past couple of years and have watched it. The academy has a strong basic foundation in teaching of acting and direction – which are our main subjects at NSD,’ Allana told IANS.

Allana said the National School of Drama was keen to have Polish experts who would conduct classroom activity ‘so that people at the drama school can learn’.

‘They want Indian theatre from us, which is our strength. They want us to send a team for Indian classical theatre.’