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Deurali Daandi

A play by Sahalesh

DEURALI DAANDI by Sahalesh comes as the culminating project of Director Rose Schwietz’s US Student Fulbright Research Grant. Following a year of research on the Gurung and Magar practice of sati ghatu, a cultural dance-drama form, Schwietz incorporated elements of sati ghatu into Deurali Daandi to explore the possibilities of developing a new way of performing Nepali theatre. 

DEURALI DAANDI portrays an enigmatic village in the hills of Nepal, where there are no more men due to a mysterious epidemic from many years ago. The women have long fended for themselves, but when the epidemic strikes again, they must take greater action to prevent their way of life from disappearing entirely. At once a celebration of ghatu naach, a critical examination of Nepal’s labor migration practices, and an exploration of women without men, Deurali Daandi will leave the audience deeply appreciating the disappearing practice of ghatu, and asking some hard questions about labor migration practices in Nepal. 

Deurali Daandi pushes the boundaries of One World Theatre’s repertoire while keeping their commitment to outstanding acting, innovative production design, and social justice issues. In addition to featuring a cast and production team made primarily of women, the play addresses Nepal’s most pressing current social issue – the disappearing traditional way of life due to the high numbers of Nepalis leaving their homes for better economic opportunities. At the same time, Deurali Daandi gives a poetic glimpse into the Gurung and Magar cultural practice of ghatu, which may become one of the victims of the epidemic of labor migration.

Dates: January 13 to January 29, at 5 PM

  • Matinee Shows on Saturdays January 21 and 28 at 1 PM
  • No shows on Mondays January 16 and 23 

Venue: Studio Theatre, Pingalisthan, on Nepal Music Center/ Nepal Film Campus 

Run time: 1h40 without intermission

Tickets: book online here or 9843932952

  • VIP: NPR 1000/-
  • General: NPR 500/-
  • Students: NPR 300/-

Language: spoken in Nepali language, with an English translation projected at every show.

Director's note
For years I have been curious about Nepal's many traditional performing arts styles - what are they? How are they practiced? Who practices them, and for what purpose? In particular, I wanted to understand if and how such traditional forms could be woven into contemporary theatre. I spent the last year researching sati ghatu closely - through field work, documentation, and observation - to begin answering these questions. Deurali Daandi is the next step in this research process. With the actors, we explored subtle and direct ways of incorporating ghatu into the play; you will see elements of ghatu in the story, in the way the actors move, in the themes and language, even in the title. Rather than simply recreating ghatu, we explored how we could translate ghatu's performance elements into a contemporary play. This desire to create something new led me to the current social issue of labor migration. For better or for worse, labor migration affects each and every family in Nepal - and beyond Nepal - and has serious continuing implications on this country. Weaving ghatu into a contemporary social message gave us a platform to contemporize it and make it accessible for the cultures who practice it and beyond. I hope the audience walks away from our Deurali Daandi with new thoughts and awareness about labor migration, and with a beautiful glimpse into the exquisite practice of sati ghatu.

Rose Schwietz

Playwright's note

खाडी उड्न एयरपोर्टमा लाम लागेका सपनाहरु, उजाडिएका गाउँ, बाकसमा बन्द भएर फर्किएका विपनाहरु---अर्थतन्त्रलाई चलायमान बनाउन हाम्रो समाजले तिरेको मूल्य । यस्तो कारोबारबाट प्राप्त हुने भविष्यको कल्पना डरलाग्दो लाग्छ यो डरलाग्दो कल्पनासँग जुध्न हिउचुली, वरचुली, देवचुली, गैगाचुलीको देवी-देउतालाई सम्झेर यो नाटक लेखेको छु ।

Reviews from audience or press

"Deurali Daadi...it's a work of art that doesn't take its audience lightly. Congratulations...a delightful experience."

"प्रकृतिलाई संस्कृति मार्फत आदिवासीले कसरी निरन्तर बचाईरहेको छ ? विश्वभर महामारी फैलनुभन्दा अघि कसरी रोकथामको प्रक्रिया अपनाउॅंछन् ? प्राकृतिक विपत्ति हुन नदिन ज्ञानलाई कसरी संचित गर्दछन् ! सरल तर मर्मस्पर्शी अनुसन्धानमुलक सती घाटुको घाटुसारमा आधारित बेजोड अभिनय र कुशल निर्देशन रहेको “देउराली डाँडी” नाटक हेर्न अनुरोध गर्दछु ।"

"...its purpose is to touch your heart without even making an effort. The six ladies onstage and one off-stage created a whole new world of life....This is a gift to the cultural heritage. Simply speechless..."

"There is a sense of womanhood, motherhood... This is a form of storytelling that bridges the past and present, future, preparing and shaping expectations... And the audience immediately feels as though it has always been living in the fabric of its history and cosmology... The all-women cast, largely unheard of in Nepali and global theatre, is effortless and impeccable. Their fierce and emotionally-charged performance is the core of the play... a stunning production." Nepali Times

"Deurali Daandi: The Last Chapter of Ghatu is worth watching. All the actors have done a beautiful job in dialogue delivery, dance, managing the setting by themselves and acting." Online Khabar


ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Rose Schwietz is a Core Team Member of One World Theatre and a current US Student Fulbright Researcher. She has lived in Nepal since 2014, teaching theatre and English literature to Nepali high school students, and directing and performing with One World Theatre. She trains regularly in Suzuki and Viewpoints methods, and she is a member of Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theatre. 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

SAHALESH is a Nepali writer. He is a co-founder of Majhuwa Bagar Jana Kala Manch. He recently featured as playwright and actor in Antariksha Ko Mitjui, a US Embassy-funded project in collaboration with Book Bus and Quixote Cove. Other recent plays include Saili Barai and Maila Kami ko Mandham. He is best known for his naturalistic, fresh writing style in Nepali language.

ABOUT THE ACTORS

This elegantly stylized play features a stellar power cast of leading and upcoming Nepali women actors in film and theatre: Kabbadi series' and Gurukul Theatre’s Pashupati Rai as the wise and grounded Tara; Prakash and Dokh‘s Deeya Maskey as the lush, lively Sunita; Saili‘s Menuka Pradhan as the clever and future-oriented Siru; Himalayan Roadies‘ Ranjana Bhattarai as the burdened and crumbling Maili; the award-winning short film Halkara‘s Binita Thapa Magar as the stoic and delicate Phulsara; and Gurukul Theatre’s Sarswoti Chaudhary as the mysterious ancient Tharu queen from the ghatu story, Yambawati Rani.

  1. Pashupati Rai: Tara
  2. Deeya Maskey: Sunita
  3. Menuka Pradhan: Siru
  4. Ranjana Bhattarai: Maili
  5. Thapa Magar: Phulsara
  6. Sarswoti Chaudhary: Yambawati Rani

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM

Director: Rose Schwietz
Ast. Director/Stage Manager: Vijaya Karki
Playwright/Translation: Sahalesh
Ghatu Training: Birkashi Gurung
Set Design: Hum BC
Props Design: Sandeep Dangol
Costume Design Sanjita Parajuli
Lighting Design: Rajkumar Pudasaini
Lighting Operation: Sachin Ratna
Sound Design: Suraj Malla
Sound Operation: Vijaya Karki
Subtitle Projection: Naur Chhetri
Musicians: Chandra Kumar Gandharba & Subal Mani Sapkota
Photo/Videographer: Sadin Tamang
Publicity Team: Samapika Gautam, Suraj Malla Bhattarai, Sanjita Parajuli & Ranjana Bhattarai
Poster: Kripa Khadgi 
Program: Alizé Biannic
Box office: Actors' Studio
Production Volunteers: Suraj Malla, Abishek Khadka, Prem KC, Ayushma Magar, Jiban Gautam (Baburo) & Bikash Jha

ACTOR'S STUDIO

एक्टर्स स्टुडियो रंगकर्मको शक्ति भनेको सामुहिक शक्ति हो। हाम्रो आस्था सदैव सामुहिक प्रयासबाट सिर्जित हुने कलात्मक र रचनात्मक कार्यप्रति लक्षित छ। यसैले केहि चित्रकार, फेसन डिजाइनर, संगीतकार, साहित्यकार एंव रंगकर्मीको सामुहिक प्रयसबाट नै बि.स. २०६२ साल अर्थात सन् २००६ मा एक्टर्स स्टुडियोको जन्म भएको हो । पछिल्ला ५० बर्षमा सबैभन्दा गम्भिर, नवीन र रुचिकरपूर्ण कामहरु अन्तरविधा बीचको अनुशासनबाट भएका छन् । अभिनेता, लेखक तथा निर्देशकहरुको अन्य विधाका सर्जकहरुसँगको सहकार्यले रंगमञ्चमा नयाँ भाषा र शैलि अनि रुप भित्रिएको छ । यसले रंगमञ्चीय अनुभवलाई नयाँ समय र स्थानसम्म विस्तारित गरेको छ र सर्जकहरुलाई आफ्ना सीमा पूर्नब्याख्या गर्न लगाएको छ, शब्दिक र सारिव्यक दुवै अर्थमा हामीले अन्तर विधाको बीचमा अनुशासन राखेर जैविक प्रकृयाले अभिनय एवं रंगमञ्चकला सम्बन्धि तीन महिने सघन प्रशिक्षण उपलब्ध गराउदै आएको छौ। लेखक, चित्रकार, संगीतकार, फेशन डिजाइनर, ग्राफिक आर्टिस्ट, मानवशास्त्री र अभिनेताहरु आवद्ध छन् । रंगमञ्चका माध्यमबाट मानिसका चेतनालाई उत्तेजित गर्न सकिन्छ र तिनिहरुको कल्पनाशीलता अनि संवेदनशीलतालाई समृद्ध बनाउन सकिन्छ भन्ने कुरामा विश्वास राख्दछ