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Arvind Gaur (अरविन्द गौड़) is an Indian theatre director known for innovative, socially and politically relevant plays in India.[1][2] Gaur's plays are contemporary and thought-provoking, connecting intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political issues.[3][4] His work deals with Internet censorship, communalism, caste issues, feudalism, domestic violence, crimes of state, politics of power, violence, injustice, social discrimination, marginalisation, and racism. Arvind is the leader of Asmita, Delhi's "most prolific theatre group",[5] and is an actor trainer, social activist, street theatre worker and story teller.[6]

Arvind Gaur
Indian theatre director Arvind Gaur.jpg
Born (1963-02-02) 2 February 1963 (age 56)
Delhi, India
OccupationTheatre Director
Spouse(s)Sangeeta Gaur
ChildrenKakoli Gaur, Saveree Gaur
AwardsKarmaveer Puraskaar Artistes 4 Change; Colour of Nation Award, 2005

Gaur was the recipient of a research fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) (1997–98). He was on the guest faculty of Delhi University for Theatre in education program for three years. He has conducted many theatre workshops and performed in colleges, institutions, universities and schools in India and abroad.[7]

He organizes theatre workshops for children[8] in schools and slums as well as street theatre performances on socio-political issues.[9][10][11] He has directed more than hundreds stage and street plays over 25 years.[12][13][14]

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

He was born on 2 February 1963 in Delhi. Arvind’s father Shri Shiva Nandan Sharma (died on 16.04.09) was a Maths scholar and his mother Saraswati Devi is a housewife. He has one brother advocate Anil Gaur and three sisters: Shashi Prabha, late Mithlesh and Dr. Anita Gaur. His wife Dr. Sangeeta Gaur.

Theatre careerEdit

After completing his schooling from Model School, Vivek Vihar in Delhi, he decided to study engineering in Electronic Communication. Later, he joined the Delhi Public Library drama group.[13][15] In DPL He acted in and directed plays. Then he worked with slum kids and industrial labourers for some time and conducted workshops for them. His first street play was with Zakir Hussein College, called Videshi Aya. It became very popular and he staged it around 200 schools. After this, his desire to express led him to journalism. He worked with the Navbharat Times newspaper as culture columnist for about four years.[13]

Watching plays, reading about them and writing about them is how his training in theatre started. He then shifted to Press Trust of India (PTI-TV). He was associated with TV serial Tana-Bana. He was in charge of the research and programming there. All through his years with street theatre, print and television, Gaur had developed keen interest in direction. Finally, after devoting two years to PTI-TV, he felt the urge to switch to theatre completely.[16]

Theatre journeyEdit

Arvind's debut play was Bhisham Sahni's Hanoosh (February, 1993). He started his theatre journey with classics like Tughlaq, Andha Yug, Caligula, Julius Caesar, etc.

He performed Girish Karnad's Tughlaq in a small basement theatre (SRC). It was a huge success. His Tughlaq was selected as "the best play of the year 1994" by Sahitya Kala Parishad. He achieved greater heights during a decade in theatre. He trained actors in his own style. He trained them as a complete theatre person. Arvind Gaur also collaborated with theatre artists and groups specially in exploring a new language for solo performances.[17]

Major directionsEdit

Solo play directionEdit

Street playsEdit

Gaur directed more than 40 street theatre performances on socio-political issues. He has always raised voice against any socio-political issue that effects the common public. He directed street plays like Corruption, Garbage, Road Rage, and Dastak which is against the issue of eve teasing. His street plays are always thought-provoking and leave a huge mark on the mindset. He and his team performs socio-political street plays all across Delhi/NCR and the country. He is regarded as a man with a message who believes that change can start from society, if we wish to start the change.[59][60][61]

AwardsEdit

  • Artists 4 Change Karmaveer Puraskaar Noble Laureates,2008 by iCONGO- Confederation of NGOs
  • Special Jury award for best play in experimentation with tradition the at International Solo Theatre Festival, Armenia, 2004
  • Colour of Nation Award at International Theatre Festival, Nizhnevartovsk, Russia for solo play Madhavi by Rashi Bunny, 2005
  • Radha Krishna Award for his contribution to Delhi’s art & culture, 2007
  • Udhbhav Shikhar Samman in memory of Aacharya Vijyendra Sanathak विजयेन्द्र स्नातक ,2008
  • Swar-Dhrohar award, 2007
  • Special Honour Award by Delhi International Film festival 2015[62]
  • PRAYUKTI SAMMAAN 2017 by Dainik Prayukti Hindi Daily at Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.[63]

films/visual mediaEdit

Translation and ScriptingEdit

TranslationEdit

  • He translated Rabindranath Tagore's Visarjan (Sacrifice), performed by the Darpana Theatre Group directed by Ujjwal Dave
  • Arvind Gaur translated Unsuni in Hindi; script and direction by Mallika Sarabhai

ScriptsEdit

He scripted plays like Untitled, Gandhari in search of light, I will not Cry, Bitter Chocolate (based on Pinki Virani's book), Madhavi solo play (based on Bhisham Sahni's play) and many street plays for Asmita Theatre.

DesignEdit

Arvind Gaur designs lights for Naya Theatre group's major productions under the direction of Padma Shri Habib Tanvir. Gaur also assisted Shri Habib Tanvir during the Prithvi Theatre Festival. He designs lights for Agra Bazar Nazeer Akbarabadi 's poetry), Charandas Chor (his masterpiece play, Edinburgh Fringe Award), Asghar Wajahat’s Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya, Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna (Habib Tanvir's adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Canadian-Indian playwright Rahul Varma's Zahreeli Hawa and Gaon ke naon Sasural, mor naon Damand.

Major ActorsEdit

Major cinema and theatre actors who trained under Arvind Gaur are Kangana Ranaut, Deepak Dobriyal, Manu Rishi, Shilpa Shukla, Rashi Bunny, Aishveryaa Nidhi, Tillotama Shome, Imran Zahid, Sheena Chohan, Seema Azmi,Ishwak Singh and Suraj Singh of Veere Di Wedding fame. Sonam Kapoor attended Gaur's acting workshop to learn the nuances of street theatre for her film Raanjhanaa. Other prominent theatre actors who worked with him are Mallika Sarabhai, Piyush Mishra, Lushin Dubey, Bubbles Sabharwal, Ruth Sheard, Jaimini Kumar, etc.[65]

Further readingEdit

  1. "Arvind Gaur-A Decade in Theatre" by J.N. Kaushal (ex-Acting Chief, National School of Drama, Repertory Company), published by ITI (International Theatre Institute), UNESCO, Indian Chapter
  2. "Raising the curtain on theatre": Director Arvind Gaur reflects on why India needs a cultural policy by Seema Sindhu (Life Fires, September, 2007)
  3. His Voice-"Ace Act", essay by Shekhar Chandran (New Women, Jan. 2008)
  4. "The World of Theatre" by Ian Herbert, Nicole Leclercq (P-126) published by International Theatre Institute

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit