Indian director presents ancient story on stage


TAIPEI — Indian stage director Chongtham Jayanta of the Ex Theatre presented “Numit Kappa” in Taipei, a work adapted from an ancient story which he said showcases how tradition can survive in modern theatres.

“Numit Kappa,” meaning “shooting the sun” in the Indian language, is an age-old literary work which dates back to AD 32, according to the Indian director.

Jayanta told Central News Agency in an interview that he first read the story when he was a college student and found that the story has a universal appeal, for it deals with power struggle and the suffering of the common people under tyrannical rule.

Comparing good leaders to the sun, he said an orderly society would fall into chaos if there were no good rulers.

“Political unrest in Taiwan has nothing to do with the play, because this is not a political drama. All the countries are facing similar problems, and everyone watching the play can relate to it in their own way,” he said.

To recreate an atmosphere of the old Indian society, the director incorporated elements of Taiwan’s aboriginal music and there will be live dances and singing throughout the performance.

Borrowing the form of the classical story, Jayanta said he hoped the audience will be rediscovering the charm of tradition through his approach to modern theatrical forms, for he found that many of the younger generation now feels disconnected with tradition and old values.

Jayanta is considered one of the most promising stage directors in India. He founded the Ex Theatre in Taiwan in 2006. “Numit Kappa” will have one more showing at the Experimental Theatre today.