Mukabhinoy Fest: They tell it all in eloquent Silence

Pythagoras said silence is better than meaningless words. And Mukabhinoy or mime is an eloquent example of how acting in silence can carry so much voice and become meaningful. Mime has been sourced through ages.

The audience of the capital remained spellbound as for the last two days Mukabhinoy artists from the North east kept on enthralling them with their ‘eloquent silence’.

The two-day Mukabhinoy festival was organized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and the initiative of Surpancham, a cultural organization, at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhawan. It was inaugurated by the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, Ratan Chakraborty.

Chakraborty in his speech said, ‘mime is a silent art’ that is a theatrical form that communicate with its audience in silence using only gesture, facial expression, and movement.  He also went to the roots of this particular art form and said even during the ancient Greeks and Roman period mime was performed to convey the message in artist way, though it reached it peak in Franc. It was in France that the mime became so popular that mime schools were set up in various parts of that country. It took no time to become hugely popular all over the world, hee said.

In the beginning was Surpancham's "Ajo Sei" based on Rabindranath Tagore's Africa poem. It was an experimental staging. Surpancham troupe was directed by the state's eminent Mukabhinoy artist Jayanta Bhowmik.

The two-day Mukabhinoy festival ended on Friday with the message of taking this silent act to the younger generation. There was an eye-catching performance by Assam Sangeet Natak Academy award winning artist Moinul Haque. At the age of 65, he was on stage for about seventy minutes. He highlighted seven different issues through his acting.

Artist from West Bengal Subvendu Mukherjee started his show with Illusion. He used the stage for about forty minutes to present the extraordinary art work.

On the last day of the festival on Friday, Manipur's The Kanglei Reporter Group performed.  Sadananda directed Manipuri Marshall in a 20-minute facial Art.

There was a performance by artists of Sur Pancham. The role of trees in protecting the environment and the harmful aspects of mobile use are also highlighted through a play.

The festival also included among others ‘face painting’ workshops The two-day mime festival ended by spreading the message of taking it further and engaging the new generation more and more in mime acting.

Mime actor Jayant Bhowmik said, "We talk a lot without speaking, without using language we make gestures, which are much more expressive and powerful than uttering language." The practice of portraying various social inconsistencies through mime is quite old.