Naach Bhikhari Naach
Directed by Jainendra Dost & Shilpi Gulati
(Bhojpuri with English Subtitles/ 72 mins/ 2018)
Produced by PSBT
About the Film: Naach is a form of traditional folk theatre from Bihar, India. In this tradition, male artists often cross dress as women on stage and are referred to as ‘laundas’. The most legendary name in this tradition is Bhikari Thakur’s— who was an actor, playwright, and a social reformer popularly known as the ‘Shakespeare of Bhojpuri.’ The film follows the last four Naach performers to have worked with him and creates a visual archive of their performance tradition. As they share their plays, songs ad a lifetime of memories of performance, they immerse us into the world of folk theatre where we begin to see a glimpse of budhau – the old man, himself.
About the Filmmaker’s: Jainendra Dost is a doctoral scholar at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. His work examines the social and political realities of Launda Nach and Bhikhari Thakur's folk theatre in Bihar. His theoretical inquiry closely ties into his experience as a theatre practitioner over the 18 years where he has directed 11 stage productions and acted in more than 15 national and international theatre presentations. Jainendra is also the Director of Bhikhari Thakur Repertory Training and Research Centre which is working towards the revival of folk theatre in Bihar. In the past, his work has been supported by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) and Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.