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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



Curtain falls on NSD’s historic Theatre Olympics after 16-day Mumbai marathon

Prof. Waman Kendre and Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Curtain falls on NSD’s historic Theatre Olympics after 16-day Mumbai marathon

Staggered across 17 cities, National School of Drama’s 8th Theatre Olympics came to an end after 16 continuous days of performances, seminars, master classes, interactions and street theatre shows. A glittering closing ceremony was held at the Kamgar Maidan, Elphinstone Road, Central Mumbai, not very far from the venues of the Olympics themselves.

Among the luminaries on attendance were  

● Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Guest

● Minister of State, Independent Charge, Ministry of Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, and eminent theatre and film personality, Nana Patekar as Guests of Honour.

The ceremony was honoured by the gracious presence of the Artistic Director, 8th Theatre Olympics, Ratan Thiyam, and presided over by Acting Chairman, National School of Drama Society, Dr. Arjun Deo Charan. Thiyam attended in spite of ill-health.

Theodoros Terzopoulos, Chairman of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, M. L. Srivastava, and popular theatre and cine personality Nawazuddin Siddiqui were special guests at the closing ceremony. Director of National School of Drama, Prof. Waman Kendre, was also present on the occasion.

Rang Shikhar, a collage of tribal, folk and theatre performances, followed the closing ceremony, after the dignitaries had addressed the audience.

“We get many chances to show our strength and potentials, but 8th Theatre Olympics has given us an unprecedented opportunity to show the power of our culture. NSD is proud to have organised an event that has shown the cultural might of India,” said Director, National School of Drama Prof. Waman Kendre.

“I wish that Indian theatre, with support of Indian government, should dominate the world. The next, which will be the 9th Theatre Olympics, will be jointly organised by Russia and Japan,” said Chairman of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Theodoros Terzopoulos.

“I am really happy that Prof. Waman Kendre has taken theatre on to another platform. I appreciate your work and thank you that you have kept theatre alive. Thanks again for being associated with theatre for so long, in all possible manners,” said eminent theatre and film personality, Nana Patekar.

“We thank the students and faculty of NSD who have supported all through the event. Also, I thank all the coordinators in the 17 cities who have worked very hard to make this a success,” said Acting Chairman, National School of Drama Society, Dr. Arjun Deo Charan.

‘Rang Shikhar’, a vibrant collage of tribal, folk and theatre performances, followed the closing ceremony. Renowned actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Sachin Khedekar, along with well-known ventriloquist and puppeteer Ramdas Padhye, famous Bharat Natyam dancer Sandhya Purecha and famed Lavani dancer Vaishali Jadhav, performed at the presentation. Himani doubled as a co-compère, with regular Ashok Banthia.

This edition of Theatre Olympics brought together around 25,000 artists under the theme Flag of Friendship. The event witnessed 450 shows, from more than 30 countries, performed across 17 cities: Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram, and Varanasi.

The 51-day long 8th Theatre Olympics, the biggest international theatre festival, held in India for the first time, staged more than 400 plays and hosted 78 allied events, including 34 Living Legend series, 29 Master Classes, 7 Interfaces, 6 national and international seminars and 2 workshops across 17 cities. Besides, about 600 ambience performances and 250 youth forum shows took place during the nationwide event.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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