Wednesday, July 15, 2009

50 per cent of artistes back-stage and on-stage are non-Catholics

Tiatr has nothing to do with script issue: Tomazinho

Asserting that tiatr was a performing art and the same had nothing to do with the script issue, President Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG) Tomazinho Cardozo claimed in today’s scenario 50 per cent of artistes back-stage and on-stage were non-Catholics.
A little bit reluctant to answer queries on the Romi and Devnagri script issues, Cardozo, who addressed a press conference on Friday to spell out the activities of the academy for 2009-2010, observed the rich history of 117 years of tiatr has to be preserved.
To a question on the quality of tiatrs of today and yesteryears, he said tiatrs 20 years ago were more vibrant than the present ones. In the tiatrs of today many unwanted things are shown, he added.
Recalling the days of yore, Cardozo reminded that the culture of tiatrs was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in April 1892 when the first drama was presented and hailed the efforts of like Lucazinho Ribeiro and Joao Agostinho Fernandes.
“There was a time when the tiatr culture was more prominent in Bombay than in Goa. Dramatic troupes from Bombay used to come to Goa to stage their titars. In recent years the scenario has completely changed,” he observed.
He informed that the academy had resolved to give financial support to the tune of Rs 25,000 to any dramatic troupe going to Bombay/Poona to stage its tiatrs there provided at least five shows are staged during the trip.
He said TAG, which was formed on February 16, hardly got functional because of the election code, but now had come out with several activities for 2009-10. The activities of TAG will not overlap with those of Kala Academy or any other academy for that matter, he mentioned.
He announced that documentation of the history of tiatrs, encouraging tiatr in villages, promotion of tiatr through educational institutions, raising the standard of tiatr, preservation of tiatr literature, promotion of tiatr music, remembering artistes of yesteryears, insurance for tiatr artistes, directory of tiatr artistes, etc., are some of the activities planned by the academy for 2009-2010.
Cardozo said all these activities will be taken up at the cost of Rs 60 lakh and the State Government would also help with the funding.

Celebrations to mark birth centenary of tiatrist Ferrao
Celebrations to mark birth centenary of tiatrist Ferrao
A R Souza Ferrao Cultural and Charitable Trust in collaboration with Tiatr Academy is organizing the birth centenary celebration of well known tiatr artist late A R Souza Ferrao on June 1 and 2 at Ravindra Bhavan.
Ferrao who gave his 50 years to tiatr was a singer, musician, artist as well as a director. “He was the person who has immensely contributed to the life of tiatr,” says Tomazinho Cardozo, president of Tiatr Academy.
The inaugural function will be held at the hands of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat while Dy speaker of Goa legislative assembly Mauvin Godinho and veteran artist of tiatr, Rico Rod will be the guest of honour.
The inaugural function will be followed by the staging of the tiatr, ‘Gouyo Put’ directed by late Ferrao.
On second day that is on June 2, Goa’s pop singer, Remo Fernandes will be the chief guest whereas a lover of Goan drama, music and songs, Francisco Colaco and a popular tiatr artist Prince Jacob will be the guest of honour.
The concluding function will be followed by a cultural programme presented by String Assemble, Goyenchim Noketram and Cansauleche Kala Mogi.
Ferrao who died in 1978, had worked in different Konkani films like Amchem Noxib, Nirmonn, Boglantt, Mhuji Ghorkarn and many more.
“He was multifaceted personality who could fit for any role,” Cardozo said.
Ferrao was the first Konkani artist to broadcast the first Konkani musical programme on All India Radio and was the only person to be invited to perform in Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day.
“Besides his stage and screen life, he was a gem of a person in his day to day life,” Cardozo says.

Honouring “Pai Tiatrist”
Leonardo Marcel Sequeira, Siolim/Maputo
During my current visit to Goa from Maputo, after almost 22 years, I was impressed by the changes in the state. Margao city has a lot of vehicular traffic, a little chaotic, but yes, this city is growing. But the garbage strewn around is awful, given Goa’s otherwise scenic beauty. The high-rise buildings are adding to the traffic problems.
At night, I saw the well-illuminated Rabindra Bhavan. I attended a Konkani tiatr there and what impressed me was a portrait of one senior citizen “Pai Tiatrist – Joao Agostinho Fernandes (21/12/1871 to 29/08/1947)”. This reminded me of the good old days when we used to see tiatrs in Mumbai. Of course, the tiatr was entertaining, with a lot of humour. But, I could not much follow the Konkani, having lost touch with the language we otherwise spoke in Parel, Mumbai and Siolim, Goa.
I tried to get more details of “Pai tiatrist” from an ex-councillor of the local municipal body, seated at my side in the auditorium, who informed me that his house was just across a small rivulet on the southern side of the Bhavan. He added that the date of birth ought to be 14/12/1871 and not 21/12/1871, perhaps a slip-up.
The next day, we visited the house of “Pai Tiatrist”. Unfortunately, the inmates were not around. The quaint, tiled, old house resembled many of such structures that dotted almost every part of Goa in the good old days. I was told that the government has plans to preserve his house and that indeed is a noble gesture which one needs to appreciate.
But much more needs to be done. This house could be an important landmark for Goans like me visiting the state. But there was no name given to the narrow winding path leading to the House. In Maputo and other parts of East Africa, it is traditional to name streets after eminent persons and I suggested to my guide, the ex-councillor, that he could suggest naming the road “Rua de Pai Tiatrist”. I hope this suggestion is acted upon by the government.
Tiatr awards controversy
Godfrey J I Gonsalves, Margao
Tiatr lovers have supported the proposal to grant posthumous awards to the trio, Lucacinho Ribeiro, Joao Agostinho Fernandes and his spouse Regina Fernandes.
Yet, the Chairman of the Tiatr Academy, Tomazinho Cardozo, has said that photographs of the pioneers, Mr Ribeiro and Mr Fernandes, would be given the due place. When asked why Regina was left out when she rightly deserved the award, being the first woman on stage, even before any woman came on stage in Marathi theatre, he merely stated that he would make a mention of her role during the inuagural but nothing beyond that. He also went on to add that there were several other Goan tiatrists who have achieved much more, but since there was no documentation, others have got the credit. Though there is an element of truth in his contention, this is in no way a convincing reason why Ms Regina has been left out.
Merely paying lip sympathy is no use. The government ought to take note of such a biased attitude. Mr Cardozo needs to give a satisfactory reason why she has been left out. Lest he contend that no photo of hers is available, let me point out that I had sent one to him and the Directorate of Art and Culture. Tiatrist Wilson Mazarello has also agreed that Regina Fernandes should be considered for an appropriate place, but he is not a member of the Committee of the Tiatr Academy.
There have also been some rumblings over the selection criteria for the State awards. Mr Osvy Viegas has pointed out that less deserving musicians were given awards, while others like ‘Carlito’ from Navelim were ignored. He also spoke of artists like Fidelis from Chandor and Alex Mestri from Margao, a violinist and bandleader, who deserved state awards.
Many tiatr lovers feel that the government should not have appointed Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, a politician, with due respect to his credentials in the field of performing arts. In fact they feel that the same disunity and bias among the tiatrists will reflect on the functioning of the Tiatr Acdemy, and the pro-Devanagari lobby, to which the CM extends covert support, will have the last laugh, seeing the death of the Tiatr Acdemy even before it completes 100 days.
Tiatrists recognised for life-time dedication to the art-form
By Colin Savio Coelho

The tiatrist of the good old days really give a great boost to the art. In the 117 years of the tiatr, there was very little recognition given to the tiatrists by the government. The tiatr goers did give them a lot of love and recognition, especially with the traditional hooting to call the singer back on stage to repeat a song and applause at the end of a scene.
It was much later that M Boyer was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award and later the all-important Padma Shree. But many of the tiatrists sacrificed much of their lives and just enjoyed entertaining with the art-form with not much of an eye on any kind of recognition. But efforts like that don't go abegging. At some point of time someone will notice and give due credit to some good efforts.
The Tiatr Academy was one such recognition that tiatrists have gained. Though this Academy hit a few roadblocks, especially at the time it was first planned on the eve of the last state assembly elections, it finally took off with some gusto at a function at Pai Tiatrist Joao Agostinho Fernades, Ravindra Bhavan today.
One of the other highlights was recognition for life-time achievements coming from the government itself. The tiatrists who were applauded for their effort and sacrifice are:
Ophelia Cabral D'Souza from (Mumbai): Hailing from Socorro Bardez, she has spent most of her life in Mumbai. She was known as the 'Tragedy Queen' of the Konkani stage and she has acted in the C Alvares masterpiece 'Xezari Combo'. She contributed extensively to tiatr along with her husband Bab Peter. Her beautiful voice was also part of the hit films 'Amchem Noxib' and 'Nirmonn'. Ophelia could not make it to the awards ceremony due to health reasons and was represented by her brother Tony Cabral.
Antonette Mendes : One of those tiatrists who possesses a melodious voice, she has kept the crowds mesmerized with her singing. She is from Goa Velha and is also one of the many Mumbai based tiatrists.
Titta Pretto: He has been instrumental in writing many a triatr that has kept the audience entertained and involved at all times.
Anita Pereira Fernandes: Anita has been the first lady to have ever acted in Khel Tiatr. She also made a mark as a duet singer.
Lidvinda Clara Dias: This tiatrist from Orlim played those mother-in-law, sister and mother roles to great perfection. She is also gifted with a sweet voice that keeps her listeners spell-bound.
Lucas Fernandes: A native of Goa's coastal pride Colva, he was in the forefront of playing womens' role in the span 1947-59. He was acclaimed as a great singer and has sung over 300 songs on stage.
Alegro Roque T Antao: He is popularly known as 'Star of Arrossim' and did a marvelous job in back-up vocals, especially in rendering the second voice. He has to his credit one popular song 'Goenchi Xit Kodi' and has played womens' roles on stage many a time. His tiatr 'Retired Tarvotti' gained much acclaim in the days of yore.
Antonio Moraes: He is said to have shown the new way to tiatrists with his innovation, non-stop khel tiatr. This Tiatrist from Benaulim was well-liked for his khel tiatr 'Sandlolo Put' that made waves in 1956. He has to his credit a number of popular songs too.
Pedro Caetano D'Silva: Per-Seraulim, Colva is the home of this well-known tiatrist. He is better known by his stage-name C D'Silva. His great performance on stage always put the crowd in a spell. He has made a 60+ years contribution to tiatr and has also written over 13 khel tiatrs.
Thomas Domingo Rosario Antao: This music director from Nuvem has made a significant contribution into taking tiatr music to greater heights. He also made a major effort in encouraging khel tiatr music to also take forward steps.
Remy Colaco: This name will ring a bell with many. He has made a great impact with the tiatrs he has written. Originally from Sanvordem, Remy has lived in Mumbai most of the time. 'Ankvar Mariechem Dukh' is one song that has become a household tune over many years. Remy could not be present in person to accept the award.
Manuel Santana Aguiar: This is one of the most decorated tiatrist ever. Known for his spontaneity in composing lyrics on the spot, he started his stage career at the young age of 15. He is known to be a magician on the stage and over the years grew to be a much-loved artist. He drew laughter at his every move and also stressed on awareness on social issues. He was decorated with the Sahitya Academy Award and also the Padma Shree. Yes it can be none other than M Boyer, the Raia based comedian. His sister received the award on his behalf.
John Claro Fernandes: 'Portugues Kolvont', this is the one tiatr that John Claro is identified with because of its impact and popularity some two decades ago. This one tiatr staged around 200 shows around Goa. Hailing from Amona-Quepem, John Claro has been a well-appreciated writer-director of the Konkani stage.
Philomena Crasto: She was a great singer of repute and played many a role to such perfection that she won the hearts of her audience. She was wheeled in to accept the recognition for the great work she put into her acting.
Jose Lourenco Vaz: Nobody knows by this name really. He is only popular as Master Vaz. Calvim, Aldona is the hometown of this great artist, but he has spent his life in the South of Goa at Utorda. He started acting in the tiatr his father acted in at the age of seven. They called his father Mister Vaz and seven year old Jose was in turn called Master Vaz. The name stuck. He has played womens' roles and also sang a famous song 'O Catarin'.
The recognition to these tiatrists and the formation of the Tiatr Academy will surely help encourage younger talent to take to this age-old culture of Goa. Taking the tiatr to a higher level is surely the need of the hour. Tiatr needs to be looked upon as a career.

‘Tiatr is cultural heritage of State’
MARGAO, JUNE 25 – Maintaining that “tiatr” must be given its rightful place, the BJP Cultural cell has expressed surprise at the step-motherly treatment given to Konkani tiatr by the Kala Academy by deliberately keeping it out of the Goan-multilingual drama festival this year.
BJP Cultural Cell Convenor, Siddhanath Ulhas Buyao said that Konkani tiatr is the cultural heritage of Goa and is by far the most popular drama form in the State today.
“Konkani tiatr today is no more a drama-form of any community, but belongs to all Goans. It is appreciated and supported by all Goans”, he said.
Buyao said during the Ganesh festival, one will find Konkani tiatr being staged in all the mandaps and the audience is from all the communities.
In fact, he said that Konkani tiatr has gained so much popularity in Goa that the name of “Konkani tiatr” should have appeared first in the list of the Kala Academy while organizing the festival.
Buyao said the Cultural Cell of the BJP believes that all drama-forms of Goa should get equal representation in all festivals, organized by the Goa government, without any bias.
“The Kala Academy is in full knowledge, that it’s highest revenue today is coming from Konkani Tiatr alone. Then with what justification do they drop out Konkani Tiatr from such festivals. Is this not a concealed communalism of the Congress. Is this not a Congress type of divide and rule policy”, he asked.
Saying that the BJP does not believe in playing politics with Art & Culture, Buyao said the BJP will take necessary measures with the help of Goan people to ensure the Kala Academy gives due recognition to tiatr.

DKA upset over step motherly treatment to tiatr
Herald news desk

PANJIM, JUNE 21 -- Dalgado Konknni Akademi feels that by keeping the tiatr out of the multi-lingual Drama festival, Kala Academy of Goa, has done a lot of injustice to tiatr and the tiatr lovers of Goa.
According to press release issued here, the KA has organised a festival in which four Marathi plays, one Hindi and one Konknni drama will be staged.
The akademi says that tiatr being the most popular dramatic form of Goa, found no place in the festival, due to the biased attitude of the organisers towards Konknni Tiatr.
The press release further states that it is not the first time that Tiatr has been given step-motherly motherly treatment by the Kala Academy.
Kala Academy’s ‘Rangmell’ produces numerous dramas every year by spending huge amount of money from the public funds.
Most of these dramas are either Marathi or Konknni Nattoks. The most popular dramatic form from the Goan soil, the Tiatr, has always been neglected.
Dalgado Konknni Akademi strongly protests against this attitude of Kala Academy and demands that the Kala Academy must respect and must treat Goan Tiatr the same way they respect and treat Marathi and Konknni Nattoks.
It also desires that KA should spend public funds equally on all forms of culture of Goa.
Tiatr Academy will give boost to tiatrist: Tomazinho
PANJIM, JUNE 11 – The panelist comprising of tiatrist at a debate titled: ‘Is tiatr achieving the aspirations of Goans?’ were unanimous in their opinion that tiatr which has an impact on the Goan society needs to be encouraged by the government through subsidy, reserved plots, extra awards and setting up of a tiatr academy.
Senior Tiatrist, Tomazinho Cardozo while explaining the history of Tiatr that existed since 1892 said that ‘Tiatrist need financial support and government must hasten the setting up of a Tiatr Academy which has already been sanctioned which will further give a boost to tiatrist. Our standards are increasing but professionalism is lacking, but tiatr in Goa will never die and has a bright future, he said.
When asked why there is no censorship for ‘Tiatr’ in Goa when the same existed during the Portuguese regime and even currently exists in other states including Maharashtra, he said that in a democracy the freedom of expression must not be curtailed, besides in Goa there is no room for vulgarity or obscenity as what the Goan viewers want is clean fun and a good entertainment package.
Another senior tiatrist, Joe Rose who started acting from the age of seven said that although he has been performing in Goa, he was not considered for the state award merely because he did not have a 15 year residency certificate. I was an artist in Bombay, but I am a Goan, besides art and culture has no boundaries and why this injustice? he questioned.
Prince Jacob a tiatrist whose tiatrs are popular said that it is important to convey a good message and have a high-quality story because the show is watched by the whole family. When asked how he selects his topics, he said that it is based on everyday issues.
An upcoming female tiatrist Dolla Mascarenhas said that more women should be encouraged to take part in tiatr as they too have excellent talent. Juino De Souza moderated the debate.

Tiatr script writing workshop
PANJIM, MARCH 27 -- Goa Konkani Akademi and Konkani Machi Mogi Netorlim, Sanguem will organise a tiatr script writing workshop at Vaddem Kurdi in Sanguem taluka on March 30 from 10 am to 5 pm at Vaddem Church Hall.
Fr Tadev D’Silva Parish Priest of Vaddem Jurdi church will light the traditional lamp to inaugurate the workshop in the presence of Goa Konkani Akademi Vice President, Dr Tanaji Halankar; Agnelo Fernandes, ex member of GKA; Dr Rafael Fernandes, Goa university; Avinash Chari Kala Academy and Teotonio D costa-President of Konkani Machi Mogi Board member of GKA
- Compiled by gaspar almeida,

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.