Set in an earthy, rural village, Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry’s Blood Wedding is an adaptation of the celebrated Spanish dramatist, Federico Garcia Lorca’s original. Sensitively told, the play pits themes of love, betrayal, honour and revenge against the clamour, chaos, colour and excitement of a wedding. The play’s poignant script, visually authentic stage settings and measured performances by the actors, is what sets it apart.
Busy with rehearsals with the NSD Repertory, Neelam spared a few moments to tell us about her play which will be staged at Abhimanch Auditorium, New Delhi this weekend.
Tell us a bit about the Lorca’s Spanish tragedy? Lorca travels well. His world is not alienating. He talks about the spirit of the earth – about procreation, fecundity and plenitude, juxtaposed against a sterile world. This contrast between stasis and movement provides the dynamics to his text.
What led you to adapt his text and translate it into an Indian setting? How similar are the two cultures according to you, in terms of the play? I feel there is a resonance between Spain and India, especially Punjab, from where I come. The relationship with land, with family feuds that have been carried across centuries – are stories that I’ve heard while growing up. During the course of my reading, I found that most of the characters in the play resembled people I had met.
I did not feel that Lorca’s text had to be adapted, since the imagery in the Spanish language is analogous with the cadence of the Punjabi language. Also, the equation of land with honour, family bonds etc., in Spain, are in consonance with the values that people have with their land in India. Even though the play is performed in Hindi, it was translated from Punjabi by Surjit Patar. Besides that, what I truly responded to was the assertion of passion that confronts and challenges that existing codified norms of behavior even at the cost of death.
What is the next script that you are working on? I am working on an aboriginal story, Seven Stages of Grieving. The story is actually the blueprint to explore feelings of dislocation and fractured identity. It’s really to early for me to talk about it, as it’s still gestating in the head._
Watch Blood Wedding at Abhimanch Auditorium, 16th – 18th June, 6:30 pm.
By: Radhika Iyengar
Follow me on twitter @radziyengar