Brushstrokes of tiatr, through a century and a quarter
Tiatr is a unique form of Goan entertainment which has been pushing boundaries and yet embracing Goan audience from around the world. While there is no stronger stage than the tiatr in the world, it is an honour for Goa to celebrate 125 years of its existence. Café looks back on this 125 years journey along with Alexyz as he celebrates these milestones through his caricature exhibition
As part of the concluding ceremony of 125 years of tiatr celebrations, noted Goan cartoonist Alexyz will be displaying his caricatures of 104 great tiatrists at an exhibition to be held at Kala Academy on April 16.
Speaking about this unique venture and project, Alexyz said that initially he read about the celebration by the committee with regards 125 years of tiatr. He views tiatr as Goa’s identity and integral part of his growing up as a Goan. “With 125 years of tiatr,” informs Alexyz, “many have not seen the noted tiatrists of the past.” “So with visuals,” he says, “it is an effort to take people to caricature stage and help them enjoy tiatr in a different form.” “May be watching the caricatures of tiatrists on the wall at the exhibition and going through the pages of the book leisurely, it will help every tiatr fan to visualize their favourite tiatrists,” mentioned Alexyz. “As tiatr is a visual art and my caricatures are equally a visual art, each caricature will take them back into the life of the tiatrists and the popular tiatrs they performed,” he added. With regards to the tedious task of tracing the tiatrists of bygone era, Alexyz revealed that it took him almost a year to complete all the 104 caricatures. Initially, he thought that he would have to work on 125 artistes, but then it came down to 100 and had to conclude with 104 tiatrists. As Tomazinho Cardozo is the chairman of the 125thtiatr celebration committee, Alexyz placed his innovative idea before him and all the members liked and approved it. “Each caricature tells you a story about the tiatrist,” informs the cartoonist, “whether he/she was an actor, director or a singer.” Alexyz’s main aim to work on the caricatures was to highlight the past history of tiatrists and glory of tiatrs it all started in Mumbai. Earlier, as he was basically based in Mumbai, he was fortunate to watch the first tiatr there. While working on the caricatures, Alexyz’s prime focus has been on the tiatrists who have passed away and have contributed immensely towards tiatr. He says the list of tiatrists, besides the photographs, was provided by the committee and some of the photos were blurred, forcing him to use his wild imagination for some of them.\\ Alexyz says he was passionate about the venture as it had a cause of documenting it visually. “It is basically a peep into the lives of the departed tiatrists and how they performed on stage. They would enjoy my caricatures as much as they would enjoy acting or singing on stage,” he added. While going through the pages of the book titled ‘Caricatures of 100 Great Tiatrists’, Alexyz says it will be like watching 100 tiatrs sitting on the chair. In moments of difficulty, he took a lot of help from friends in the tiatr world like Jessie Dias and Roseferns and books penned by Wilson Mazarello, Fausto da Costa and John Gomes (Kokoy). Besides making references to various books, Alexyz says that he had to do a lot research work on his own and get insight from people, which was not available in those books. “For example Kid Boxer was behind bars twice for his controversial songs. Once he was picked up from Mapusa and put behind bars in Nagpur jail for 6 months,” he said, “so I have showed him behind bars which people did not see him otherwise.” “With regards to Rosario Rodrigues,” Alexyz said he went personally to Longuinhos Bar and Restaurant in Margao, where he had a table almost reserved for him and he would meet his friends and write his tiatr. “Noticed the chair, table and mirror behind and now it can be seen on my stage,” he grinned. Elaborating more on the same noted tiatr director, Alexyz said that Longinhos Bar was an integral part of Rosario Rodrigues. “These are my own personal researches done to make my book interesting,” he noted. Miss Julie being followed by three policemen into the tiatr in Candolim also features on Alexyz’s tiatr page. “There’s also William de Curtorim, popular tiatrist of yester years, who was noted for his controversial songs about the scams of the day. “He once took the ‘Herald’ paper which carried a cartoon of mine and sang a song about it,” he concludes. The book release function and exhibition of caricatures will be held on April 16, 2018 at Kala Academy’s Black Box and Art Gallery respectively. It will be inaugurated by noted tiatrist Tita Preto and Dr Sidney Pinto do Rosario will speak about the book.
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