Rooms full of rare photographs of legendary theatre wizard Ebrahim Alkazi in action, some archival documents, models of stage sets and some objects— all these are displayed in an exhibition, The Theatre of E. Alkazi at Jawahar Kala Kendra. In a retrospective spanning a period of 50 years and the two-month long show is curated by Amal Allana and designed by Nissar Allana.
“A hushed silence enveloped our home. Beethoven, Stravinsky, Begum Akhtar, Ravi Shankar – the gramophone playing 45’s winds on. My father absorbed in the music, eyes shut, a notebook and a well-sharpened pencil are neatly placed in front of him, aligned at a perfect 90-degree angle to the corner of the table! His body, in the pose of Rodin’s “Thinker”, is relaxed, but at the same time suffused with a contained energy,”
Amal, daughter of E. Alkazi shares a personal glimpse into the life of her father.
“Daylight breaks with its soft, pink light, the sound of the sea and the sparrows melt away to be overtaken by the cacophony of BEST buses. He has been awake since at least 5 a.m., reading, and has already made himself a pot of tea. In a few moments he will offer a fresh cup to my mother, in bed, a small luxury that she appreciates without fail,” she adds
The exhibition shows, for the first time, Alkazi’s work from the 1940’s and 1950’s – work that has rarely been seen anywhere in India, and brings a vast treasure of archival material into the public domain.
“We are honored to have an exhibition of works by E. Alkazi here at JKK. Alkazi is the doyen of theatre who pushed the boundaries of Indian theatre and brought it in line with its international counterparts,” says Pooja Sood, director general, JKK.
The exhibition is on until May 6.