Jalandhar 4th May, 2015: Young Upcoming Versatile Artists Association (Yuvaa) Jalandhar, Punjab honoured Padamshree Balwant Thakur in an exclusive function held at Yuvaa Theatre, Jalandhar here today. The function was followed by a daylong inspiring interaction session with Balwant Thakur in which the prominent young actors and directors of Punjab participated. Aimed at inspiring others to rejuvenate the entire theatre movement of North India, Balwant Thakur dwelt in detail about his innovations, expriments and new findings in theatre. Globally travelled and acknowledged for his unique contribution in Indian Theatre theatre, Balwant Thakur stressed on the need of a coordinated effort amongst all the theatre practioners of North India and desired to have more interaction, exchange and sharing between them. He promised to extend the constituency of his work and take along the entire theatre fraternity of North India far the larger interest of the development of theatre in this region which otherwise not very popular as compared with eastern and western regions of India .
The hosts of Balwant Thakur’s honouring and interaction function -YUVAA is a group of young actors, singers, musicians and artists based in Jalandhar. They started as a regular college theatre team grew up to be a determined and dedicated effort to promote theatre in the city of Jalandhar. Headed by Ankur Sharma who has the credit of having completed PhD. in the comparative Theatre and trained in USA, YUVAA Theatre, as it is popularly known in the region, has been working for the many three years now and has performed a variety of plays .YUVAA is known for classic productions like Moliere’s The Miser, Shaekespeare’s Hamlet, Habib Tanvir’s Charandas Chor, Gulzar’s Kharaashein, Swadesh Deepak’s Court martial, Chetan Dattar’s DanceOfLife@Death and many others. The objective of the organisation is to create a taste for good quality theatre and a regular theatre-loving audience in the city and to travel across the country with new approaches and interpretations to plays and performances. Balwant Thakur’s felicitation and interaction programme is being seen as a bridging initiative between Jammu and Jalandhar and lot of artistic and intellectual exchange is expected between two cities in future. Natrang Jammu may showcase a festival of its celebrated productions and similarly may invite Yuvaa to perform in Jammu.
Balwant Thakur has been felicitated and honoured at many occasions within the country and outside. In addition to National and International fellowships, he has the credit of having conferred the country’s highest Indian honor in performing arts i.e., Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for direction in theatre and back home he was honored by Dogri Sanstha, Jammu Citizen Council, Chamber of Commerce, Amar Rajput Sabha, Brahamin Prathinidhi Sabha, J&K Fine Arts Society, Zorawar Singh Memorial Committee, Laddakh Theatre Organisation and Bakshi Memorial Committee, Manch Rangmanch, Punjab Naatshalla, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi, language and Culture Department HP, Orrisa Sangeet Natak Akademi, Abhinaya Kala Mandir, Naksha Gobardanga (West Bengal) and Punjab Arts Council. He has also been honored with the title ‘Duggar Rattan’. In 2005 he won the best Director Award in the Ist Doordarshan Theatre Festival. In 2011 he was honored by the Royal Award ‘Maharaja Gulab Singh Memorial Award-2011’, ‘Rabindra Nath Tagore Award, Gursharan Singh Commitment to Theatre Award (World Theatre Day Honor of Punjab Govt)-2013. He was conferred PADAMSHREE by President of India in 2013.
He worked as Secretary J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages for eight years. Among many accomplishments, under his creative guidance the State of J&K won Best tableaux Award for the first time in 1997 and continued the tradition of winning Best Awards in 1999 and 2001.
He also served on the Boards of prestigious Institutions of the country including, Department of Culture, Govt. of India, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, North Zone Cultural Centre, Council for Promotion of Urdu Language and as an expert for National School of Drama, Department of Culture, M.P., Department of Language & Culture, H.P. and Association of Indian Universities.
Widely traveled Balwant Thakur held his presentations in Bangkok (Thailand) Singapore, London, Oxford, Brighton, Stratford, Berlin, Frankfurt, (Germany), Rome (Italy) Moscow, Yoroslov, Belgrade, St. Petersburg, Turkey, Almaty, Bishkek, Denmark, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhaabi, and Dhaka.
Currently working as Regional Director-cum-consultant in Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, and Government of India.