By Bhaskar Chakravorti

Once upon a time, I met a holy man from Senegal. He talked to me about God.
"There is only one truth", he said, "but there are many different doors to truth".
Thus reads the epilogue in Dr. Luke Dixon's book 'PLAY-ACTING'.
Dr.Luke Dixon is Artistic Director of Theatre Nomad and the International Workshop Festival. He has run theatre workshops and training programmes in Asia, Africa, North and South America, throughout Europe as well as in the UK. That is why he is a 'Nomad' and truly 'International'.
The epilogue in his book continues: 'From the favelas of Brazil to the townships of Southern Africa, from jungle clearings in Cambodia to Church halls in England, from proscenium stages in North America to hanamichi in Japan, wherever we are making theatre, whatever style of theatre it may be and from whichever culture it may come, we are all of us through our different doors searching for ways to reveal truth through performance'.
Dr. Luke Dixon was in Khartoum last week, and the Kwoto Cultural Troupe has opened yet another door for him with their cultural performance.

Atif Gamal, a culture lover, had recommended the Kwoto group to Ms.Sharon from the board of directors of the International Workshop Festival. This brought Dr.Luke Dixon to Khartoum to meet up with the Kwoto Cultural Centre. Dr.Dixon accompanied the Kwoto group to Soba and on the 28th April, the Kwoto Cultural Centre in collaboration with the Nubian Club staged a concert performed by both the Kwoto Group and the Nubian Folk Dance Troupe. The evening concert which was held on the occasion of Dr.Luke Dixon's visit, began with a pantomime enacted by Derik Uya Alfred , managing director of Kwoto Cultural Centre. Derik in his solo enactment took us to his fantasy dream accompanied by a well synchronized recorded background music.
The Kwoto Group simply enthralled the audience with their lively stage performance amidst traditional dresses, stage props which ranged from various types of sticks, hats and weaponry. Kwoto came across as a disciplined and committed outfit with precise team work as their hallmark. They literally sweated it out on stage not only to entertain the international audience but also to communicate the South Sudanese Culture and traditions.
The Nubian Folk Dance Troupe represented the culture, traditions and music from the northern parts of Sudan. The emphasis in this group was more on the lyrics of the songs which received physical applause by members of the audience who stepped on the stage in tune with the music.
It was even more inspiring when some of the Kwoto artists joined the Nubian troupe on stage.


On the following day, the 29th of April, the Kwoto Cultural Centre presented a lecture by Dr.Luke Dixon based on his book-'PLAY-ACTING'- a handbook of theatre workshops for actors, teachers and directors. Dr.Luke Dixon has simplified the subject of acting by playing. "Play is at best what the actors do", said Luke. Playing games is how children learn and when we grow up we stop playing but actors return to playing.Dr.Dixon teaches acting by playing childhood games. Every country has some common games. During his lecture, he made the Kwoto actors play a children's game 'Blue Line, Red Line' and it was amazing how he transformed the game to a workshop for Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Dr. Luke Dixon is known for directing and designing Shakespearean plays. 'Pericles' one of Shakespeare's least known plays is close to his heart and mind, which he has directed, because it communicates the sufferings of displacement. Dr. Luke Dixon in his lecture said," without our theatre, how do we know who we are? ". Theatre is a repository of culture, history, social values and traditions. Kwoto with its purely local traditional costumes, musical instruments and dance represents a quest for originality, a quest for unity. It is a return to one's roots, to reveal the beauty and the aesthetics of Sudanese people through its artistic performances. Thus it opens yet another door for Dr. Luke Dixon and the International Workshop Festival. Dr.Luke Dixon has found the Kwoto Cultural Group to be very 'adept, clever and skilled' in their artistic performance and thus has a good mind to call them for a workshop in London. Congratulations to Derik Uya Alfred and his Kwoto Group.


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