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Michael expresses his love for Konkani

Jacob Fernandes, President of TAG presenting a memento to Michael in the presence of Joe Rose, Vice President and Member Secretary Jose Alexandre Rodrigues

“There is greatness in being a tiatrist”, said Michael Gracias, a well known personality of the Konkani stage as well as in the literary, cultural and folklore fields. He was speaking at the ‘Meet the Artiste’ programme organised by Tiatr Academy of Goa on 29th June 2015 at the Black Box, Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. The programme began with 1 minute silence as a mark respect for the soul of late Thomas C. Fernandes, a well-known Konkani writer and ex-member of TAG’s General Council who had passed away 2 days back.

Gracias, who has been in this field for 25 years, has excelled in all forms of tiatr and believes that this art form has carved a new image in society. He began acting at the tender age of 8 in village tiatrs and later penned his first tiatr ‘Chuk’ when he was just 15. “Experiences at the village level took me to the next step – competitive tiatrs – and within a short span of time, I earned a place of pride in the hearts of experimental tiatr lovers who flocked the Kala Academy auditorium” he said.

Gracias has also acted in commercial tiatrs. His role as Vicky Caculo and Dr. Dhume in Anil Kumar’s ‘Maim, What is This?’ and ‘Raveena Hanga Nit Nam’ respectively were well appreciated by critics and tiatr goers.

His role of the conman in Domnic Fernandes’ ‘Amchem Khoim Chukta, Sodun Kadd’ and of the corrupt politician in Irineu Gonsalves’ ‘Gõy Gõykaranchem’ endeared him to tiatr aficionados.

In 1991, Gracias, along with a band of dedicated youth, started Kala Niketan-Goa, an association dedicated to Konkani. Under its banner, he won several awards in many fields of stagecraft for the tiatrs staged in various competitions.

So far, he has written 21 tiatrs which include ‘Chuk’, ‘Kazulo’, ‘Vonnot’, ‘Valltti’, ‘Vadoll’, ‘Moronn’, ‘Mukti’, ‘Moipas’, ‘Zodd’, ‘Suriast’, ‘Sangharx’, ‘Suzette’, ‘Tufan’, ‘Jem Devan Zoddlam...’, ‘Kazar Sorgar Ghoddtta’, ‘Sintidan Paim Ghal Go Bai’, ‘Povitr Apovnnem’, ‘Mog Jiye Mogan’, ‘Sangat Tuzo Mhozo’, ‘Xi Xi Xi... Ghann Ghutt’ttan’, ‘Dhanv Baba Dhanv’, the last two being children’s tiatrs. He has also composed around 150 songs that have featured in those tiatrs.

Besides tiatr, under the banner of Svadik Nad, Majorda, of which he is the leader, Gracias presented mandos in traditional style, dance style and original style at the All Goa Mando Festivals organised across the state and has won several awards. He also has an album, ‘Mog Mhaka Tuzo’ to his credit and is all set to release his second Konkani album next month.

Remembering his years in the Saligao and Rachol Seminaries, Gracias said that he was grateful to all his mentors, who in some way or the other were instrumental in moulding him to what he is today. Recalling his close associate with late Fr. Freddy J. Da Costa, he said “His ability to get involved in many cultural and literary fields has inspired me; and I have tried to follow in his footsteps”.

Stressing on the need to promote and preserve Goan identity through Konkani, Gracias concluded that he was all for anything associated with Konkani.

Earlier Shri Jacob Fernandes, President of TAG welcomed the artiste as well as the audience and later presented a memento to Michael as a remembrance of the occasion. Shri Joe Rose, Vice President of TAG proposed a vote of thanks in the presence of Member Secretary Shri Jose Alexandre Rodrigues. Shri Jess Luz, Programme In-charge compered.

Prominent among those who were present were Damodar Mauzo, Ben Evangelisto, C. D’Silva, Fr. Ave Maria Afonso, Fr. Bernard Cota, Pio Esteves, Alvaro Gomes, Cyril D. Fernandes, Marcos Gonsalves, Eddie Mascarenhas, Agnelo de Borim, Rupesh Jogle, Nelly Rodrigues, Jolibia Fernandes, Braz D’Mello, Jasmine Rodrigues Estibeiro, etc.

 

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