Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Performing Arts > Original Texts > The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book)
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book)
Pages from the book
The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book)
Look Inside the Book
Description
About the Book

This is the most comprehensive study done in recent years on the stagecraft of the ancient Indian theatre. Admirably written with a living theatre in mind, the work in its fourteen chapters unfolds the mysteries of Sanskrit theatre production with particular emphasis on the playhouse, the role of the curtain, the dramatic preliminaries, the employment of music, character-types, historic art, theatrical techniques and extraneous representation, all of which have received but scant attention of scholars of Sanskrit drama but so vitally important to a proper understanding of the way in which Sanskrit plays took physical shape on the stage. Chapter 13 is devoted to a detailed discussion on the different theatrical genres with a clear distinction drawn between rilpaka and upargpaka forms.

The author dispels the fallacy that the Sanskrit theatre catered to the nobility and the literati alone and remained from the very beginning monopoly of the royal court. The reader will soon realize that Sanskrit plays, despite royal patronage, served as a form of popular entertainment throughout its long history from about the dawn of the Christian era at least up to the close of the first millennium. Its emphasis on the theatrical aspects of Sanskrit drama makes this book much different from what has hitherto been written and published about this most intriguing theatre.

About the Author

E. W. Marasinghe holds a First Class Honours degree in Sanskrit from the University of London and a Ph. D. from the University of Calcutta. Presently he is Senior Assistant Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. The present work embodies the results of four years of research conducted by the author at the University of Calcutta for his doctoral thesis, as a Research Fellow under the Commonwealth Scholarships/Fellowships Programme. Besides Sanskrit theatre, his main fields of interest are Indian classical music and supasastras. His next major research constitutes the editing and translating into English of a unique Sanskrit apa text discovered some years ago in Central Sri Lanka. This work entitled Wistuvidytdastra and ascribed to Bodhisattva Malijusri exclusively deals with Mahayana monastic architecture of ancient Sri Lanka and is due to be released shortly in Bibliotheca Indo-BUDDHICA SERIES.

Introduction

This book is based on a thesis submitted by the present writer for the Doctor of Philosophy degree of the Calcutta University in 1971. It has since been revised and updated in the light of recent research in the field of Sanskrit drama, but the views expressed and the conclusions arrived at in the original work remain substantially the same. The scope of the work has been restricted to the theatrical aspects of the classical drama of ancient India during the first millennium of the Christian era. The beginnings and the development of the Sanskrit drama are still veiled in mystery and the body of extant dramatic literature represents only its culmination and decline. The most noteworthy feature of this 'decline' is that the plays began to be less and less theatrically effective and more and more poetically precious, a tendency that developed in the neighborhood of the tenth century A.D., perhaps even earlier. Apart from this unhealthy development, there is practically nothing to tell us about any changes that the theatre-production underwent during this decadent period. No attempt has, therefore, been made in this work to make a historical survey of the development and the decline of the ancient Indian theatre; instead it will Endeavour to present a reliable picture of the manner in which plays were actually presented on the stage in the hey-day of the Sanskrit theatre.

Among the ancient authorities on Sanskrit dramaturgy Bharata and Abhinavagupta are the only two writers who have taken some pains to document the theatrical details pertaining to drama. Among the rest there is hardly any-one who has evinced an awareness of the existence of a living theatrical tradition. Perhaps the Niityadorpava authors, Ramacandra and Gunacandra, are an exception, but the Niityadarpava does not really deal with theatrical details as such. The others among whom Dhanafijaya, Vgvanatha, Sagaranandin and Singhabhupala are the foremost, seem to have been content with repeating what their respective schools taught about the dramatic theory. Even the several standard commentaries on Sanskrit plays are not of much help to us. They have been written with the reading public in mind, and if any theatrical details are discussed in them, it has been done so only casually. This is understandable because the commentaries came to be written at a time when the Sanskrit drama as a practiced art had ceased to exist, and so, was being studied and appreciated merely as literary works.

The appearance of A.B. Keith's scholarly work, The Sanskrit Drama, is a significant landmark in the history of researches in the field of Sanskrit theatre, and it remains up to this day the most authoritative book written in the present century on the Sanskrit dramatic literature. It discusses at length the origin of the Sanskrit drama, deals authorwise with the whole history of the dramatic literature from Mvaghosa downwards, with a discussion on the date of the author, an interesting narrative of the plot of each play, a critical essay on the dramatist's art and style. the language and the metres, and gives a concise but comprehensive account of the Sanskrit dramatic theory as enunciated by Bharata and his successor, but theatre production has been dismissed in a few cursory pages. The great Indologist Sylvain Levi's Le Thecitre indien, Professor Konow's Das indische Drama and H.H. Wilson's The Theatre of the Hindus are the earliest of modern works on the Sanskrit drama, and a great deal of new facts and information about this bygone theatre has come to light since their appearance. The Sanskrit Drama-Its Origin and Decline by I. Shekar makes no attempt to investigate into the theatrical aspects of the drama. C.B. Gupta's thesis, The Indian Theatre, devoted to a study of the presentation of Sanskrit drama, is an essential departure from these works. His attempt is indeed praiseworthy but the results fall far short of our expectation. The different aspects of the Sanskrit theatre have been briefly dealt with in a haphazard manner and the most important topics, the theatrical technique and the histrionic representation, have been left un-touched. Dr. S.N. Shastri's The Laws and Practice of Sanskrit Drama, the first volume of an ambitious project, is nothing but an exposition in English of the Sanskrit dramatic theory as enunciated by the ancient authorities, and therefore, is of little service to the student of Sanskrit theatre. Henry W. Wells' The Classical Drama of India is a readable book written with a living theatre in mind and mainly intended for the Western reader. The chapter on theatrical technique is admirable indeed. But the work based only on a few well-known plays is not an exhaustive study and does not discuss any point in a critical manner.

It is gratifying to note that there has beer, in recent years, a growing interest among Indologists, particularly in India, in the study of theatrical technique and stagecraft of the Sanskrit theatre. Thanks to the unceasing labours of a few devoted scholars during the past two or three decades, a flood of light has been thrown on many obscure technical details relating to the production of Sanskrit plays, and the several seminars and conferences held under the auspices of such organizations as the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, the Madras Music Academy and the Sanaskrta Ranga of Madras have contributed much towards creating a new awareness among theatre enthusiasts throughout the world of the great potentialities of the Sanskrit theatre. Among the few great savants who have rendered distinguished services in the field of Sanskrit drama, the late V. Raghavan deserves special mention. Apart from his long association with the above-mentioned cultural organizations, he conducted extensive research on the Sanskrit drama with particular emphasis on its presentational aspects such as the employment of music, the actor's technique and the technique of the dramatist. His numerous papers on the subjects of dance, drama and music published in various research journals are of invaluable help to the student of Sanskrit theatre. No less significant are his contributions to the studies of the Natakalaksa-naratnako,sa and his scholarly interpretation of the in his monumental thesis, Bhoja's grhgdraprakas'a. Notwithstanding these valuable contributions of the modern scholarship to the study of Sanskrit theatre, an integrated work dealing with all aspects of the production of Sanskrit plays has been a desideratum and it is with the object of fulfilling this need that this work was undertaken by the present writer some twenty years ago.

Most of the conclusions that have been arrived at in this thesis are based on the authority of the Ncilya,s'astra of Bharata and the Abhinarabharati, its great commentary by Abhinavagupta. The former is a unique work which has no parallel in any dramaturgic literature in the ancient world. It deals with all the thinkable aspects of drama, theoretical as well as theatrical, but its treatment of the subject of theatrical presentation has not been done in a methodical way. Some of the very important stage conventions have not been mentioned in the work perhaps because by Bharata's time they had become established requiring no documentation, and whatever has been subjected to discussion lies diffused in a wide range of chapters. And the few MSS, that have come to light are not free from interpolations, lacunae and scribal errors. The habit of studying these comprehensive and highly integrated works piecemeal for immediate purposes has been responsible for leading many scholars astray. In this monograph these two works have been subjected to a thorough and critical study bringing to light many details pertaining to the presenta-tion of Sanskrit plays. The other works on dramaturgy, since they do not show any originality of appreciable worth and are posterior to all the dramatic compositions of outstanding merit, have been studied only in the light of the Niityas'eistra. There is no doubt that plays written ever since the Arcitya.s'ilstra was com-posed were cast, by and large, in the same mould conditioned in that work. But there are several conventions and artifices that seem to have laterly developed and they have been discussed in this book in their proper contexts.

While going through the pages of this book the reader will notice that there are no pettifogging arguments on theoretical details that have suffered much torture at the hands of scholars, both ancient and modern. Theoretical details have been touched upon only in cases where they are perceptibly related to the actual presentation of plays. All theatrical technicalities discussed here have been illustrated with copious examples picked out from a wide selection of pays. However, special attention has been paid to those works that are better known and easily available to the reader. The origin and the development of the Sanskrit drama, a subject on which much has been written and many theories propounded, does not fall within the purview of the present work. It opens with a brief note on the meaning of natya, followed by a discussion on how far the Sanskrit drama deserved to be called a form of popular entertainment. It has been shown that there is no truth in the popular notion that it could never free itself from the tyrannical monopoly of the royal court. All available evidences have been adduced to establish that the Sanskrit drama did enjoy the rights and privileges of a people's theatre.

Chapter 3 is devoted to a discussion on the different classes of theatrical figures, namely, the actors, the musicians, the director and his assistants and, the last but not the least, the audience.

**Contents and Sample Pages**












The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book)

Item Code:
NAT286
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
1989
ISBN:
8170301769
Language:
ENGLISH
Size:
9.00 X 6.00 inch
Pages:
570
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.7 Kg
Price:
$50.00
Discounted:
$37.50   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
You Save:
$12.50 (25%)
Look Inside the Book
Be the first to rate this product
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book)
From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 1074 times since 9th Oct, 2019
About the Book

This is the most comprehensive study done in recent years on the stagecraft of the ancient Indian theatre. Admirably written with a living theatre in mind, the work in its fourteen chapters unfolds the mysteries of Sanskrit theatre production with particular emphasis on the playhouse, the role of the curtain, the dramatic preliminaries, the employment of music, character-types, historic art, theatrical techniques and extraneous representation, all of which have received but scant attention of scholars of Sanskrit drama but so vitally important to a proper understanding of the way in which Sanskrit plays took physical shape on the stage. Chapter 13 is devoted to a detailed discussion on the different theatrical genres with a clear distinction drawn between rilpaka and upargpaka forms.

The author dispels the fallacy that the Sanskrit theatre catered to the nobility and the literati alone and remained from the very beginning monopoly of the royal court. The reader will soon realize that Sanskrit plays, despite royal patronage, served as a form of popular entertainment throughout its long history from about the dawn of the Christian era at least up to the close of the first millennium. Its emphasis on the theatrical aspects of Sanskrit drama makes this book much different from what has hitherto been written and published about this most intriguing theatre.

About the Author

E. W. Marasinghe holds a First Class Honours degree in Sanskrit from the University of London and a Ph. D. from the University of Calcutta. Presently he is Senior Assistant Librarian of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. The present work embodies the results of four years of research conducted by the author at the University of Calcutta for his doctoral thesis, as a Research Fellow under the Commonwealth Scholarships/Fellowships Programme. Besides Sanskrit theatre, his main fields of interest are Indian classical music and supasastras. His next major research constitutes the editing and translating into English of a unique Sanskrit apa text discovered some years ago in Central Sri Lanka. This work entitled Wistuvidytdastra and ascribed to Bodhisattva Malijusri exclusively deals with Mahayana monastic architecture of ancient Sri Lanka and is due to be released shortly in Bibliotheca Indo-BUDDHICA SERIES.

Introduction

This book is based on a thesis submitted by the present writer for the Doctor of Philosophy degree of the Calcutta University in 1971. It has since been revised and updated in the light of recent research in the field of Sanskrit drama, but the views expressed and the conclusions arrived at in the original work remain substantially the same. The scope of the work has been restricted to the theatrical aspects of the classical drama of ancient India during the first millennium of the Christian era. The beginnings and the development of the Sanskrit drama are still veiled in mystery and the body of extant dramatic literature represents only its culmination and decline. The most noteworthy feature of this 'decline' is that the plays began to be less and less theatrically effective and more and more poetically precious, a tendency that developed in the neighborhood of the tenth century A.D., perhaps even earlier. Apart from this unhealthy development, there is practically nothing to tell us about any changes that the theatre-production underwent during this decadent period. No attempt has, therefore, been made in this work to make a historical survey of the development and the decline of the ancient Indian theatre; instead it will Endeavour to present a reliable picture of the manner in which plays were actually presented on the stage in the hey-day of the Sanskrit theatre.

Among the ancient authorities on Sanskrit dramaturgy Bharata and Abhinavagupta are the only two writers who have taken some pains to document the theatrical details pertaining to drama. Among the rest there is hardly any-one who has evinced an awareness of the existence of a living theatrical tradition. Perhaps the Niityadorpava authors, Ramacandra and Gunacandra, are an exception, but the Niityadarpava does not really deal with theatrical details as such. The others among whom Dhanafijaya, Vgvanatha, Sagaranandin and Singhabhupala are the foremost, seem to have been content with repeating what their respective schools taught about the dramatic theory. Even the several standard commentaries on Sanskrit plays are not of much help to us. They have been written with the reading public in mind, and if any theatrical details are discussed in them, it has been done so only casually. This is understandable because the commentaries came to be written at a time when the Sanskrit drama as a practiced art had ceased to exist, and so, was being studied and appreciated merely as literary works.

The appearance of A.B. Keith's scholarly work, The Sanskrit Drama, is a significant landmark in the history of researches in the field of Sanskrit theatre, and it remains up to this day the most authoritative book written in the present century on the Sanskrit dramatic literature. It discusses at length the origin of the Sanskrit drama, deals authorwise with the whole history of the dramatic literature from Mvaghosa downwards, with a discussion on the date of the author, an interesting narrative of the plot of each play, a critical essay on the dramatist's art and style. the language and the metres, and gives a concise but comprehensive account of the Sanskrit dramatic theory as enunciated by Bharata and his successor, but theatre production has been dismissed in a few cursory pages. The great Indologist Sylvain Levi's Le Thecitre indien, Professor Konow's Das indische Drama and H.H. Wilson's The Theatre of the Hindus are the earliest of modern works on the Sanskrit drama, and a great deal of new facts and information about this bygone theatre has come to light since their appearance. The Sanskrit Drama-Its Origin and Decline by I. Shekar makes no attempt to investigate into the theatrical aspects of the drama. C.B. Gupta's thesis, The Indian Theatre, devoted to a study of the presentation of Sanskrit drama, is an essential departure from these works. His attempt is indeed praiseworthy but the results fall far short of our expectation. The different aspects of the Sanskrit theatre have been briefly dealt with in a haphazard manner and the most important topics, the theatrical technique and the histrionic representation, have been left un-touched. Dr. S.N. Shastri's The Laws and Practice of Sanskrit Drama, the first volume of an ambitious project, is nothing but an exposition in English of the Sanskrit dramatic theory as enunciated by the ancient authorities, and therefore, is of little service to the student of Sanskrit theatre. Henry W. Wells' The Classical Drama of India is a readable book written with a living theatre in mind and mainly intended for the Western reader. The chapter on theatrical technique is admirable indeed. But the work based only on a few well-known plays is not an exhaustive study and does not discuss any point in a critical manner.

It is gratifying to note that there has beer, in recent years, a growing interest among Indologists, particularly in India, in the study of theatrical technique and stagecraft of the Sanskrit theatre. Thanks to the unceasing labours of a few devoted scholars during the past two or three decades, a flood of light has been thrown on many obscure technical details relating to the production of Sanskrit plays, and the several seminars and conferences held under the auspices of such organizations as the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, the Madras Music Academy and the Sanaskrta Ranga of Madras have contributed much towards creating a new awareness among theatre enthusiasts throughout the world of the great potentialities of the Sanskrit theatre. Among the few great savants who have rendered distinguished services in the field of Sanskrit drama, the late V. Raghavan deserves special mention. Apart from his long association with the above-mentioned cultural organizations, he conducted extensive research on the Sanskrit drama with particular emphasis on its presentational aspects such as the employment of music, the actor's technique and the technique of the dramatist. His numerous papers on the subjects of dance, drama and music published in various research journals are of invaluable help to the student of Sanskrit theatre. No less significant are his contributions to the studies of the Natakalaksa-naratnako,sa and his scholarly interpretation of the in his monumental thesis, Bhoja's grhgdraprakas'a. Notwithstanding these valuable contributions of the modern scholarship to the study of Sanskrit theatre, an integrated work dealing with all aspects of the production of Sanskrit plays has been a desideratum and it is with the object of fulfilling this need that this work was undertaken by the present writer some twenty years ago.

Most of the conclusions that have been arrived at in this thesis are based on the authority of the Ncilya,s'astra of Bharata and the Abhinarabharati, its great commentary by Abhinavagupta. The former is a unique work which has no parallel in any dramaturgic literature in the ancient world. It deals with all the thinkable aspects of drama, theoretical as well as theatrical, but its treatment of the subject of theatrical presentation has not been done in a methodical way. Some of the very important stage conventions have not been mentioned in the work perhaps because by Bharata's time they had become established requiring no documentation, and whatever has been subjected to discussion lies diffused in a wide range of chapters. And the few MSS, that have come to light are not free from interpolations, lacunae and scribal errors. The habit of studying these comprehensive and highly integrated works piecemeal for immediate purposes has been responsible for leading many scholars astray. In this monograph these two works have been subjected to a thorough and critical study bringing to light many details pertaining to the presenta-tion of Sanskrit plays. The other works on dramaturgy, since they do not show any originality of appreciable worth and are posterior to all the dramatic compositions of outstanding merit, have been studied only in the light of the Niityas'eistra. There is no doubt that plays written ever since the Arcitya.s'ilstra was com-posed were cast, by and large, in the same mould conditioned in that work. But there are several conventions and artifices that seem to have laterly developed and they have been discussed in this book in their proper contexts.

While going through the pages of this book the reader will notice that there are no pettifogging arguments on theoretical details that have suffered much torture at the hands of scholars, both ancient and modern. Theoretical details have been touched upon only in cases where they are perceptibly related to the actual presentation of plays. All theatrical technicalities discussed here have been illustrated with copious examples picked out from a wide selection of pays. However, special attention has been paid to those works that are better known and easily available to the reader. The origin and the development of the Sanskrit drama, a subject on which much has been written and many theories propounded, does not fall within the purview of the present work. It opens with a brief note on the meaning of natya, followed by a discussion on how far the Sanskrit drama deserved to be called a form of popular entertainment. It has been shown that there is no truth in the popular notion that it could never free itself from the tyrannical monopoly of the royal court. All available evidences have been adduced to establish that the Sanskrit drama did enjoy the rights and privileges of a people's theatre.

Chapter 3 is devoted to a discussion on the different classes of theatrical figures, namely, the actors, the musicians, the director and his assistants and, the last but not the least, the audience.

**Contents and Sample Pages**












Post a Comment
 
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to The Sanskrit Theatre and Stagecraft (An Old and Rare Book) (Performing Arts | Books)

THE TRADITIONAL SANSKRIT THEATRE OF KERALA (Calicut University 

Sanskrit Series No. 3)
Item Code: IDF710
$11.00$8.25
You save: $2.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Sanskrit Drama (Its Aesthetics and Production) (A Rare Book)
by Dr. V. Raghavan
Hardcover (Edition: 1993)
Dr. V. Raghavan
Item Code: NAG781
$43.00$32.25
You save: $10.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Laws and Practice of Sanskrit Drama (An Old and Rare Book)
Item Code: NAI171
$36.00$27.00
You save: $9.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Theatric Aspects of Sanskrit Drama (Rare Book)
Item Code: NAC455
$29.00$21.75
You save: $7.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Kridaniyakam (Myriad Aspects of Comedy in Sanskrit Drama)
by N.K. Geetha
Hardcover (Edition: 2012)
Chinmaya International Foundation
Item Code: NAK914
$31.00$23.25
You save: $7.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Sanskrit Drama in Performance
Item Code: NAI436
$21.00$15.75
You save: $5.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
METATHEATER AND SANSKRIT DRAMA
Item Code: IMD20
$28.50$21.38
You save: $7.12 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
SANSKRIT DRAMA IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by S.S. JANAKI
Hardcover (Edition: 1995)
Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan
Item Code: IDG082
$12.50$9.38
You save: $3.12 (25%)
SOLD
History of Indian Theatre (Loka Ranga Panorama of Indian Folk Theatre)
by M. L. Varadpande
Hardcover (Edition: 1992)
Abhinav Publication
Item Code: IDH425
$77.00$57.75
You save: $19.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
History of Indian Theatre: Classical Theatre (Volume III)
Deal 30% Off
by M. L. Varadpande
Hardcover (Edition: 2005)
Abhinav Publication
Item Code: IDH426
$125.00$65.62
You save: $59.38 (30 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Dramas or A Complete Account of the Dramatic Literature of the Hindus (An Old and Rare Book)
by H.H. Wilson
HARDCOVER (Edition: 1983)
Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office
Item Code: NAV153
$21.00$15.75
You save: $5.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Peep into Yaksagana and Sanskrit Dramaturgy
Item Code: IDG810
$23.50$17.62
You save: $5.88 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Thank you for really great prices compared to other sellers. I have recommended your website to over 40 of my classmates.
Kimia, USA
I am so happy to have found you!! What a wonderful source for books of Indian origin at reasonable cost! Thank you!
Urvi, USA
I very much appreciate your web site and the products you have available. I especially like the ancient cookbooks you have and am always looking for others here to share with my friends.
Sam, USA
Very good service thank you. Keep up the good work !
Charles, Switzerland
Namaste! Thank you for your kind assistance! I would like to inform that your package arrived today and all is very well. I appreciate all your support and definitively will continue ordering form your company again in the near future!
Lizette, Puerto Rico
I just wanted to thank you again, mere dost, for shipping the Nataraj. We now have it in our home, thanks to you and Exotic India. We are most grateful. Bahut dhanyavad!
Drea and Kalinidi, Ireland
I am extremely very happy to see an Indian website providing arts, crafts and books from all over India and dispatching to all over the world ! Great work, keep it going. Looking forward to more and more purchase from you. Thank you for your service.
Vrunda
We have always enjoyed your products.
Elizabeth, USA
Thank you for the prompt delivery of the bowl, which I am very satisfied with.
Frans, the Netherlands
I have received my books and they are in perfect condition. You provide excellent service to your customers, DHL too, and I thank you for that. I recommended you to my friend who is the director of the Aurobindo bookstore.
Mr. Forget from Montreal
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India