BOOKS ON INDIAN THEATRE & DRAMA

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Venture into the world of Indian theatre and soak in the emotions that purge effortlessly

The historical backdrop of theatre in India is saturated with culture and customs. In early structures, the performances were in many cases story including recitation, singing, and dancing.  The earliest commitment to the Indian theatre comes from Bharata Muni, who composed the 36 books of the Natyashastra, which portrays a hypothesis of dramatic execution in light of style and movement, as opposed to psychology. As indicated by Bharata, Lord Brahma drove him to compose the Natyashastra, and Bharata claims that theatre originates from divine beings and shows us the importance of duty. The text incorporates all parts of creation from theatre design to make-up to the entertainer's bodily motions on stage. 


The Natyashastra characterizes ten kinds of plays, and the two essential styles have 5-10 demonstrations. The principal fundamental sort is the Natakas, portraying authentic accounts of divine beings, and evil spirits, and sticking to the subjects of the heavenly beings and folklore. These plays are compared to Aristotelian tragedies, however, they end in settling the cosmic order. The second significant sort is the Prakarana, zeroing in on concocted accounts of regular characters carrying on with their everyday existences, not sovereignty or divinities. Prakarana plays are firmly connected with Aristotelian parody. The possibility of imaginative experience depicted in the Natyashastra is called Rasa and invades all Indian artistic expressions including theatre, composing fine arts, and dancing. The term depicts a good emotion acquired from craftsmanship by the crowd, yet a critical variable for rasa is mindfulness. An observer should be aware of what the individual's watching and not be lost at the time. 


Bhasa is the most seasoned Sanskrit playwright to give us complete plays. He has 13 enduring dramatizations, and the popular, antiquated incredible Indian epic, the Mahabharata, is the source for his initial six one-acts. Kalidasa is known as the pre-prominent Sanskrit writer. His three significant works, including Malavikagnimitra (Malavika and Agnimitra), Vikramorvashiya (Urvashi Won by Valor), and Abhijnanashakuntala (The Remembrance of Shakuntala), portray accounts of eminence and legend in old-world India. Kalidasa is much of the time thought about as the Indian Shakespeare.


  1. Folk Theatre


Folk Theater is an art form that involves the culmination of music, dance, versification, epic and ballad, realistic and plastic expressions, and pantomime. The Folk theater having its beginnings in the local culture is implanted in collective identity and social qualities.


  1. Parvati Parinaya


The Parvatiparinayam is a short dramatization of five acts. It follows practically every one of the guidelines of Sanskrit dramaturgy. 


FAQs


Q1. How did Indian theatre change over the years?


The traditional time period of Indian theatre presented territorial dialects and improvisations. The plays were introduced verbally instead of utilizing well-composed scripts. In this period, customs and stories were passed down orally, and the theatre mirrored this thought. Story recitation and singing were additionally a part of the show of the time period. The modern time frame, then again is set apart by the impact of Western theatre and the proscenium stage. A proscenium stage is planned with a curve isolating the stage from the crowd, and the observers watch the play's activity as though through a photo placement. With the British in India, Western venue styles including authenticity and life of the everyday person were added to the Indian theatre. The trailblazer of the present-day playwright, Rabindranath Tagore composed plays noted for their stories that addressed patriotism, personality, mysticism, and material ravenousness. His well-known Bengali plays comprise Chitra, The King of the Dark Chamber, The Post Office, and Red Oleander.


Q2. What are the two types of Indian theatre?

 

Indian Theatre could be broadly divided into two distinctive kinds viz

 

1.       Classical or Sanskrit theater

 

2.       Traditional or folk theater

 

These are an amalgamation of the religious, educational, and entertaining elements, having been traced around the 1st century AD.

 

Sanskrit : is primarily centered on the acts of deities, devotional & romantic sentiments, and cultural glimpses.

 

Folk : The theme is based on historical, social, and folk tales, delivered through a unique combination of dance and music.

 

Apart from the above two, there is one more form of theater, known as Modern theater Originated with the coming of the British in India.


Q3. Who is the father of Indian theater?

 

Ebrahim Alkazi could be said as the father or pioneer of Indian theater. He has been the longest-serving director of the National School of Drama from (1962–1977). He mentored generations of actors. Ebrahim Alkazi, son of a rich Arab businessman, knew English, Arabic, Marathi, Gujarati, and many languages.

 

Ebrahim Alkazi designed and implemented the curriculum of NSD, not just overhauled the syllabus he made the students digs and builds theater platforms. He was known for his strict discipline and rigorous research before producing a play.

 

He directed nearly 50 plays, many of which are famous Shakespeare and Greek plays. Some of the famous plays he directed are Tuglagh, Andha Yug, Ashadh ka Ek din.


Q4. What is Indian theater called?


The Indian Theater has officially been recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Indian Traditional Theater is a combination of acting, singing, dance, music, dialogue, and narration. They also play crucial roles in culture and society such as songs sung during agricultural work and music that is part of a ritual. The dramatic performance described by the notion of Natya, which is a Sanskrit term for drama but incorporates dramatic narrative, virtuosic dance, and music, defines the Indian theater, as it is in the fields of music and dance.


Q5. What are the main features of modern Indian theater?


Salient features associated with Modern Indian theater are predominant influence of western notions of drama. Modern Theatre is a rhythmic dance style that originated in the West. It incorporates the style and technique of modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and musical theater under one umbrella.


The Ancient Indian tradition rested on a happy ending of the plays whereas, in the western tradition, the tragic ending was generally in vogue. Indians evolved their theatrical style during the British era, integrating elements of both Western and Indian styles. In contrast to the ancient past, when the theater was mainly open to all, theaters were commercialized with a cost on audience members.


Q6. Which is the oldest theater in India?


India's first purpose-built theater hall, Elphinstone Picture Palace in Kolkata, West Bengal was established in 1907 by Jamshedji Framji Madan, a pioneer of Indian film production. In an attempt to salvage its profits, the compact hall changed its name from Minerva to Chaplin, after the legendary Charlie Chaplin.  It was a popular theater for screening Hollywood movies and attracting young audiences. Chaplin Cinema was the oldest single-screen movie theater located at 5/1 Chowringhee Place.


In the years to come, political upheaval and general unrest would lead to losses for the theatre. The theater could not sustain itself any longer and was demolished in 2003.