Chapter – 12 Performing Arts: Music, Dance & Drama: Many Names of the forms of folk theatre Types of Dramas

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Indigenous traditions as well as modern research trace the origin of Indian drama to the Vedas. In the Ramayana we hear of drama troupes of women while Kautilya’s Arthashashtrais mentions musicians, dancers and dramatic shows.

  • Drama is a performing art, while has also been practised since times immemorial Drama could spring from a child’s play. The Child enacts, mimics and caricates which was definitely the beginning of drama.

  • Since early times mythological stories of war between the gods, goddesses and the devils is known.

  • Bharata wrote Natyashastra and created the plays known as AsuraParajaya and AmritManthanNatyashastra is one of the greatest texts written in the field of drama and other performing arts.

  • The next epoch is that of the great Bhasa who wrote plays based on the stories of Udayana, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, SwapnaVasavdattam being his masterpiece.

  • During the age of the Buddha and Mahavira, drama was a means of communicating the principles of their respective religions.

  • Short skits and long plays were enacted to preach and educate the masses. Music and dance also played a vital role in increasing the appeal of drama.

  • In the context of drama, two types developed- the classic drama, which ha intricacies of theme and subtle nuances of dramatic traits and folk theatre.

  • It was of spontaneous and extempore nature. Local dialect was used in folk theatre and hence in different provinces many types of folk theatres developed.

  • Many names were given to the forms of folk theatre in different provinces like:

Image of Folk forms

Image of Folk Forms

Image of Folk forms

  • The medieval period was rich in music and dance but theatre did not get much prominence. Wajid Ali Shah, a great patron of art was also an important patron of drama.

  • At present, a lot of experiments are taking place in the field of drama. Western influences are very clear in the works of ShambhuMitra, Feisal Alkazi, Badal Sarkar, Vijay Tendulkar and others.

Image of Types of dramas

Image of Types of Dramas

Image of Types of dramas

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