Available Online at http://www.recentscientific.com International Journal of CODEN: IJRSFP (USA) Recent Scientific

International Journal of Recent Scientific Research Research Vol. 12, Issue, 02 (E), pp. 41069-41072, February, 2021 ISSN: 0976-3031 DOI: 10.24327/IJRSR Research Article


Mohammad Irfan, Farin Khan* and Himanshi Sharma

Department of Museology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002, Uttar Pradesh,

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24327/ijrsr.2021.1202.5823


Article : have been a very important and integral part of Indian Tradition and . In the past these used to be performed in each and every part of India in their regional Received 06th November, 2020 th ethics and customs. But with the change in we see change in our customs and traditions. We are Received in revised form 14 swiftly moving towards western culture as a result of which these integral parts of Indian tradition December, 2020 are also changing and vanishing up to an extent. Performing Arts have a very wide range and India Accepted 23rd January, 2021 th has been a hub of many such activities, these activities include performances, folk sung Published online 28 February, 2021 in festivals, marriages, funerals and other important ceremonies as well. This shows that whatever the occasion be, different forms have been an integral part of our Indian Traditional Culture. But Key Words: with the change in time, a constant decrement has been seen in these community performances.

Traditions, , versification, India has many different types of Performing Arts. One of the very important among these is ‘Indian stemming, indigenous. Folk Theatre Performances’. Indian Folk Theatre is a synthesized art form with an amalgamation of elements from music, dance, dialogues, pantomime, versification, religion and festival peasantry. The folk Theatre is stemming from Native culture and their social values. They not only provide mass , but also help Indian as Indigenous tools for inter village communication for ages as well as transmission of culture and developing better understanding. In India, Folk Theatre has been used to spread Social, Political and Cultural issues in the form of theatrical messages to create awareness among people. It breaks all the formal barriers and reaches directly to the people. Different forms of Folk Theatre are very important in India as it is a traditional way of communication to convey messages for Economic, Social and Cultural development which in result helps in the overall development of Nation.

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INTRODUCTION What is Theatre?

The performing arts range from vocal and instrumental music, Theatre is a collaborative form of that uses live dance and theatre to pantomime, sung verse and beyond. They performers to present the experience of a real or imagined include numerous cultural expressions that reflect event before a live audience in a specific place. History of creativity and that are also found, to some extent, in many other theatre charts the development of theatre over the past 2,500 intangible cultural heritage domains. Music is perhaps the most years. While per formative elements are present in every universal of the performing arts and is found in every society, society, it is customary to acknowledge a distinction between most often as an integral part of other performing art forms and theatre as an art form and entertainment and theatrical or per other domains of intangible cultural heritage including rituals, formative elements in other activities. Greek theatre, most festive events or oral traditions. It can be found in the most developed in Athens, is the root of the Western tradition; diverse contexts: sacred or profane, classical or popular, closely theatre is in origin a Greek word. It was part of a broader connected to work or entertainment. There may also be a culture of theatricality and in classical that political or economic dimension to music: it can recount a included festivals, religious rituals, , , athletics and community’s history, sing the praises of a powerful person and , music, poetry, weddings, funerals, and symposia. a key role in economic transactions. The occasions on The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art which music is performed are just as varied: marriages, form, ranging from festival performances of , nude funerals, rituals and initiations, festivities, all kinds of dancing, and , to the staging of Plautus's broadly entertainment as well as many other social functions. appealing situation , to the high-style, verbally

*Corresponding author: Farin Khan Department of Museology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002, Uttar Pradesh, India Susmita Pramanik et al., Performing Arts As A Domain of Intangible Cultural Heritage With Special Refrence To Indian Folk Theatre elaborate of Seneca. These are four types: Indian In a proscenium theatre, the is located at one end of the theatre, theatre, , Modern Indian theatre. auditorium and is physically separated from the audience space by a proscenium wall. Thrust and open stage: Some larger Types of Theatre take the form of a thrust stage, with the theatre also flourished at many places in India-Shadow audience surrounding three sides of the performance platform. (Gombeyatta of Karnataka, Chhaya of Orissa), Glove Elements of Theatre (Gopalila of Orissa, Pavai Koothu of ), Doll (Bommalattam of Tamil Nadu and the Mysore State and Putul Performers: People on stage presenting characters in dramatic Naach of ) and String (Kathputli of Rajasthan action. Audience: The essence of theatre is the interaction and Sakhi Kundhei of Orissa) are some of the popular forms in between the performer and audience, Theatre needs to be vogue. Dramatic art can also be found in some of the solo experienced live. Director: The director makes certain that the forms of , like Bharat Natyam, Katthak, performers understand the text and deliver the script excitingly and Mohiniattam, and folk like the Gambhira and appropriately. Theatre Space: Another necessary element and Purulia Chhau of Bengal, Seraikella Chhau of Bihar and of theatre is the space in which performers or audiences come Mayurbhanj Chhau of Orissa. Dramatic content is even woven together. Text: A final element essential to theatre is the text into the ritual ceremonies in some areas, particularly those of that is performed, and it must be present for theatre to occur. , with its Mudiyettu and Teyyam. Famous Traditional Forms of Theatre is one of the oldest traditional theatre forms of Arena: A theatre in which the audience completely surrounds Kerala and is based on Sanskrit theatre traditions. The the stage or playing area. Actor’s entrances to the playing area characters of this theatre form are: Chakyaar or are provided through dormitories or gaps in the seating actor, Naambiyaar, the instrumentalists and Naangyaar, those arrangement. Thrust: A theatre in which the stage is extended taking on women’s roles. It was UNESCO as a Masterpiece of so that the audience surrounds it on three sides. The thrust stage the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. is may be backed by an enclosed proscenium stage, providing a the traditional theatre form of Karnataka. It is based on place for background scenery, but audience views into the mythological stories and Puranas. The most popular episodes proscenium opening are usually limited. Actor entrances are are from the i.e. Draupadi swayamvar, Subhadra usually provided to the front of the thrust through vomitories or vivah, Abhimanyu vadh, Karna-Arjun yuddh and from gaps in the seating. End stage: A theatre in which the audience i.e. Raajyaabhishek, Lav-kush Yuddh, Baali- seating and stage occupy the same architectural space, with the Sugreeva yuddha and Panchavati. Theukoothu, literally stage at one end and the audience seated in front facing the meaning street play, is the most popular form of folk drama of stage. Flexible theatres: Flexible theatre is a generic term for a Tamil Nadu. Burrakatha is a form of folk theatre commonly theatre in which the playing space and audience seating can be seen in the rural areas of . In 2010 Mudiyettu configured as desired for each production. Often, the theatre was inscribed in the UNESCO’s representative List of the can be configured into the arena, thrust, and end stage forms Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, becoming the second described above. Environmental, promenade, black box, and art form from Kerala after Koodiyattam. Nautanki is a form of studio theatre are other terms for this type of space, suggesting folk theatre that is performed in North India. Nautanki can still particular features or qualities. Environmental theatre: A found be seen in some villages of India. Social messages like the space in which the architecture of the space is intrinsic to the prevention of AIDS, family planning and women’s performance, or a theatre space that is transformed into a empowerment are often embedded in Nautanki. Nautanki plays complete environment for the performance. Promenade theatre: are a form of moral instruction and entertainment. Bhavai is a A theatre without fixed seating in the main part of the form of folk theatre that is popular in . Bhavai plays auditorium – this allows the standing audience to intermingle feature all levels of society; starting from the very bottom of with the performance and to follow the focal point of the action the caste to the very top of the caste system. is traditional to different parts of the room. Multiple-focus action and a folk theatre of eastern India. Bhand pather is a traditional moving audience are the primary characteristics of the satirical theatre form of with unique combination of promenade theatre. Black box theatre: A flexible theatre dance, music and acting. Biting , wit and parody usually without character or embellishment—a “void” space characterize the form. The actors of Bhand Pather are mainly that may indeed be black, but isn’t always. Usually, audience from the farming community and the impact of their way of seating is on the main floor, with no audience galleries, though living, ideals and sensitivity in the drama is discernible. Swang a technical gallery may be provided. Studio theatre: A flexible is very famous traditional theatre in the state of Punjab, theatre with one or more audience galleries on three or four and . It was performed in rural area of sides of a rectangular room. The main floor can usually be Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bengal. Dashavatar reconfigured into arena, thrust, end stage, and flat floor is the most developed and famous theatre of Konkan and Goa configurations. The room usually has some architectural region. Kariyala is the most interesting and popular folk drama character. Courtyard theatre: The term courtyard theatre of Himachal Pradesh, particularly in Shimla, Solan and Simour. embraces a range of theatre forms, all with the common Khyal is Hindustani folk-dance drama or theatre of Rajasthan. characteristic of at least one raised seating gallery surrounding It is on the verge of extinction. Tamasha is a traditional folk a central area. Often this central area is flexible, and can be drama or theatre form of Maharashtra. Bham kalapam is a configured into arena, thrust, end stage, and flat floor famous folk theatre of Andhra Pradesh. configurations. Sometimes the central area has fixed seating that faces a proscenium opening and stage. Proscenium theatre: 41070 | P a g e International Journal of Recent Scientific Research Vol. 12, Issue, 02 (E), pp. 41069-41072, February, 2021

Puppet Theatre in India kundhei), Kerala (pavakathakali), Tamil Nadu (pava koothu), Uttar Pradesh (Gulabo-Sitabo) and West Bengal (benir putul). One of the most famous of Indian puppet theatre genres is the In Kerala pavakathakali, meaning ‘glove puppet kathakali’, is, Kathputli theatre of Rajasthan. In older times, when as the name suggests, a version of the famous dance- courts and aristocrats acted as protectors of , local, large form Kathakali. epic stories could be staged as kathpuli plays. There exists even a small theatre house for marionette theatre in a palace in Storytelling in India Jaipur. Nowadays Kathputli performances consisting of short, In India, as elsewhere in Asia, there are numerous forms of entertaining stock numbers are more popular. The puppets’ storytelling and puppet theatre traditions. Now, in the age of faces are carved of wood and painted, while their bodies are movies, TV and digital technology, many of them are in serious stuffed with cotton. Indian puppetry is a subject as varied as the danger of extinction. Many of them live mainly in the village many cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Several context. The storytelling tradition served, at least partly, as the regional genres make puppetry one of the richest heritages of starting point from which larger theatrical performances, based India. Puppet shows are traditionally linked to a ritual context- on the same oral material, later developed. The process can performances were usually held during festivals or celebrations roughly be outlined as follows: The starting point is the act of such as marriages or other family and community occasions. storytelling, i.e. the act of conveying the oral literary tradition. There are many types of puppets in India; some traditions have Gradually the storytellers started to employ different kinds of become extinct, while others struggle to survive in the modern visual devices to illustrate their narration (panels, scroll world. Besides traditional puppet genres, India is home to paintings, shadow figures, puppets and, in some cases, even many contemporary initiatives that renovate puppetry while dolls). Storytelling was enriched by gesticulation, body supporting the preservation of heritage styles. movements, mime, dance, music etc. During this process the Living traditions include different types of puppets: string act of storytelling became more theatrical in character. India puppets, rod puppets, glove puppets, and shadow puppets. has several examples of theatrical traditions illustrating the are widespread in India from North to South; different steps of the development. In Rajasthan, for example, celebrated traditions are reported from Rajasthan (kathputli), there exists the phad tradition, in which the narrator, while West Bengal (tarer putul nach), Maharashtra (kalasutri telling his story, opens up a huge phad picture scroll on which bahulya), Odisha (gopalila kundhei), Karnataka (yakshagana the important scenes of his narrative are painted. The stories gombeyata), Kerala (nool pavakothu), Tamil Nadu depict the life and deeds of Pabuji, a local heroic warrior god. (bommalattam), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (koyya Safeguarding Measures bommalata, keelu bommalata, and sutram bommalata). Many national and international seminars held on the role of Rod Puppets Folk Theatre and Development suggested the integration of folk Theatre forms with Mass Media for quicker transmission of information as it was motivating the rural audience For this purpose various recommendations are made. Like - Folk artists and craftsmen should be supported in maintaining original form and should be given recognition in the form of award. Resources should be provided to set up national level organisations for utilisation of Folk Media in Communication programmes. Special assistance programmes should be Rod puppetry was traditionally practiced in Eastern India produced for 10 involving youth, women’s organisations, rural (Odisha and Bengal), besides the mixed string-cum-rod co-operatives and other village level organisation. bommalattam puppets from Tamil Nadu. In the southern Safeguarding measures for traditional performing arts should regions of West Bengal rod puppetry is known in local focus mainly on transmission of knowledge and techniques, of language as danger putul nach, a very peculiar style for the playing and making instruments and strengthening the bond large dimensions of the puppets that can reach up to 1.2 metres between master and apprentice. The subtleties of a song, the and weigh up to ten kilograms. In Odisha rod puppetry, kathi movements of a dance and theatrical interpretations should all kundhei nacha, was extinct in post-colonial times, but it has be reinforced. Performances may also be researched, recorded, been recently revived. documented, inventoried and archived. There are countless Glove Puppet sound recordings in archives all around the world with many dating back over a century. These older recordings are threatened by deterioration and may be permanently lost unless digitized. The process of digitisation allows documents to be properly identified and inventoried. Cultural media, institutions and industries can also play a crucial role in ensuring the viability of traditional forms of performing arts by developing audiences and raising awareness amongst the general public.

In glove puppetry the operates from below slipping Suggestions & Recommendations his hand in the puppet; usually the forefinger operates the head, The following suggestions & recommendations may be while the thumb and third finger move the hands. Also known considered for effectively utilizing the theatre medium in as hand puppets, glove puppets are widespread in Odisha (sakhi 41071 | P a g e Susmita Pramanik et al., Performing Arts As A Domain of Intangible Cultural Heritage With Special Refrence To Indian Folk Theatre informing and educating the rural masses. The local bodies and Dissanayake, W. (1977). New wine in old bottle: Can folk government requires patronizing the artists and encouraging media convey modern message? Journal of this medium. The concept of street theatre has been proven Communication, Spring. very effective. Hence, due encouragement is solicited at all Kidd, Ross (1984). The Performing Arts and Development in levels. All concerned departments in universities across the India: three case studies and a comparative analysis. In G. country should be tasked to give performances in rural areas as Wang and W. Dissanayake. Continuity and Change in part of their course curriculum. Under National Service Communication systems (pp. 95-125). New Jersey: Ablax. Scheme (NSS) at all colleges, performances through street Chattopadhyay, Kamaladevi. 1995 (first edition theatre in educating social evils to the rural masses should be 1975). Handicraft of India. New : ICCR and New encouraged and promoted. It is evident that a great threat has Age International Publishers. been imposed to theatre from various other media. In this Trivedi, Madhu (1999). "Tradition and Transition: The prevailing situation, new innovative programs that utilize Performing Arts in Medieval North India". The Medieval applications of both theatre and new media are to be derived. A History Journal. 2 (1): 73 110. doi:10.1177/0971945899 good example for such derivative is Panchatantra puppetry 00200105. show being telecasted on ETV. Fan Pen Chen. 2003. ‘Shadow Theaters of the World.’ Asian Folklore Studies, vol. 62, n.1, 25-64. : Nanzan CONCLUSION University Press.

Folk Theatre forms in India are traditional way of Magelssen, Scott; Haugo, Ann (2007). Querying Difference in Communication and enriched cultural heritage. It constitutes a Theatre History. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars potential source for conveying messages for Social, Economic Publishing. p. 173. ISBN 978-1847183033. and Cultural Development which ultimately helps in overall Sarma, Dhurjjati and A. Homen Singh. 2010. ‘Storytelling and National Development. Henceforth, it is our soul duty on the Puppet Traditions of India.’ In Akhyan-A Celebration of part of the Communication Researchers, Policy Makers, , Puppets and Picture Showmen Traditions of Government and the participants-the People to shoulder the India, 35-41. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre responsibility of preserving and propagating the forms of Folk for the Arts. Theatre. There are several traditional puppet genres in India Autiero, Serena. 2013. ‘Danzando nella luce – Il teatro delle and the overview provided here cannot be all-inclusive as the ombre dell’India Meridionale.’ In Il Principe e la sua topic is wide and diverse, but it conveys the main features of ombra (Catalogue of the Exhibition, National Museum of this theatre form. Puppetry has been in India a means of Oriental Art 'G. Tucci', Rome), edited by Gabriella Manna, entertainment and a form of cultural and religious 61-70. Roma: Gangemi Editore. dissemination. In the post-colonial period, the high-speed Salerno, Irene. 2013. ‘Il Teatro delle Marionette del Rajastan. modernization wave that invested India put many of the Un’Arte Nomade.’ In Il Principe e la sua puppetry traditions at risk of extinction; several government ombra (Catalogue of the Exhibition, National Museum of and private initiatives contributed to save endangered styles, Oriental Art 'G. Tucci', Rome), edited by Gabriella Manna, but many are still struggling to survive in the age of internet. 75-88. Roma: Gangemi Editore. Chandaraju, Aruna (10 May 2013). "He was ahead of his References times". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 May 2016. https://www.caluniv.ac.in/global-mdia- Bhagavat, D.N. (1958). An Outline of Indian Folklore. journal/COMMENTARY- Bombay: Popular Book Depot. DEC%20Commentary_8_Sheelita_Das.pdf2013/s. Baird, Bil. 1965. The Art of the Puppet. New York: The Macmillan Company–Toronto: Collier-Macmillan. Philpott, Alexis R. 1969. Dictionary of Puppetry. London: Macdonald. Tilakasiri, Jayadeva. 1970. The Puppet Theatre of Asia. Colombo:Department of Cultural Affairs. Parmar, S. (1975). Traditional Folk Media. New Delhi: Geka Books. Trivedi, Madhu (1999). "Tradition and Transition". The Medieval History Journal.

How to cite this article:

Susmita Pramanik et al.2021, Performing Arts As A Domain of Intangible Cultural Heritage With Special Refrence To Indian Folk Theatre. Int J Recent Sci Res. 12(02), pp. 41069-41072. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24327/ijrsr.2021.1202.5823


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