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Modern Theatre Vs Ancient Theatre

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Ramesh V.Naivaruni View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Oct 2011 at 13:27

Let us understand the drama is a progression from folklore which used to be enacted in front of few people as part of the entertainment centuries back, I would not like to go back to the age of Indian theatre because there are multiple landmark set as such I will take Kalidasa period as a begining of Indian theatre.

Let us discuss the progress of Asian Theatre which includes Indian theatre as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2011 at 17:24
Before a discussion can take place one misconception must be erased immediately, Drama is not a progression from folklore to entertainment! The roots of Drama lie in religious ritual and its original intent was edification and not entertainment. To identify public ritual and ceremony as "entertainment" or to misconstrue ancient dramatic arts as "popular" pastimes divorced from religious symbolisms is little other than a projection of our own "prejudices" into the minds of the past.
 
The first problematic here will, naturally, arise from the assumption that Kalidasa represents the "origins" of Indian "theatre" rather than its maturity in the late 4th century AD.  


Edited by drgonzaga - 25 Oct 2011 at 14:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 12:21

Doctor, the idea of any forms of Theatre is to hold the attention of people and hence during the earlier age these enactment would have taken place during a ritual -- Your thinking is quite logical, but my intend was more to explore the different types of Drama/Play.  I think you are making a mistake  not to link folklore to drama as there are definite link which is evident the traces of folklore getting converted into a full fledged plays infact famous folklore are the ones which used to get into a full fledged plays.  Barring modern plays, Sheakspherean plays used to be more historical than religious. Similarly in India too the theatre folks used to have plays like Kempegowda ---The king of Bangalore, Thacholi udayanan  a fighter from Malabar coast known for his brave deeds, we have Nala Damanti, Shakuntalam etc.,  The beauty of these plays are that these were considered a departure from the plays of Gods and Godesses.

Kaladasa is the epitome of Indian Theatre and there is no parlance to him in Indian Literature . I thought he would rather be a Ideal landmark.  I dont mind Doctor if you could suggest one. I think we should avoid ritual part off this thread and that would make it interesting.


Edited by Ramesh V.Naivaruni - 25 Oct 2011 at 12:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 14:02
The orgin of Indian theatre can be traced back to the times of Bharata Muni who is supposedly the pioneer in the Natya shastra wherin in the Mudras and facial expression generally found in dance forms were the main expression ,later they got into more of a refinement.  These forms were mostly in sanskrit and were based on mythological characters and stories. The second inference of its origin can be Bhavabhuti of the 7th century. The seeds of Indian theatre can be traced back to the times to Mahabhasya of the Patanjali (Reference "Treatise Theatre)".
The dialogues were the key to a dramatic performance and hence importance was very high and people who performed in the early days were Brahman as these dramas were performed in Temples and Sanskrit was the key langauage generally spoken by Brahmans.  The Director of a play were called Sutradhara (A person who is the cause) we have Nayaka (Hero) Nayika (Heroine) and Vibhushaka (clown). We used to have All Male Dramas, All female and mixed groups performing and hence there was no bias for a female artsit in performing along with Male. 
 
Kalidasa is credited with the tiltle of Kavi Ratna who is responsible for taking the Sanskrit literature to the highest levels, his works include Malivika Agnimitram, Vikramaurvishiyam, Abhignana Shakumtalam to name a few.
There are allegation aganist this genius that at his instance many of the earlier sanskrit plays were destroyed but there is no substantiate evidence to this and his style is very distinct and his versatality on use of UPAMAS(Figures of Speech) is unparalled in the history of Theatre even when this compared with the West.


Edited by Ramesh V.Naivaruni - 25 Oct 2011 at 14:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 14:38
Different types of plays? The comedic is separated from the tragic only by the melodramatic! And if the subject is staging then your choices are even more limited: the symbolically stylized vs. the naturalized. Of course, we could do the short-cut implied by the notion of "entertainment" and call it all eye candy. I am not being difficult here but you are attempting a truncation that does violence not only to the history of the dramatic arts but would actually misinterpret Indian theatrical arts and render them but early "Bollywood"!
 
By the way, I am also not too keen on your use of the term "folklore" and its placement as the muse for the Sanskrit Thespis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2011 at 10:45

Indian Theatre laid a great emphasis on Rasa Anubhas, Bhutas(which used to be shown symbolically in the form of Mudras)  The main Rasas are

 
 
Singara(Love), Rudras(Anger), Kauranya,(Compassion) Hasya,(Laughter) Bhibhihasta(disgust), vikrama(Herioc) Adbhutha(Suprising) and Bhayanaka(Horror). Since Bharata Muni himself was a good dancer the earlier plays did have some inputs from temple dances like Bharatanatyam.


Edited by Ramesh V.Naivaruni - 29 Oct 2011 at 10:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2011 at 16:27
Please do not regurgitate Wikipedia...photos and all.
 
 
You set the theme as a juxtaposition between modern and ancient theatre not the expression of religious aesthetics in ossified settings.


Edited by drgonzaga - 01 Nov 2011 at 16:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 09:50
Doctor, When we talk about rasas (NAVA RASAS) I just gave a picture there and I dont disown the that It could be from wiki.  There is nothing religious aeshetics in this, this picture is Just Singara or the way love is presented. 
I am yet to see a setting like this in modern theatre, I see more realistic expression in modern settings but to bring out such expression ( we call it Overacting) or intensive expression is very natural in earlier theatre.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 16:16
"Intensive expression" is a function of the medium and its setting. Just take in a few reels of silent motion pictures and notice the falseness of the dichotomy between ancient and modern with respect to "intensive expression".
 
Hint:
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 01 Nov 2011 at 16:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2011 at 12:29

The picture given is an excellent one, but I feel its show more of rage which is Ahamkara. The lighting in the picture is really note worthy. but I doubt it is from silent film because , the silent era ended with black & white..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2011 at 13:22
The picture was a hint as to expression and the dramatic media and not an example of "expression" in "silent movies", which of course is a given:
 
e.g.
Theda Bara


Edited by drgonzaga - 11 Nov 2011 at 13:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2011 at 15:53
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Before a discussion can take place one misconception must be erased immediately, Drama is not a progression from folklore to entertainment!
And ritual re-enactment.
Quote
The roots of Drama lie in religious ritual and its original intent was edification and not entertainment. To identify public ritual and ceremony as "entertainment" or to misconstrue ancient dramatic arts as "popular" pastimes divorced from religious symbolisms is little other than a projection of our own "prejudices" into the minds of the past.
 
The first problematic here will, naturally, arise from the assumption that Kalidasa represents the "origins" of Indian "theatre" rather than its maturity in the late 4th century AD.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tayek1967 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2012 at 14:04
"theatre"is making a enjoying environment,which may be modern or may be ancient thats not deferant when it create really enjoyable. I like theatre. i share with u as same. thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 2012 at 10:20
The Indian theatre started in right earnest during the days of Kalidasa with his Shakuntalam and other great epic works. but down the line there were others who also joined them. Never was a drama staged as part of the rituals it was conducted pre-ritual or post ritual and the only reason for this was not propogating religion but entertainment quotient.
Having said that in Indian context it was a natural progression of folk lore that later turned into drama.
 
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