Theatre in India

Theatre art forms in India include a framework of acting, dialogue, poetry and music.

Bhand Pather (J&K)Music includes surnai, nagaara and dhol. Actors belong to farming community.
Swang (Haryana, UP)Its two important styles are from Rohtak and Haathras
Nautanki (UP)Popular centers are Haathras, Kanpur and Lucknow.Important personality is Gulab Bai of Kanpur.
Rasleela (UP)Exclusively based on Lord Krishna’s legends
Bhavai (Gujarat)Main centers are Kutch and Kathiawar. Instruments used are Bhungal, table, flute, pakhwaaj, rabbab, sarangi and manjeera.
Jatra (West Bengal)They are musical plays in fairs in honor of gods or religious rituals. Krishna jatra became popular due to Chaitanya’s influence.
Maach (MP)Songs are given prominence in between dialogues.
Bhaona (Assam)It is a presentation of Ankia Naat. There are cultural glimpses of Assam, Bengal, Odisha, Mathura and Brindavan.
Tamaasha (Maharashtra)It evolved from the folk forms such as Gondhal, Jagran and Kirtan. Here the female actor is the chief exponent known as murki.
Dashavatar (Goa and Konkan, Maharashtra)Performance shows the ten incarnations of Vishnu.Performers wear masks of wood and Papier Mache.
Krishnattam (Kerala)It came into existence in 17th cen under the patronage of King Manavada of Calicut.It is a cycle of 8 plays performed 8 consecutive days.
Mudiyettu (Kerala)It is celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (nov-dec).It is usually performed only in Kali temples. It depicts the triumph of goddess Bhadrakali over asura Darika.
Koodiyaattam (Kerala)It is based on Sanskrit theatre traditions.
Yakshagaana (Karnataka)It is based on mythological stories and Puranas. The most popular episodes belong to Mahabharata.
Therukoothu (Tamil Nadu)It means street play.It is mostly performed at the annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieve rich harvest. At its core there is a cycle of 8 plays based on the life of Draupadi.
Chaar Bayt (Rajasthan, MP & UP)A muslim tradition in lyrical oral poetry. Chaar Bayt is a four-line sequence of verses sung to the beat of the “duff” (a percussion instrument)Chaar Bayt originated from an Arab poetic form called Rajeez and its origin can be traced back to the 7th century. The soldiers sang these songs.
Jangam Gayan (Haryana)A narrative of Shiva’s marriage with Parvati sung by Jangam Community of Haryana. Members of this community are wandering mendicants and earn their living by performing in Shiva temples.
Ranmale (Goa)Practiced by Valips & Gaonkars, forest dwelling communities in South Goa.
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