Traditional Theatre Forms in India: UPSC Art and Culture

Traditional theatre forms has always been the cornerstone of art and culture in India. A prospective UPSC candidate will do well to know a bit about these art forms. Thus this article will talk in brief about the traditional theatre forms in India.

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Origins of Traditional Theatre forms in India

The earliest form of the classical theatre of India was the Sanskrit theatre which came into existence after the development of Greek and Roman theatres in the west. One theory describes this development as an offshoot of Alexander the Great’s Indian conquest. The invading army staged Greek-style plays and the local Indian population picked up the performance art. While some scholars argue that traditional Indian theatre predated it, there is a recognition that classical Greek theatre has helped transform it.

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What are Traditional Theatre forms in India?

Traditional theatre is a combination of acting, singing, dance, music, dialogue, narration. They also play crucial roles in culture and society such as songs sung during agricultural work music that is part of a ritual. Traditional theatre is often a key feature of cultural promotion intended to attract tourists. This will bring in more visitors and increased revenue to a country, state or community.

Name some of the Traditional Art Forms of India?

India has many traditional art forms, some of them are listed below.

  1. Saang – Usually found in Malwa area of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
  2. Bhand Pather – from Jammu and Kashmir
  3. Nautanki – mainly seen in Uttar Pradesh.
  4. Raasleela – famous in the areas of Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.
  5. Bhavai – Traditional theatre form of Gujarat
  6. Jatra – Belongs to West Bengal
  7. Maach – famous in Madhya Pradesh, originated from Rajasthan.

What are the 6 elements of Theatre?

The 6 main elements are listed below

  1. Plot
  2. Character
  3. Thought
  4. Diction
  5. Music
  6. Spectacle

How to Safeguard Traditional Performing Arts?

The various ways of safeguarding the traditional performing arts are listed below.

  1. Transmission of techniques and knowledge of instruments.
  2. Stronger bond between the master and apprentice.
  3. More research and documentation.
  4. Older recordings would be lost permanently unless digitized.
  5. Cultural Media and institutions must play a critical role in raising awareness amongst the general public.
  6. Better training and infrastructure in institutions to preserve the arts.

Familiarise yourself with the exam pattern by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page. For more preparation materials and related articles refer to the links given in the table below:

Related Links

UPSC Books UPSC Monthly Current Affairs Magazine NCERT Notes For UPSC
Anu Kumari GK Questions on Current Affairs Famous Indian Mathematicians
Article 368 of the Indian Constitution Jhansi Rani Important Acts in India

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