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Week 4; Day 7 + 8 - Theatre of India

by: Becca LeBoeuf

Week 4; Day 7 + 8 - Theatre of India Theatre 152

Marketplace > University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh > Theatre > Theatre 152 > Week 4 Day 7 8 Theatre of India
Becca LeBoeuf

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About this Document

These notes consist of material about theatre in India. We talked about two types of theatre there which were called Sanskrit and Kathakali.
Non Western Theatre
Bryan Vandevender
Class Notes
#Theatre #Theatre152 #NonWesternTheatre #IndiaTheatre #Sanskirt #Kathakali
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca LeBoeuf on Tuesday February 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Theatre 152 at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh taught by Bryan Vandevender in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Non Western Theatre in Theatre at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.


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Date Created: 02/23/16
Week 4    2/22/2016    Hinduism is the primary religious practice.   Third largest religion in the world.  Hinduism has over 1 million followers.  Began in India, did not come from another culture or country.  It doesn’t say you do this or you don’t do that (no choice).  It says if you want to live a good life, you might want to do that (choice).  Developed around 8 century BCE. Older than Christianity and Islam.    Theatre Of India ­ Sanskrit & Kathakali:  Performance Traditions of India are sacred traditions, closely associated with HInduism, or  Sanatana Dharma, the eternal law.    Hinduism:  ● Three Major Gods:  ○ Brahma​, The Creator (has four heads).  ○ Shiva​ The Destroyer.  ○ Vishnu​, The Preserver.  ● Hundreds of additional gods or spirit beings.  ● Incarnation of gods are called Avatars.  ● Essence of all things in the spirit/soul.  ● Reincarnation (intertwined with karma).  ● Karma (intertwined with reincarnation).  ● Ultimate goal is to achieve union (peace of mind) with the supreme world: Nirvana.  ● Successive reincarnations occur until Nirvana is achieved.  ● Two Major Religious Texts Are The Principal Sources Of Theatre And Drama:  ○ The Mahabharata:  ■ The epic tale of the Bharata Dynasty authored by Vyasa (an avatar of  Vishnu) and his scribe Ganesha.  ■ 18 books longs.  ■ 1.8million words (the Christian bible only has 800,000 words).  ■ There is not authoritated text.  ■ Kauravas and​andavas;​ epic struggle between two ruling families  (6000­500 BCE) (lasts 5,000 years).  ■ Philosophicaand ​evotiona​  ■ Includes The Bhagavad Gita.  ■ Contains conversions betwe​andava prince Arjun​and hi​uide  Krishnaon many philosophical issues.  ■ Arjuna imparts doctrine of selfless actions.  ■ British director Peter Brook adapts the text for the stage in 1985.  ■ The production nine hours long and tours the world for four years.  ■ Adapted again as six​hour BBC television mini series.  ■ Later reduced tthree hours for worldwide theatrical release.  ■ Critics chastise Brokcultural appropriatioand inauthentic adaption.  ● For a white British director take this text and turn it into a play, sell  tickets, etc. is what was called cultural appropriation.  ● Cultural appropriation means he took a religion in which he is not  in/affiliated with and made a profit out of it.  ○ The Ramayana:  ■ Story oPrince Rama​ (an incarnation of Vishnu) and his wife, Sita, who  are exiled from their kingdom.  ■ The most highly regarded version of Ramayana attributed to Valmiki, “The  First Poet.”  ■ Has 7 books.  ■ 50,000lines of verse.  ■ Multiple versions.  ■ Chronicles the major events of Rama’s life.  ■ Sita is abducted by demon king and rescued by a monkey king.  ■ Depicts ideas of human relationships and behavior­­ the ideal servant,  king, wife, brother, etc.    Divine Sources Of Drama:  ● Brahma conceived drama to give enlightenment through pleasure to both humans and  other gods.  ● He wrote a fifth Veda as a sacred text on dramatic theory and stage practice.  ● This was passed to humans in the form of​tatyasastra (The Treatise on Drama) by  the first actor/playwright Bharata in 4th Century C.E.).  ● Shiva, also known as “Lord of the Dance” brought dance to Indian Theatre.  ● Vishnu, the Preserver, gave INdian drama its diverse characteristic styles.  ● Vishnu is often compared to Dionysus. He would immerse himself in the earth for four  month, after which his triumphant resurrections would be marked.    The Natyasastra:  ● Origins of drama.  ● Types of plays.  ● Guides to playwriting.  ● Theatre construction.  ● How to worship prior to performance.  ● Costumes and makeup.  ● Performance: vocal and physical expressions.        Tenets Of Sanskrit Drama:  ● Drama represents all classes of people.  ● Drama depicts all aspects of life, from war to sexuality.  ● Drama educates and offers guidance to people on how to live.  ● The central goal Sanskrit Drama is to produce the appropr​asa­­an emotional  state or mood­­n each audience member.  ● All play's ehappily​  ● Text is a mixture of verse and prose.  ● Over 100 stock characters.  ● Death and violencdo not​occur on stag​much like Greek theatre.  ● A play may have one to ten acts.  ● A play’s locations range from earth to hcannot in Greek theatre.  ● Ten genres of drama­heroic and social are the most important (Greek theatre only  has two genres).    Rasa ­ an emotional state or mood:  ● Audiences judge a play’s success by its ability to induce a strong emotional response  through poetry, mime, dance, music, costume, and jewelry.  ● Each play has a dominant rasa ­ and each act within the play produces an individual  rasa ­ much like a musical composition.  ● The moods progress and lead to peace or serenity.  ● Rasas are created by gestures and facial expressions of the actors.  ● The Original Eight Rasas Are:  ○ Love, attractiveness..  ○ Laughter, mirth, comedy.  ○ Fury.  ○ Compassion, tragedy.  ○ Disgust, aversion.  ○ Horror, terror.  ○ Heroic mood.  ○ Wonder, amazement.  ● 3 More Are Added Later:  ○ Peace, tranquility.  ○ Traquental love.  ○ Spirit, devotion.    Sanskrit Drama:  ● Sanskrit was the formal drama of the court and thrived until the Muslim arrival in India in  about 1,000 C.E.  ● Sanskrit Falls Into Two Categories:  ○ Nataka plays based on traditional mythology­such ​sakuntal​  ○ Prakarana plays invented by the playwright with less exalted character  such as​The Little Clay C. t​ ○ Little Clay Cart:  ■ Author: Sudraka.  ■ Genre: Social  ■ Rasa: Erotic.  ○ The Recognition of Sakuntala:  ■ Author: Kalidasa.  ■ Genre: Drama    Sanskrit Acting:  ● Vocation.  ● Men and women partake.  ● Specialization in roles.  ● Actor­managers (male).  ● Rigorous training: special diet, full body massages, yoga, dance postures, physical  exercise, rhythm, hand gesture, voice, emotional expression, costumes, makeup, etc.  ● Internal (emotional) and external (physical) skills.  ● Non­realistic.    Kathakal​  ● Dance­Drama.  ● Originates in SIndi​(Kerala) circa 16th century.  ● Combines Dance, Music, And Acting:  ○ Katha​ = Story.  ○ Kali = Dance.  ● Movement oriented and precise.  ● Intricate Movement:  ○ Hand movement (mudras​).  ○ Facial movement ​hava​.  ● Performed outdoors.  ● All night performances.  ● Use percussionists, two vocalists, actor/dancers.  ● Makeup and costume indicate character.  ● Intense training (martial­arts­based) 8­10 years.  ● No spoken dialogue.  ● All men (until the 1970s).  ● Green​Makeup​: reserved for noble characters; divine heroes, gods, and virtuous kings.  ● Red Makeup​: reserved for villains.  ● Yellow ​akeup​: reserved for women.  ● Performance always begins with the lightin​raditional Kathakali Oil L”; ​ representing the presence of God (Greek Theatre is the sacgoat​. of a ​ ● Mudra​: a symbolic hand gesture used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies and statuary,  and in Indian dance. Very precise.4 


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