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Indian Devotional Drama and Noh Drama

by: Julia Caine

Indian Devotional Drama and Noh Drama THEA-UT 510

Marketplace > New York University > Theatre > THEA-UT 510 > Indian Devotional Drama and Noh Drama
Julia Caine
GPA 3.5
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About this Document

These cover the two topics discussed in the third week of lecture, Indian Drama and Noh Drama
Introduction to Theatre Production
Edward Ziter
Class Notes
theatre, drama, indian, noh




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Caine on Tuesday April 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA-UT 510 at New York University taught by Edward Ziter in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Theatre Production in Theatre at New York University.


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Date Created: 04/19/16
Indian Devotional Drama Key Terms  Sanskrit Drama- Plays evolved from Sanskrit literature  Nātyasāstra- Text telling how to perform Indian drama  Kutiyattam- Performance of scenes from Sanskrit drama as visual sacrifice to gods  Kathakali- All male dance drawn from Sanskrit drama  Rāmlīlā- Plays depicting Rama’s life  Rāsalīlā- Plays depicting Krishnu and Rada  Rasa/ bhāva- Shared embodiment of emotion  Kuttampalam- Temples where Kutiyattam is performed Class Notes  Many kinds of performance in India o Constantly changing  Keep relevancy o Sanskrit drama  No longer performed in entirety  Portions preserved in other performance types  First indications of acting in 500 B.C.  Basas wrote between 1 -5 centuries A.D. o Nātyasāstra  Written by Bharata  Text telling how to perform Indian devotional drama  Many sections about body movement o Meant to create emotion  Rasa- shared embodiment of emotion  Literally means “taste” o Occasion for Sanskrit drama  May have been ritual for gods  May have been celebration for wedding, birth  Made at request of Indra/ Mahatra  God of rain and thunder o Must be done correctly or bad things will come  Bhāva vs. Rasa o Embody pleasure or delight to show to erotic o Embody laughter or humor to show the comic o Embody anger to show the furious o Embody heroism or courage to show the heroic o Embody fear to show the terrible o Embody disgust to show the odious o Embody wonder to show the marvelous o Goal is shared embodiment of emotion in rasa  Manifest in taste  Kuttiyattam o From at least 10 century  Performed in Kerala in temples  Temples called Kuttampalam  One scene of Sanskrit drama o Followed by scenes in local dialects to describe what happened  Sacrifice to temple god o Visual sacrifice to please god  Kathakali o Dance form from Kerala, India  All male  Drawn from Sanskrit drama  Used to be outside  Now moved inside  Used to last all night  Now lasts 3-4 hours  Almost all in local dialects  Highly acrobatic th  Developed in 19 century  Rāsalīlā/ Rāmlīlā o Dance dramas about Vishnu  Rāsalīlā for Krishnu (one embodiment of Vishnu) th  Developed in 15 century  Depicts Krishnu and Rada (other embodiment of Vishnu)  Nityaras o All dancing  Lila o Singing, dialogue, dancing  Performance space called Rasmandala o Circular space  Make up very important  Rāmlīlā  Depicts Rama’s love (other embodiment of Vishnu)  Hardship and heroism o Rama protects world from demons  Developed after 1625 o Performed outside of city  Huge audiences  Concludes with burning of demon Ravana Noh Drama Key Terms  Kan’ami- Creator of Noh drama  Zeami- Son of Kan’ami, perfected Noh drama, wrote plays  Hashigakari- Bridge for actors to enter  Shite- Protagonist of Noh drama  Waki- Foil of Shite Class Terms  Noh has bare stage o Teaches us life is nothing but theatre th  Buddhists priest adopted in 12 century to spread teaching  Guilds developed for performers o Guild attached to temple  Developed into art under shogunate o Feudal system with military dictator  Kan’ami creates art  Son Zeami perfected it o Wrote plays  Performance space o Floor is polished Cyprus  Destroys illusion of performance o Haskigakari  Bridge entrance o Hurry door  Small door for dead/ minor characters  Shite o Main character  Waki is foil  Brings up memories o Chorus sings narrative  Actors dance  Narrative enforces Zen Buddhism o Attachment to material world is useless o Uses masks  Each mask has own spirit o Use fan for every prop  Five groups of plays o Praising gods o Warrior plays o Women plays o Demon plays o Miscellaneous plays  Zeami text o Acting manual  Flower is metaphor for everything in Noh  Represents mastery of technique


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