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Alkazi Theatre Archives

A Bibliographic Listing From The Archive

Traditional Indian Theatre: Multiple Streams

Book: Traditional Indian Theatre: Multiple Streams
Written by: Kapila Vatsyayan
Published by: National Book Trust, India (1980)

Kapila Vatsyayan’s ‘Traditional Indian Theatre: Multiple Streams’ explores the various theatrical traditions that can neither be identified as purely classical nor as purely folk, but are composed of elements from both forms. In this book, the author studies ‘Kutiyattam’, ‘Yakshagana’, ‘Bhagavatamela’, ‘Chau’, ‘Nautanki’, ‘Ramlila’, ‘Yatra’, and ‘Bhavai’ amongst other traditional Indian theatrical practices. These forms might diverge from each other in character and in expression but the author presents them together using evidence from archaeological, textual and oral sources, outlining a worldview that is quintessentially ‘Indian’. In this book, Vatsyayan tries to ‘illustrate the phenomena of unity and diversity, abstraction and concretization, interconnections of regions and interdependence of forms within a region.’ (Pg. 12)

The author’s explicit purpose in writing this book is intended to “establish the links of these forms with the growth of regional languages and to draw attention to the fact that although the uniformity provided by the Sanskrit language and its theatre seemed to have disappeared on the surface and was apparently replaced by a multiplicity of languages, artistic genres and [a] staggering variety of forms and techniques, there was and is an underlying unity which is discernible if the different components of the content, form and technique of these theatre forms are closely analysed.” (Pg. 179)

Traditional Indian Theatre- Multiple Streams