Folk Theatre and the Search for an Indigenous Idiom:

Vasudha Dalmia

in Poetics, Plays, and Performances

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195695052
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080335 | DOI:
Folk Theatre and the Search for an Indigenous Idiom:

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This chapter discusses and traces the course of folk forms from its first emergence to its transformations into veritable storehouse of indigenous values and essences in the late twentieth century. The focus of this chapter is on the relationship of urban theatre makers to the folk idiom. Discussed herein are the four stages of the urban relationship to folk theatre: 1) the distancing of dramatists from the folk theatre in the efforts to create a respectable urban theatre; 2) the rediscovery and focus on the performative aspects in the 1940s; 3) the use of folk for urban stage and the partial politicization in the 1960s and 1970s: the adaptation and modification of aesthetics and conventions of Brecht’s theatre; and 4) the appropriation of folk forms by ‘official culture’ accompanied by widespread depoliticization of theatre. The concluding section discusses the developments in the era of liberalization which changed the nature of the inner Indian relationship to the folk traditional forms.

Keywords: folk forms; urban theatre; folk idiom; folk theatre; urban stage; Brecht’s theatre; politicization; official culture; depoliticization of theatre; liberalization

Chapter.  31211 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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