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World Theatre: Theatre & Dance of India: Different forms of Traditional Theatre

Asia

Various forms of Theatre from India

Bhand Pather : A traditional theatre form  from Kashmir at the foothills of the Himalayas,  The Bhands,were the  traditional performers of the valley. The plays of the Bhands was called Pather; a drama that incorporated mythological legends and contemporary social satire.  Acting,  dance and music were an integral part of this theatre form.

Swang:  Is a popular folk dance drama or folk theatre form from  Rajasthan,  Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and  Malwa region of Madya Pradesh. Stories from Indian Mythology and folk tales were enacted by a group of actors in the open air theatres surrounded by the audience. Men usually performed in these dramas as women did not tradionally participate in dance dramas.

Nautanki: A popular folk operatic theater performance that  provided entertainment in the villages and towns of northern India.  Nautankis range from mythological and folk tales to stories of contemporary heroes.

Raasleela: Nand Das wrote his plays based  on the life of the Krishna. The performance includes prose, poetry, songs and scenes from the life of Krishna. 

Bhavai Maach: The traditional theatre form from Gujarat, it displays a combination of devotion and romantic sentiments.

Tamasha: Traditional folk theatre from Maharashtra. The female actress known as Murki performs all the dances in the play.

Krishnattam: This is the folk theatre from Kerala . Krishnattam is a cycle of eight plays performed during eight days. Based on the life of the Hindu Lord Krishna they portray the victory of good over evil.

Theyyam:  Means God's dance and is a traditional and popular form of  folk theatre from Kerala. It features colorful costumesanad striking head ornaments that are often 6 feet high.

Koodiyattam: Oldest traditional theatre form from Kerala adheres to Sanskrit theatre traditions. Elaborate hand gestures and eye movements are highlighted in this theatre form.

Yakshaganna: Theatre form from Karnataka is based on the Mahabarata, mythological storeis and the puranas.

Theerukoothu: Popular folk theatre from Tamil Nadu in Southern India.  It means 'street play' and is usually performed during the temple festivals to appease the rain goddess Mariamman. This is a cycle of eight plays and describes the life of Draupadi.

 From the Center for Cultural Resources and Training, webpages on Theatre forms of India.

 

Yakshaganna

Theatre form from Karnataka

Koodiyattam

KoodiYattam -oldest traditional theatre form from Kerala