A Living Portrait of India
India Heritage:Performing Arts:Theater
Folk Theater

Kerala Orissa Karnataka Rajasthan

There are many forms of folk theatre in India. It is a complete form of entertainment in so far as it employs songs and dances besides dialogue. Folk theatre in India has been associated with the social and cultural ethos of the rural population. Often it is an all night affair and sometimes goes on for several nights in a row. Most of the players are traditionally men who also enact female roles,

While epics and mythological tales are performed by the players, a contemporary flavour is added to the performance by the sutrdhar (narrator) or vidushak (jester). While the former links the performance to contemporary themes, the jester is either the stock character who is called the joker or jester in the particular language in which the performance is taking place. He takes the liberty of lampooning the local leaders and admonishing them at times. The performance takes place in the open and often on the streets. The costumes are sometimes elaborate but often just pancake and

Many of these folk theatre forms are quite popular even today when other forms of entertainemtn have penntetrated to the most remote villages.


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