Indian Folk Theatres: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Indian Folk Theatres

1st Edition

By Julia Hollander


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Indian Folk Theatres is theatre anthropology as a lived experience, containing detailed accounts of recent folk theatre shows as well as historical and cultural context. It looks at folk theatre forms from three corners of the Indian subcontinent:

  • Tamasha, song and dance entertainments from Maharastra
  • Chhau, the lyrical dance theatre of Bihar
  • Theru Koothu, satirical, ritualised epics from Tamil Nadu.

The contrasting styles and contents are depicted with a strongly practical bias, harnessing expertise from practitioners, anthropologists and theatre scholars in India. Indian Folk Theatres makes these exceptionally versatile and up-beat theatre forms accessible to students and practitioners everywhere.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction: First Encounters. 1. Chhau – Competing Spaces 2. Expanding Chhau – Beyond Masks and Maharajas 3. Rediscovering Folk Theatre 4. Tamasha – Escape 5. Re-working Tamasha – From Socialism to Social Mobility 6. More Discoveries 7. Theru Koothu – Coalescing Worlds 8. Modern Theru Koothu – Survival 9. The Global Village. Glossary of Terms. Bibliography. Therukoothu Appendix

About the Author

Julia Hollander is a British theatre director, teacher and writer. She has staged operas all over the world, including three acclaimed productions for English National Opera in London. Her study and artistic collaboration with Indian folk theatre practitioners began in the early 1990’s.

About the Series

Theatres of the World

Theatres of the World is a series that will bring close and instructive contact with makers of performances from around the world. Each book looks at the performance traditions and current practices of a specific region, focusing on a small number of individual theatrical events. Mixing first-hand observation, interviews with performance makers and in-depth analyses, these books show how performance practices are expressive of their social, historical and cultural contexts. They consider the ways in which theatre artists worldwide can enjoy and understand one another's work.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General