Category: Performing Arts

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Surekha Sikri

As tributes pour in on Surekha Sikri’s demise listen to her Swan Songs

As a fitting tribute to the great performer she was we will listen to her mellifluous recitations of Hindi and Urdu Poetry. But before that, here are some of the tributes which poured in on social media and otherwise from her millions of admirers, and eminent people whom she knew, including actors and directors from film, television and theatre.

Satish Alekar: Remembering Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar used to speak Marathi fluently. He had seen many popular Marathi Sangeet Natak’s. Sometime at his home he will take out harmonium and sing old Marathi theatre song made popular by Bal Gandharva. Dilip Kumarji and Saira ji used to visit Pune during weekends

Ruth-Wieder-Magan

Resonances of the Past – a review by Manohar Khushalani

Ruth is best known for her pioneering work integrating sacred texts into contemporary voice/body theatre. Her pioneering approach to the transcendental aspect of voice is founded solidly in sacred cantorial Jewish traditions. In Mirror Sky in a backdrop of dimly lit scenes Ruth, swirling, moaning, producing gutrral sound explains the origin of her techniques:

The End and the Future of Theater

The first obituary of the theater was written in the 1920s when the talkies ushered in a new era of entertainment. But not only did the theater survive the competition from cinema, the Broadway Book Musicals became a billion-dollar industry around the time. The first real blow to small regional and off-off-Broadway theater came from the television in the 1960s when a television set became a household item. But that did not stop Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller from writing great plays. They forced the audience to return to the theaters. Harold Pinter, Beckett, Albee, and more recently Mamet created scintillating works for the stage despite the competition from the cinema and the television industry. The competition challenged theater to become more daring and intelligent.

Folk Dances of India: Ghoomar

Rajasthan is well famous for its vibrant traditions, enthusiastic dance forms and elegant culture. Ghoomar is just another spectacle of this diversity and culture that started with the Bhil tribe to worship Goddess Sarasvati and is now embraced by other Rajasthani communities. Typically performed by women, Ghoomar gained popularity during the reign of Rajputanas, who ruled Jaipur after defeating the Bhils. It showcases the rich culture of Rajasthan through aesthetically pleasing movement and traditional attire. Tourism in Rajasthan has boosted due to the peculiarities of regions, their manner of dressing, traditions, and folk dances. Ghoomar was a tribal dance that graduated to a folk routine that has now assumed international proportions thanks to a vibrant culture and its recognition as a pride of India.

Folk Theatre of India: Nautanki

Nautanki is one of South Asia’s most famous folk theatre performances, especially in northern India. Nautanki was the most significant source of entertainment in most of the cities and villages in north India.​ Nautanki’s rich musical compositions and humorous storylines hold a strong influence over rural people’s imagination. Nautanki, also known as svang, originated in the late 19th century in Uttar Pradesh and steadily gained popularity.​ Nautanki’s origins lie in the Saangit, Bhagat, and Swang musical theatre traditions of Northern India. One Saangit called Saangit Rani Nautanki Ka became so popular that the whole genre’s name became Nautanki.​

Folk Theatre of India: Yakshagana

Yakshagana is a traditional folk art developed in the western parts of Chikmagalur districts in Karnataka and Kasaragod district in Kerala. Yakshagana comprises music, dance, theatre, costumes, and makeup with a blend of unique style and forms.​ It is said to have evolved from pre-classical music forms and theatrical arts during the Bhakti movement. Yakshgana is referred to as ‘Thenku thittu’ towards the south from Dakshina Kannada to Kasaragod in Tamil Nadu, whereas it is referred to as ‘Badaga Thittu’ north of Udupi.​

Folk Dances of India: Raas Leela

Raas Leela, commonly referred to as Krishna dance, is a folk dance form that predates ancient history and is part of the traditional stories of Krishna in which he dances with his lover, Radha. Raas means aesthetics, and Leela means to act or play, which translates to “play of aesthetics”.