(Last Updated on : 26/11/2013)
Regional Theatre of North India lays bare the regional streaks of drama within the frame work of Indian cultural scenario. The north Indian states include Haryana, Uttar Pradesh
etc. The tradition of folk theatre in Haryana
is century's old, dating back to 16th century. Theatre in Haryana
is called the Natya Plays, which is the amalgamation of music, dance, poetry and speech. In Hindu mythology, the gods themselves figure as supreme dancers and Haryana theatre based heavily on mythology. Haryana Drama was created not merely for pleasure but for conveying moral truths, but also to strengthen the cultural integrity. Folk theatre in Haryana is divided into two categories. Firstly, temple based religious theatre, depicting Indian Epics and Puranas
and the source material for characters and secondly community-based secular theatre, of minor forms and lighter variety.
In reality several themes of Haryana theatre are mixed together with mythological love, popular history and religious themes and different colours of secular values. Haryana Swang follows the old tradition of Haryana, thus being the most popular variety of performance based on the 'open stage' technique. The word Sang is the advanced form of Swang, which literally means imitating or disguising. The sang is the rural folk drama in Haryana, which expresses the relationship of love, depicting legendary and modern tales of valour, sacrifice, humour and whatever interests human mind. With a deep-rooted tradition, the Sang in Haryana is based on the open theatre style and in other parts of India, Ramleela and Rasleela are the more popular dramas, based on mythology and religion. It is an all male cultural troupe of Haryana, comprising of twenty to thirty artistes, including the director, producer musicians and actors. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, all women of the Swang troupes performed in western Uttar Pradesh and the adjoining 'Khadar 'area of Haryana.
forms an integral part of Kashmiri culture. Having a recorded history that dates back centuries, Kashmiri theatre is an art form rich in content and art. However, Kashmiri theatre has had a rather chequered development, and even though it started off with great pomp and splendour, it witnessed a significant setback in the later stages of its development. Currently, much effort is being made for the revival of Kashmiri theatre.
Kashmiri theatre flourished under royal patronage in the ancient period of Kashmiri history. The ancient golden age of drama in Kashmir lasted 1500 years, commencing from the Christian era right up till the 15th century. Following this flowering of Kashmiri theatre, the medieval period saw a certain stagnation setting in the field of dramatics. Following the 12th century, there were a number of emergent issues that Kashmir had to deal with- invasions, attacks, floods, famines, raids, fires and epidemics. This left little or no time to be devoted to all forms of arts and literature, and resulted in the loss of books, manuscripts and plays. It was during this time that folk theatre continued to survive and made its presence felt in the form of the Bhand Pather. The modern era, with the spread of awareness and education saw a revival of the performing arts and consequently of Kashmiri theatre. Sustained efforts are still being made sustain and develop the field of Kashmiri dramatics.
was developed to cater primarily to the urban middle class. The prime intent was to bring about social reform. Whatever the conflicts presented, these plays focused on the domestic and the romantic. The characters were generally stock types, and the climax proceeded on familiar lines. According to Sant Singh Sekhon
, Punjabi theatre in its early days was rhetorical, with emotions and sentiments having great importance. Following the partition, the theatre settled in areas like Shimla
, Jalandhar, Patiala
, and, later, Chandigarh
. Nowhere could it make its presence felt. In all these places, Punjabi theatre remained a localized affair with no distinctive character of its own.
Later in the 1960's the regional theatres in different parts attained maturity and professional skill. The National School of Drama
, established in Delhi
in the early 1960s, became a strong centre for bringing about a purposeful dialogue among theatre folks of the different regions of India. When Punjabi theatre came into contact with the theatre of other regions of India it found a new orientation in Punjab
, Delhi and Mumbai