Samvardhan Trust

Folk Theater

India is a multi-cultural and diverse nation. It has various modes of entertainment like , wrestling and hunting since ancient times including theatre. India has a long, rich and illustrious history of folk theatre. In ancient times, Sanskrit Dramas were staged at seasonal festivals or to celebrate special events. From the 15th and the 19th centuries, actors and dancers were given special places of distinction in the courts the several Indian kings.Indian Folk theatre have grown over the centuries and are a part of the life and culture of the rural people. In India every state has its own distinctive forms of folk theatre. Variously known as the Jatra in Orissa, Bengal and Eastern Bihar, Tamasha in Maharashtra, Nautanki in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, Bhavai in Gujarat, Yakshagana in Karnataka, Therubuttu in Tamil Nadu Indian folk theatre with its sheer vibrancy since the age-old days has reached out to all. Artistically, folk theatre in India eloquently exemplifies the “nine rasas”of the Indian drama. Some of the folk theatres even depict true aura of the classical theatres amidst its artistry. Chhau, Lion dance, Kuchipudi, Santhal dance all contributes in weaving that magical sheen of Indian folk theatre which not only stands out as an eminent theatre pattern and depicts the realism of life, love, death, virtues and vice. We have example of Koodivattam which is one of the oldest traditional theatre form of India that follows the performative rules of the ancient tradition of Sanskrit theatre maintaining its own distinctive characteristics. Koodivattam was officially recognized by UNESCO as a important masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of Humanity.