Contemporary Indian Theatre And Habib Tanvirs

Habib Tanvir and Naya Theatre are two inseparable names which will ever be remembered in the modern theatrical scenario in India. It ‘s been a twelvemonth since the decease of Habib Tanvir, one of the most popular Indian Hindi, Urdu dramatists, a poet, a theatre manager, and an histrion, but still the bulk of playgoers in India retrieve his celebrated graphicss like Agra Bazar and Charandas Chor. The state will ever remember this adult male as the establishing male parent of modern-day theater of India. But before we go into his life and work inside informations we will hold a speedy apprehension of the development of modern-day theater in India.

The traditional theater,

The classical or Sanskrit theater and

The Modern theater.

Contemporary Indian theater, as we know it today, has been widely influenced by the alteration in the political scenario in India. During the 200 old ages of British regulation Indian theater came in direct contact with western theaters. With the brotherhood of power by the British Raj in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Bengal, it was in the cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta that they foremost introduced their manner of theater, chiefly based on London construct.

This genre of theater began to spread out in the 1850s as more partisans started to execute their ain drama on different linguistic communications based on western manner. Due to the growing of this new signifier of the theater the other conventional signifier of theater felt the heat. Theatre started being ticketed from the 1870s. By the twentieth century and First World War, it became a merchandise for sale and was restricted into the auditorium.

As the Indian freedom motion picked impulse, the originative side of the theater took a reverse. In 1922, the Indian Communist Party was founded and along with it came the Indian People`s Theatre Association ( IPTA ) , which worked as its cultural wing. They took the enterprise of portable theater and these were based on assorted political docket chiefly against the British Rule. Indian theater was turning out as a medium of societal and political alteration that would be more concerned about making out to the common people.

Post-Independence, Indian theater got a fresh and broader mentality from appropriate commixture of assorted manners from medieval, Sanskrit, and western theater. This freshly found entity was further enhanced by the formation of Sangeet Natak Academy in Jan 1953 and the National School of Drama, New Delhi under Ebrahim Alkazi in 1959. This dramatic resurgence brought many innovators in the theatrical forepart among which Habib Tanvir was one of the most popular theatre playwright-director in Hindi and Urdu. Along with B.V. Karanth ( 1928-2002 ) , Ibrahim Alkazi ( born 1923 ) , Utpal Dutt ( 1929-1993 ) & A ; Satyadev Dubey ( born 1936 ) , Tanvir shaped the construction of modern theater in India.

The individualism in Tanvir ‘s signifier of theater was that it showed how Indian theater could be at the same time blended with traditional and modern-day facets. His theatre was non fixed to any one signifier as a whole. His plant reaped the accomplishments, energies of common people public presentation and made them relevant to the layman and democratic position. The consequence was that his graphics was every bit ambitious as it was entertaining. During the five decennaries of his stretch in theater, Tanvir gave such memorable productions as Agra Bazar [ 1954 ] , Mitti ki Gari [ 1958 ] , Gaon ka Naam Sasural Mor Naam Damaad [ 1973 ] , Charandas Chor [ 1975 ] , Jis Lahore Ni Dekhya [ 1990 ] , and Rajrakt [ 2006 ] , of which many are renowned as classics of the modern-day Indian phase.

In popular civilization, the name of Habib Tanvir is closely related to the construct of the common people theater. However, Habib Tanvir ‘s entreaty with the ‘folk ‘ was motivated by the common people performing artists who brought their ain manners along with them. Habib Tanvir plays involved histrions who can sing and dance. His undertaking from the start had been to use elements of common people as an instrument to bring forth theatre to appeal general multitudes.

Habib Ahmed Khan was born in Raipur, Chhattisgarh to Hafiz Ahmed Khan, who belonged to Peshawar. ‘Tanvir ‘ was a pen-name he took subsequently when he started composing poesy. Raipur, during that clip was a little town surrounded by small towns. As a kid, Tanvir excessively had many chances to see small towns, interact with the occupants and listen to the vocals of the locals. He was so attracted by those tunes that he even memorized some of them.

Tanvir completed his schooling from Laurie Municipal High School in Raipur and his Barium from Morris College Nagpur in 1944. After prosecuting his Masters for 1 twelvemonth at Aligarh Muslim University ( AMU ) , Tanvir moved to Bombay in 1945 and joined All India Radio ( AIR ) . He besides joined the PWA ( Progressive Writers ‘ Association ) and became an indispensable portion of IPTA ( Indian People ‘s Theatre Association ) as an histrion. When the Communist Party of India was banned many IPTA members were jailed or went belowground. From 1948-50, Habib entirely handled the duty of running the organisation.

In 1954, Tanvir moved to Delhi, and worked with Hindustani Theatre formed by Qudsia Zaidi and authored many dramas. It was in this period he met Moneeka Mishra, besides an actor-director, whom he subsequently married. In the same twelvemonth, he produced ‘Agra Bazar ‘ , based on the times of the 18-th-century Urdu poet, Nazir Akbarabadi, an older poet in the coevals of Mirza Ghalib. He used pupils of Jamia Millia Islamia and local occupants and common people creative persons from Okhla small town and created an atmosphere ne’er seen before in Indian theater. The drama was non staged in a restricted infinite, but in a bazar, a market place. Later, On a Govt of India scholarship, Tanvir went to England in 1956. He received preparation at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and the British Drama League, and holding exposure to Western play and production manners.

He traveled extensively throughout Europe, watching theater. In 1956 he spent approximately 8 months in Berlin and saw legion productions by Bertolt Brecht. Being Tanvir ‘s first experience with the German playwright-director ‘s work he was rapidly influenced by it. Simplicity and straightness were the benchmark of Berliner Ensemble productions, and Tanvir was reminded of Sanskrit play, about its simpleness in technique and presentation. By the clip he got back to India, he was determined to unlearn much of what he had learnt at RADA. Therefore following a way of development antonym to that followed by other Indian managers trained in Britain.

Soon after returning from Europe, he worked with some common people creative persons of Chhattisgarh and tried to understand their signifiers and techniques. His first production, Mitti ki Gadi, included 6 common people histrions from Chhattisgarh in the dramatis personae. Besides, to give a distinguishable Indian signifier and manner, he used the conventions and techniques of common people phase. This drama though is now performed wholly by small town creative persons, but it is still considered as one of the best modern portraiture of the authoritative.

Tanvir and his married woman Moneeka Misra founded Naya Theatre in 1959. During this phase of calling, Tanvir ‘s involvement in the common people traditions and performing artists continued to turn. But, it was non until the early seventiess that this association reached a new and more sustained stage.

Tanvir was n’t wholly satisfied with the working of common people histrions. He identified two ‘faults ‘ in his attack to undertake them. First, the job with the rural creative persons was they non merely could read or compose but could n’t even retrieve what manner they needed to travel in the phase. So, it was n’t wise plenty to pre-define their motions in progress. Second, doing these people speak standard Hindi in Hindustani dramas created a terrible disability for them and restricted their freedom of look and creativeness in public presentation.

To improvize on these mistakes, the common people histrions were allowed to talk in their native Chhattisgarhi idiom. He besides worked intensively with rural performing artists in their linguistic communication bringing and manner of public presentation. Besides, to do them experience phase worthy, he allowed them their ain part of bringing in their ain traditional manner. The 2nd discovery came when Tanvir conducted a nacha workshop in Raipur in 1972 where more than a 100 common people participants were involved in a month-long exercising. During this workshop, three different traditional comedies were selected and combined to organize a full length drama. Further improvisations linked them up to a full narrative, taking to a phase drama called Gaon Ka Naam Sasural, Mor Naam Damaad.

This drama marked a turning point in Tanvir ‘s calling, non merely because the drama was a expansive success in Delhi but that he eventually found the signifier and manner he was seeking since his directorial introduction. Since so, he continued his building and casting of drama through improvisations. Through this method, at that clip he produced his best work – Charandas Chor ( 1975 ) . This drama is still the evergreen favourite for most theatre departers.

Tanvir ‘s Naya Theatre worked about wholly with common people histrions. But, his occasional productions with other theatre groups were besides marked by the manner he developed through his work with folk creative persons. But, this freshly developed manner was non “ common people theater ” by any sense. He was still an urban creative person with esthesia, modern mentality and strong sense of history and political relations. His alone manner and content in theater ever reflected his committedness to common people and their causes, chiefly due to his engagement with the left-of-center cultural motion in early old ages.

Tanvir ‘s captivation with the “ common people ” was motivated by the fact that he believed there is a immense artistic and originative energy inherent in these traditions. He ever borrowed techniques, music and subjects from these traditions as and when required. His theater ne’er belonged to any one signifier or tradition entirely. His dramas, from the beginning, have been utilizing elements of common people traditions as a tool and do them give new, modern-day significances, and to make an art signifier which has that touch of dirt in it.

The public presentation manners of the histrions were ever in their conventional nacha background, but the dramas were non original nacha productions. While the figure of histrions in a nacha drama is normally 2 or 3, the remainder being background terpsichoreans and vocalists, Tanvir ‘s dramas used to affect a whole casting of histrions, some of whom could sing and dance. His productions ever had a construction which 1 does n’t tie in with the original signifier of the nacha.

Another important difference is that while the nacha vocals are largely used as intermediate musical holds, in Tanvir ‘s dramas they were closely embedded as an of import portion of the subject of the drama. This is best displayed in some his versions like The Good Woman of Szechwan ( Shaajapur ki Shantibai ) and A Midsummer ‘s Night Dream ( Kamdeo Ka Apna, Basant Ritu Ka Sapna ) . Tanvir non merely gave his poetic composings the freshness of the original but has besides used his words to suit native melodies with easiness and accomplishment.

However, Tanvir was ever witting non to make a difference between his ain educated heads over the uneducated originative head of his histrions. An illustration of this attack is the manner Tanvir mixed his poesy to the traditional tribal and common people music, retaining its ain inventive power without in any manner less valuing the latter. Another illustration is the manner he allowed his histrions and their accomplishments to be projected by less perplexing the lighting & A ; phase design.

Therefore in contrast to the fashionable genre of play on one side and the ‘traditional ‘ theater on the other, Habib Tanvir, with his ain blend of tradition, common people creativeness and critical consciousness, offered a fresh and advanced theoretical account of field of dramatics. It is this rich blend which made his art so memorable.

Even after Tanvir ‘s decease, his advanced art signifier and manner is still being carried frontward through newer productions of Naya Theatre. Sing recent public presentation of Naya Theatre histrions in film “ Peepli Live ” we can likely notice that Tanvir ‘s art signifier is bit by bit traversing the barriers of modern-day theater and researching newer towards mainstream film.

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