Indian Performing arts

Art forms in India are ancient but are still in practice today. The performing arts, in particular, enjoy a status in our culture and showcase our tradition. Performing arts aren’t just about artistic expression. It is our tradition; it’s also the way we enjoy festivals, heritage, and ceremonies.

Pathos, love, anger, humor, wonder, terror, heroism, serenity, and terror are the nine basic emotions seen in all performing arts. Besides, it is known as nava rasas and forms the key aesthetics of the four kinds of performing arts –music, dance, film, and theater.

Film

Often shown as messages, melodrama, or dance, many films in India show these emotions. Bollywood films, both new and old, enjoy a worldwide audience and are even noticed in international film festivals. Since the film era, India’s film industry has evolved from the silent films in the 1800s to its star-studded present.

Indian cinematic production reached its golden age in the 1960s and 1970s. Made during this era were classics like Pratidwandi and Madhumati. Commercial films produced in the early 1970s had romantic themes. It was revitalized by gritty films like Deewaar and Zanjeer and more directorial experimentation through films like Sholay, Jai Santoshi Ma. During this time, quintessential Bollywood films came into production. .

Theater

Indian theater is one more type of performing art that is still prevalent. It has a rich history originating from 200 BC. It began with the socio-cultural norms followed extensively in the Vedic era. Ancient Indian mythologies and epics serve as the foundation for other theatre forms.As of today, theatre genres include street theatre, modern theater, folk theater, puppet theater, dance-dramas, and traditional theater.

Just like the film industry, Indian theater has a long history. Theaters were picked up as an entertainment form in the mid-19th century. Today, staged plays are still big and have evolved to highlight modern themes, social issues, comedy, and even use improvisational acting methods. 

As for classical theater, you can only see it in some areas today. Folk theater varies based on the region you are talking about, while puppet theaters are often seen in festivals or rural areas. Modern theater is growing, and you can find many professional stages where plays are being showcased in multiple languages.

Dance

Indian dance forms are still practiced today, and most themes seen in it are legends, classical literature, and mythology. There are classical dance forms that include Kathak, Odissi, Bharata Natyam, and Kathakali. Each of these classical dance forms come from different regions; for example, Kathakali comes from Kerala, Odissi is from Odisha and Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh.  

Contemporary dancing in India was first seen in films. New kinds of choreography experimented with classical forms with western techniques. It was a mix of classical and modern steps to create something unique.

Indians fell in love with western choreography after finding MTV, Broadway musicals, and dance competitions. People developed a taste for other kinds of dance like ballet, jazz, belly dance, etc. Global influence has even introduced freestyle dancing too.

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