ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Politics of Art-Forms

Politics of Art-Forms GPD Art-forms have a politics of their own. To reject tradition altogether or to reject modernity altogether cannot lead our art-forms anywhere. This has been the experience of India and that of the Chinese opera has apparently been similar CHINESE opera is easily the best known among things Chinese after Chinese food and the Great Wall. Not so long ago there was a Chinese opera team visiting India and one of the Delhi newspapers had an Indian specialist in ethno-theatre waxing eloquent over its indisputable qualities in a way as if he were the only one in this land of Ram Bhaktas to have known anything about it. Anyway, for whatever reason, he did talk at great length on what was offered at the Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi, What was played out there was, one viewer assured us, a typical 'export' version of the famous Beijing Opera. Just the right amount of dancing, singing, dialogue (with its written form being shown on the small screen in front) and, of course, the acrobatics. It was the usual fare, perfect to the last detail and, indeed, enjoyable as long as it lasted, no doubt prompting our 'ethno-theat re- wallahs' to see dreams of all kinds of Indian folk forms and martial arts and what have you bursting out on the international scene, Pune's Theatre Academy's Ghashiram Kotwal had already shown us the way. But obviously that is not enough, because that play does a neat reversal in using the traditional forms, makes them stand on their bead as it were. Beijing Opera, indeed the Chinese opera as a whole, showed us the right way of doing these things. At least the report in the Delhi daily would have us believe that anyway.

Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top