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B adal Sircar was one of the leading and most influential playwrights and directors in modern Indian theatre movement. With the advent of industrialisation leading to modernity, the working class became an essential element of metropolis populace.
With rising popularity of Marxist aesthetics, artistes soon started to see themselves as labourers and their work as labour. The conventional notions were broken, including rejection of institutions set up by status quo. New social, economic and cultural relations were approached which moved beyond boundaries set by the State; not only in terms of ideas but also in relation to form.
Badal Sircar emerged as a theatre director and writer who tried to emancipate himself and his work by crossing boundaries. Odin Teatret was the epitome model; constructed by people dedicated towards theatre.
Third Theatre saw itself as a cultural institution, trying to refine training and performance methods, but is perceived as avant-garde by many.
Barba endured to create a new theatrical language with renewed relationship between spectators, music and dance. As for him, mere spoken words restricted the reach of theatre. For him, yoga remained inefficient, as it focused on interiority whereas actors required exteriority of emotions as well as gestures. For him, gestures were to be expressive and dominant enough to overpower the lack which the form inhabits consciously. The process becomes simplistic and was performed in any space, thereby, rejecting traditional theatre halls or spaces.
Sircar, professionally a town planner, never went through an official training in theatre. In the beginning of his theatre career, he could not remain stable and dwindled between theatre and town planning. Sircar, emerged as a great playwright in process of writing plays in which he could act. Sircar, fascinated with comedies and science fiction fantasies wrote six plays which included Baro Pishima, Shonibar and Ram-Shyam-Jadu. But his play Ebong Indrajeet, written in s opened gates of fame and popularity.
The rupture came, when Sircar started to grow over proscenium theatre and was invited by the Government of India to visit three European countries in where he encountered experimental theatre. This allowed Sircar to get introduced to Grotowski as well as Poor Theatre. After his encounter with such ideas, the group started minimalistic use of sets, lights, costumes and even background music, completely rejecting mechanical and technological tools such as radio.
Similar to Grotowski, the body of the actor experimented with mime, dance, movement, time, and space rather than speech. With these experiments in mind, Sircar adapted them to his previously written works. The process was closely associated as a workshop which explored capabilities of artistes. To familiarise Indian theatre groups with his form, Sircar started to conduct theatre workshops in different regions of the country.
A three-week long workshop was conducted on Spartacus, also translated in Manipuri with initiative given to performers to mould the performance. During the performance, the burst of energy by the slave characters became the high point for the local audiences, which they appreciated by spontaneous applause. The revolt in the play was becoming the voice of the mass audience standing outside the fence.
Performance was held in an open space under a wooden roof which invited local people and certain VIPs. For Sircar, selling tickets became turning audiences into consumers, thus it remained a practice to keep the tickets very cheap by reducing the cost of theatre, and also not relying on funds from government or other business houses.
Spartacus talks about the marginalised community and their exploitation. Such performance thus intrigues a desire to change, in the form of protest by giving a voice to the oppressed; not only by representation of the script by characters but also through form. She can be reached on twitter koulayushi. India is experiencing a positive change in the fashion industry: Jeesha Chowdhury. Ayushi Koul. Prev Post India is experiencing a positive change in the fashion industry: Jeesha Chowdhury.
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The legacy of Badal Sircar
Badal Sircar 15 July — 13 May , also known as Badal Sarkar , was an influential Indian dramatist and theatre director, most known for his anti-establishment plays during the Naxalite movement in the s and taking theatre out of the proscenium and into public arena, when he transformed his own theatre company, Shatabdi established in for proscenium theatre as a third theatre group. A pioneering figure in street theatre as well as in experimental and contemporary Bengali theatre with his egalitarian "Third Theatre", he prolifically wrote scripts for his Aanganmanch courtyard stage performances, and remains one of the most translated Indian playwrights. He was initially schooled at the Scottish Church Collegiate School. While working as a town planner in India, England and Nigeria, he entered theatre as an actor, moved to direction, but soon started writing plays, starting with comedies. Badal Sirkar did experiments with theatrical environments such as stage, costumes and presentation and established a new genre of theatre called "Third Theatre".
From courtyards to factory gates, parks and slums, Third Theatre's last act in Bengal. Kanchrapara, a small town about 50km from Kolkata, is the base of the nearly four-decade-old theatre group. The actors are sprawled on the ground of the railway property they use for rehearsals; a couple of theatrical props and glowing light bulbs hanging from trees are all that there is to assist them. Knowing their names seemed like a natural first step to knowing Pathasena.
Badal Sarkar's Third Theatre