JOHANNESBURG, July 2: Amity University of Gurugram hosted a global lecture series by internationally acclaimed eminent theatre director and the director of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, Balwant Thakur.
The lecture series was entitled as ‘International perspective of Indian Theatre’. Balwant Thakur who holds a unique credit of having travelled to over 100 International cities of the world in connection with the exchange of culture and intellectual interactions presented an overview of the world perspective of Indian theatre. Unfolding the origin of Indian theatre which is one of the ancient in the world like Greek and Roman, he dwelt in detail about the contribution of India to world theatre in terms of offering scriptures like ‘Natya Shastra’.
He said Sanskrit plays like ‘Shakuntlam’ have been translated/adapted in the majority of world languages. Unfortunately the classical Sanskrit theatre movement of India could not sustain for long due to multiple reasons including the repeated foreign invasions and India could not revive that authority and supremacy which it enjoyed in ancient times. Barring ‘Koodiyatam’ classical theatre of Kerala State of India which is about 2000 years old, no other classical tradition of Indian theatre could survive and sustain, he added.
He said in the Global theatre scene, India has a long way to go to match the International standards of the showcasing of theatre. Compared with India the theatre in the developed world is a fully organised sector and its economics is more like a profitable industry. He cited the example of few established theatre repertories of the world where theatre actors get more money than the film actors.
Balwant Thakur desired the theatre practitioners of India to raise the standards of their respective presentations to match the International standards of theatre practice. “There are very few opportunities for Indian theatre abroad as we have not been able to match those parameters which raise the demand for a theatre of a particular region or country”, . Original works rooted in the soil of Indian culture and performing art traditions have the visible potential to raise demand provided we improve qualitatively, he added.