Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, University of Washington, Bothell
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Place: Athipatti, a fictional South Indian village
Vellaisamy: Can I trouble you for a little water?
Vellaisamy: Why do you laugh when I ask you for water?
Kovalu: To ask a man for his wife is not a sin in this village. But to ask him for water is a great sin.
Thaneer Thaneer (Water!) Komal Swaminathan
“Dramatizing Water: Performance, Anthropology, and the Transnational” investigates how “dramatizing water” can act as a constellation that links the basic substance of life to translocal performances across a continuum that spans water in everyday life, in ritual, and as it appears on a formalized stage. A brief genealogy of examples is developed across the everyday and ritual, but the primary focus in on the late Tamil playwright Komal Swaminathan’s 1980 Thaneer Thaneer (Water!) and its relevance as a prototype for political drama on water. There is currently a profound global crisis around water distribution and “dramatizing water” indexes an attempt to chart the possibilities of moving toward a differently configured space for our water-practices, toward an alternative and more sustainable performative cartography of water.
Arpita Chatterjee, Barasat College, West Bengal State University, India
Dance provides an active, non-competitive form of exercise that has potential positive effects for physical health as well as mental and emotional wellbeing. Dance therapy is based on the idea that body and mind are co-relational. The therapeutic approaches with various forms of Indian dances are a new entrant to dance literature. Ayurveda held dance as a power of healing (therapy) and inner awareness (psychology). Indian philosophy also supports the facts of Sangeet (song, dance and music) for benefit of human health physically as well as mentally. The powerful dance form of Bhangra (Punjab), Karagam (Tamilnadu), Chou, Rayabese, Dhali (West Bengal) gives good health and strength. The fast footwork of Kathak dance helps to release anger and tension. Manipuri dancers make rounded movements and avoid any jerks, sharp edges or straight lines. It gives them undulating and soft appearance, proper body control and peace of mind. All these body movements, body balancing, expression, muscle movement, muscle constriction and relaxation have a strong effect on therapeutic movements. In India today the dance therapists are conscious about this matter and in therapeutic sessions they actually improvise different dance movements according to the need.
Anita Singh, Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India
This study addresses a number of Indian feminist plays (both by men and women) that were written and performed in the last century and early years in this century. The paper focus specifically on Indian theatre because of its long established theatre tradition that goes back to 1st century B.C. Ironically in such a country there were hardly any women dramatist to speak of before 19th century. At the core, the belief of a Feminist theatre is in the efficacy of theatre as a tool for conscientization, for critiquing social disparities and for self exploration and expression. Feminist theatre is a source of empowerment; it enables women to speak out. It is at the intersection of art, activism and social relevance and sees theatre as an instrument of real change in women’s lives. It is an exploration of women’s own unique idiom, their own form, their language and ways of communication. It is a challenge to the established notions of theatre.