Nautanki: Towards the Preservation and Rejuvenation of Indian Musical Theatre: with emphasis on Nautanki Theatre.

Towards the Preservation and Rejuvenation of Indian Musical Theatre: with emphasis on Nautanki Theatre.

The Nautanki/Musical Theatre Training Project: A Youth Development  Initiative

Manana along with our partners Padatik are working together towards the preservation and rejuvenation of Indian Musical Theatre. Padatik one of India’s premier institutions in the field of performing arts, will be partnering with us in conducting dance and theatre workshops, towards the actualisation of an Indian Musical Theatre Academy and Cultural Village.

History

The merits of protecting traditional theatre forms by bringing it into the lives of the youth have been recognised. Research findings suggest that theatre-related activities in young people positively contribute to their personal and social development and help them identify with their culture and history. Theatre identifies and builds the skills, capacities and resources that help young people make successful transitions to adulthood in the current social and economic climate. It is in this context that the Musical Theatre Project has been initiated. We hope to make a concentrated push through a year- long series of training workshop culminating in performances modules in a chosen musical theatre form, Nautanki, with the aim of establishing a recognised institute where artists can be trained and taught in the multiple disciplines that make up this musical theatre scene. Learnings from the experiences of these workshops and performances will be applied to other musical forms in the following phases. The workshops will be held in the region of Delhi and Mathura

Why Nautanki?

Of the many existing theatre forms in India, we may be inspired by the Nautanki theatre form not only because Nautanki has been the foremost performing tradition encompassing North and Central India, but also because as a form it has substance to move, transform and addresses complex and diverse range of human experience emotions and conflicts. It has a long tradition in our villages. Thus we propose to work with children whose connect to their village still exists.

Nautanki is the perfect candidate to take up the challenge of transcending from the feudal to 2019 and forward. This is because Nautanki has no tradition steeped in religion it embraces a secular and open form. Nautanki has the ability to raise social issues and keep pace with the times, reinventing itself if need be, while remaining at heart a traditional musical theatre steeped in its classical roots. As its music is written for theatre it can imbibe modern techniques, stand on its own merit and take up the challenge to develop into a full-fledged operatic form.

Such form may be woven or experimented with other existing rich musical theatre forms: to bolster the classical to transcend to modernity

Through a series of workshops, running for 3-4 months each, over the course of a year, we aim to work towards the revival of Nautanki.  Our workshops, held and taught by renowned names in the field of theatre, practitioners and experts, will be taught as an intensive course with a curriculum, that will be culminate as the syllabus at the Indian Musical Theatre Academy, and play a part in a developing a Cultural Village of artists, practitioners and budding practitioners that we aim to continue develop and nurture and assist in thriving.

This course will be an excellent opportunity to provide students from the economically challenged sections of society with the training and skills in the tradition of Nautanki, with the aim of making this an aspirational vocation and sustainable vocation for our students.  The students will be taught diction, speech and voice modulation, along with dance, rhythm, singing and performance, by experts in the field of Nautanki. They will get a chance to experiment with scripts, costumes and stage design as well as learn about the running of a show, including publicity and media.

 

Social and Personal Benefits of Participation

  • Increased levels of confidence and self-esteem
  • Increased numbers of friends and an increased ability to make friends
  • A more developed sense of personal and group identity
  • A sense of belonging
  • Increased self-discipline and commitment
  • Improved abilities to articulate and express feelings and opinions
  • A sense of happiness, fun and well-being
  • Increased levels of activity
  • A sense of personal and group achievement
  • Increased understanding and knowledge of relevant issues
  • Increased ability to take risks and be spontaneous within a safe environment
  • A sense of empowerment
  • A sense of relaxation

Main Activities:

  • Through this course we aim to take forward a methodology for the revival and training and thus the sustenance of the Nautanki theatre art form. The gathered Nautanki practitioners and experts in performance will teach budding practitioners.
  • This course will be an excellent opportunity to provide students from the economically challenged sections of society with the training and skills in tradition of Nautanki, with the objective of making this an aspirational vocation for our students.
  • Classes will be held 3­–4 times a week for children aged 15 years and above. Time duration: 4 hours per day
  • The students will be taught diction, speech and voice modulation, along with dance, rhythm, singing and performance. They will get a chance to experiment with scripts, costumes and stage design.

The outcome of the training capsule will be a production that will have three public performances.

Objective

  • Create an institution for training in Indian Musical Theatre and linking it with learning centres
  • Training artists and providing the vocational skills to sustain themselves
  • Nurture the transmission to future generations
  • Develop new audiences
  • Foster further academic research

Methodology

  • Conducting Year long series of Workshops and performances in the region of Mathura and Delhi and Mathura under guidance of Experts and Practitioners on Training, learning and Development.
  • There will be 4 workshops of 3 months duration. Each workshop will work on enhancing particular aspects of the artform like music, movement, speech and diction, acting etc.
  • These activities aim to bring Nautanki performers and other resource personal, previously working separately, together in creative exchange and expand the interest in their art.
  • The recommendations arising will form the roadmap and may be duplicated for the following phases in our endeavor to rejuvenate other traditional musical theatre forms
  • Putting in to practice the recommendations and methodology derived from the workshop.
  • It is also our aim to provide students from the economically challenged sections of society with the training and skills in tradition of Nautanki, with the objective of making this an aspirational vocation for our students. The students will be taught diction, speech and voice modulation, along with dance, rhythm, singing and performance. They will get a chance to experiment with scripts, costumes and stage design.
  • Documentation, audio- visual.

Goal:

Setting up of new training methodology and an institution where Indian Musical Theatre can be nurtured and enhanced so that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience is our prime focus.

We are grateful and open to any partial or full financial assistance with this endeavour.

New Delhi, India