Bharata’s Natyashastra-based Theatre Analysis Model: An experiment on British South Asian and contemporary Indian theatre in English
Chavda, Mrunal Prabhudas
Date: 5 January 2015
University of Exeter
PhD in Drama
This thesis tests a newly developed model based on the Natyashastra, an Indian treatise on performing arts, and uses this for theatrical analysis in the contexts of British Asian theatre productions and contemporary Indian theatre in English. The study offers a tool that can provide an alternative model of analysis. By extending ...
This thesis tests a newly developed model based on the Natyashastra, an Indian treatise on performing arts, and uses this for theatrical analysis in the contexts of British Asian theatre productions and contemporary Indian theatre in English. The study offers a tool that can provide an alternative model of analysis. By extending the existing analytical models, we can ask questions concerning the actors’ emotional manifestation and their mental state while acting. This thesis attempts to interpret the actors’ gestures and provides a structure to analyse them. In order to do that, this project uses the Natyashastra and rasa/bhava concepts as performance analysis tools, which might provide an alternate perspective to theatre analysis. The thesis reviews existing models of theatrical analysis and argues for an alternative model in Chapter One. It examines the analysis of theatre productions by scholars of British Asian theatre and contemporary Indian theatre in English in Chapter Two. Here, I review the ways in which scholars of British South Asian theatre have examined theatrical productions so far. Chapter Three tests the proposed model on four theatre productions, illustrating the ways in which theatre productions could be analysed, and identifies the model’s limitations and advantages. Chapter Four discusses findings in the light of the results analysed in Chapter Three; it also outlines some questions which needs further investigation. By doing so, this thesis contributes to the field of performance analysis and theatre studies by developing strong links between the manifestation of the actors’ bodymind, the directors' reception after their first reading of a play’s text, and playwrights’ initial emotions within the text, through production analysis.
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