ITF Not The Drama Seminar: Aparna Dharwadkar - Questions and Answers
Duration: 00:44:51; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 6.584; Saturation: 0.088; Lightness: 0.357; Volume: 0.243; Cuts per Minute: 2.920; Words per Minute: 132.602
Organised 50 years after the original Drama Seminar in 1957, the Not the Drama Seminar (NTDS) brought together theatre practitioners from all across the country to convene at Ninasam, Heggodu in March 2008. This seminar meditated on the nature of theatre in India today, on how we got to where we are. The attempt was to understand 'Indian Theatre' in all its multiplicity and diversity, bringing these several faces of Indian theatre face to face, and problemetize the issues that arise therein. These ideas were exchanged through a series of presentations and discussions over five days, and each day ended with a performance.
Pravin KP: 20 minutes in which you can take some questions. Raghu! Who else? Rajiv! Ok! We will start with Raghu.
Aparna: Will you just give me a moment, I'll just get a pen just in case I need to write something down.
Raghu: Thank you Aparna for that wonderful paper. Because I read it then and I was feeling that it was very comprehensive and very insighted. I have one question, one observation from my point. You mentioned that in the 1956 Drama Seminar, IPTA was effectively erased, the memory of IPTA was not mentioned at all in this and I am curious because I think it is extremely important. Why? Why do you think it isn't important? Answer that to me. That is one thing.
Raghu: The other thing is that the point that you made about short stories, novels and poetry being staged in an unprecedented manner, precedented manner in Indian theatre and the advantage from things like that. Now, this is something, I am sure, that is bothering many of us - I mean it has bothered me considerably this past 10-15 years - and to see people increasingly depending on that because the dramatic imagination is different from...is a different order than of story-telling imagination or the...I do not say the poetic imagination because poetry (?) So drama is essentially poetry but it is definitely the dramatic imagination - the dramatic poetical imagination taken from that of the lyrical or the lyrical of the edit narrative imagination or the (?) of the imagination.
Aparna: ...Aristotelian (?) can be dramatic.
Raghu: And the one thing that one keeps talking to to one's own self, to police, to peers and to younger theatre directors and people who adapt them is that much dramatic writing borrows from stories. Its all that great Greek playwrights, Shakespeare, others, they all based their dramatic writing on stories. But then what do they do? Shakespeare takes something from one source. He takes something from Boccaccio, some things from north India, something from somewhere else, then he puts them all together and that is what it undergoes when it enters the imagination of Shakespeare. It undergoes sea-change.
Raghu: So it not actually a one-to-one putting of relationship between the dramatic work and the literary work. So that is something that the people seem to have entirely forgotten. So what happens is that I pick up a story and as you mentioned I put it on stage, in the 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' or I commission somebody to do it, and then the work is referred to a script writer. Like how one refers to a script writer in the TV - people who write serials. And I have often seen that to aid that you take up a story and you divide it into scenes. You make some kind of rudimentary scene division and then put it on stage and rehearse it. And because the truly dramatic imagination is not at work, putting stories and novels on stage leads to a dependence on technology. So there are huge sets, projections etc. which actually impoverishes the entire work of writing, acting and response to theatre. That is something extremely compromising.
Acharya : Aparna I have a concern of a very different kind which doesn't seem to have been covered in your paper at all. You speak of occasional criticism and the kind of work which you are talking about is very detailed, evaluative, analytical kind of work which comes out more in the form of books and journals and seminars and so and so forth. I am very concerned, even during my research doing my PhD, was concerning the kind of, let's say could call it criticism or you can just wave it off, but the journalistic writings which are coming up in newspapers, the constraints on so-called critics when they are doing their particular reporting or whatever it is. Because it tends to directly affect the performances in whichever way and the response... I mean do we just do away with this, 'I am not calling them critics and I am not calling their writing criticism' and forget about the whole thing and just stick to the fact that criticism would be something which is so beautifully like you have put it and classified it.
Indian cultural criticism
Acharya: Both Shamlabai and Shanta Gokhale have been there. By the research what I realised that what was written in the earlier years of Marathi theatre and the reporting was very beautifully analysed but what is happening now, the whole new breed of writing which comes under this entire umbrella of critical writing and the constraints that these people who are struggling to write something about theatre in terms of policies of newspapers for which they write. I think I want you to address this issue also.
Praveen: Yes! Rajiv has already asked and how many more can you take?
Aparna: I don't know how much time do we have? Maybe...
Vikram: This is Vikram. I'll just add very quickly to what Ajay was saying about this area of criticism. Just a brief example from Calcutta. The English dailies there, of course Shominda read from one of the reviews, that is the Hindustan Times which I occasionally write for and one, I began writing for them because I found this ridiculous review in the paper on a play that I had seen which I had actually quite liked. It was an amateur young production but doing very interesting things and the review had sort of not been very complimentary. So I wrote to the Hindustan Times just wanting to know who the reviewer was and I discovered that he was a college kid. He was sort of first year / second year, may be English or something like that. Then I told them that if you are going to review theatre then at least have somebody who has some sort of background in it to write or you know whatever the play may be you have to give it the due respect. You can't have college kids coming and reporting. You know, it is not a school scroll or a college journal that is coming out. But this is increasingly the case at least in Calcutta where this sort of thing is happening both definitely in theatre, and also increasingly for dance though dance is not as badly as theatre.
Praveen: We will take Rajiv now...
Rajiv: I don't know whether I am going to be saying something new but...
Aparna: Sorry can I have your name please?
Rajiv: My name is Rajiv. I am just looking at it in terms of, you know I work primarily in English but I am actually open to going beyond that and working in my language, Tamil, or a mix of other languages. But I was just looking at what are the possibilities to me to access plays in my language, Tamil, or other regional languages. Now the plays that exist in Tamil, there are very few playwrights as we speak about the paucity of playwriting particularly new playwriting. But another problem is even the playwrights who exist like a Na. Muthuswamy in Tamil, most of his works haven't even been published, let alone...
Rajiv: So I think... And of course the issue of translations from other languages. One thing that this seminar should certainly address is creating a bank and I think it is spoken of before, of not just plays that have been written but also performance scripts, because a lot of performances are not documented at all and especially when they are directed and written by the same person. I think that offers a unique insight into how the play is been interpreted by the writer in performance. And whether good, bad or ugly, I think this bank of performance scripts can add immeasurably to the kind of opportunities available for other directors working in different languages.
Rajiv: I would also like to say that a short story, Raghunandana has said everything I wanted to say, but I personally don't think its.... Its actually quite interesting to work with other forms like short stories. One thing that is interesting is to be able to imagine a short story in a theatrical sense. Sometimes a playwright has certain fixed notions of how his play has to be performed, but in a short story my imagination can run free with the consent of the writer of course. But I think we have to see it in the medium of theatre. That is very important. It offers a lot of interesting possibilities as do other - working with other forms as well.
Ashitosh: Aparna, I wonder that translations of new Indian plays into Hindi import like Satish Shah, G.P. Deshpande, myself infact. How many years we will call them 'new' because...
Ashutosh: I am just wondering about how we will include new after them. There is a whole range of other playwrights even after them my generation. Now Makarand is there, Rajiv Naik is there as far as I know and after them we are again writing, like Mohit is there others are there. Even after us there will be people writing when will you include...?
Praveen: We will take your response now and then we will go for the second round of questions.
Aparna: Actually, can I begin with responding to Ashitosh?
Keval: I am sorry! If you are closing it here because I think some of us want to add something to Rajiv so maybe then Aparna could just collapse...
Praveen: I think we will have another round.
KevaI: I imagine what I am saying is connecting.
Keval: Aparna, many points with which to take issue with you, but let's just confine it to a couple of things. I am not personally dismayed. I don't want to contest whether Delhi has been singularly responsible for erasing playwrights, or whether this whole business like the way Rajiv put it is that we are all witness to the fact that the number of new playwrights emerging on the scene is not as many in number as we would like it to be. Which is not to say that there is an active agenda or a project in erasing playwright. But that is not really the point. I think for me what is so vitally interesting about theatre today is that it doesn't imagine that the playwright has to be as the egg from which all the chickens are going to spring forth and some of the most exciting work that I have seen is work which opens the idea of what is a text which goes into performance.
Keval: So I don't understand the note of either regret or almost it seems accusation in your tone when you valorise the playwright in that sense. The 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' instance you picked up from Delhi is possibly one of the shoddiest instances of this exercise. If you pick up third grade work then you will arrive at second grade conclusions.
Keval: I would say that if you think of the job for instance. Just one instance of reaction, job, to verifying responses to this text by Maya on one side Anuradha Kapoor on the other, and the negotiations that expanded the performance grammar in the way in which a short story could be brought on to the stage. I think it was a huge learning curve for me personally when I saw those two performances.
Keval: Also remember 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' is in a misguided attempt part of a training program to the NSD and a training program which sees very little training. We should collectively... I would quite be willing to participate in a collective amnesia for 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' and I will not talk about it any more.
Keval: What I want to end with is a disturbing... On your part I thought almost... I completely share your sense of worry and anxiety about playwrights or directors or whoever, looking at their work in terms of constituencies and not willing to engage enough in your understanding with different kinds of work.
Keval: I am just worried that you are possibly doing the same thing here. When you are trashing the idea of engaging with text from outside India as a derivative text. I don't see why we should be worried about that. In fact I think of the whole global project of the adaptation of Shakespeare as one of the few places where genuine inter-cultural space is possible with national contestations or regional contestations of a text which is now regarded almost as a transnational text.
Aparna: I think one of the problems with taking so many questions one after the other is precisely that one begins to lose the thread. So I'm actually maybe going to respond to them in reverse order. And so to respond to Keval first.
Aparna: How dominant has 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' actually been on the Delhi stage? You understand my limitations. I am here occasionally and usually at the time when there is not very much theatre. But it has been clear to me for several years that, first now there is a very well developed theory behind the practice, and it does also seem to mean that one is compelled to watch a lot of it even now because that is what is being offered atleast at this particular institution.
Aparna: And let me give you the example of Mohan Rakesh's 'Antral'. It is a novel that they want to bring onto the stage preserving the novelistic qualities as much as possible. So most of the experience of the production was listening to voice-overs while the characters, the two characters were completely immobile. And in one sense it is not the multiplication of numbers, but one such example of investment of resources into something like that, that is then offered to audiences for a week or ten days or whatever it is. In a sense, it is enough to make us pause and ask what is going on here?
Aparna: So I sense in some of the questions are a quantitative orientation that is, this is not happening on as much as larger scale as you can get, might be. I think one needs to parallel that with a qualitative concern about what is happening. Because... in a sense one bad thing is enough. We need to be able to at least think about what is bad about it and make... Much of this is about making ones concern heard because I haven't seen a systematic critique in print or any other medium that I can access on this practice because it is so entrenched in the country's one National Institute of Theatre Training and education.
Aparna: One needs to moderate one's language. I did not say that Delhi is singularly responsible for abolishing the playwright. What I have heard from directors from other cities is that it is acquiring a reputation as a city that is inhospitable to playwrights. And those of us who live and watch theatre in Delhi need to be concerned about this. One does not have to talk in absolute terms about anything at all because obviously a lot is going on even in Delhi which a lot of people feel is a somewhat less bustling sort of theatre metropolis than the two places to which it is regularly compared, that is Kolkata and Mumbai.
Aparna: So in reflecting on something critically it is not an either/or thing. Very often it is a both/and thing. My only interest here has been to focus on some of the things that I feel really need a collective reflection and at least some questioning because if you don't question something, then all you can do is sort of complain that it is going on.
Aparna: To respond to Ashutosh's question again you have to keep in mind the particular temporal chronological framework of that argument. When we talk of the theatre movement of the post-independence period the playwrights that I have mentioned and you so ironically referred to, they were new at that point. That's when it started. The whole concern is that, that moment has sort of got dissipated and again the newer playwrights, I personally have no way of finding out how many of them have actually been translated. Of course, we saw Makarand's play in translation two days ago but this kind of information has not begun to filter in on the same scale as is available for the first major generation and you have to recognise its newness in that time.
Aparna: What you need to do is add to it and that is why I have issued an open invitation. Please send me this information and I will then be one person who can document this and then do whatever can be done with it. So the chronological context is important here. Now I guess I can go back to Raghu's point. The first question was why do I feel that the IPTA was erased in the 1950's? There was no single essay on the IPTA. There were a number of people who had been extremely active in the IPTA. Shanta Gandhi and Balraj Sahni had gone to prison in 1949. This was 1956. The organiser of the seminar...Sengupta? Sachin Sengupta, was it? He was the all-India...Sorry! Sachin Sengupta. He was the All-India Treasurer of the IPTA in 1956 and there are essays on more than 30 different subjects including children's theatre, including folk drama and there is no mention of the IPTA.
Raghu: Why do you think that happened?
Aparna: Oh! Why do I think that happened? To some extent I think that is or should be general knowledge and that is that policies of the Nehruvian socialist democratic government is completely inconsistent with the kind of activism that the IPTA was developing and it is not just the Drama seminar by the way. Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay who is a highly respected cultural figure; she has, I don't know how many people know about this, but she has a small booklet called 'Towards a National Theatre' published in 1944 and that has no mention either of IPTA. She is talking about the poverty of theatre in 1944. There is no mention of Nobanno.
Raghu: Can I make only one small observation?
Raghu: I am not sure...it just occurred to me the reason could be firstly in 1948/1949, the Telangana revolt was suppressed. And in '58 the first communist government, Namboodiripad's government was dismissed. So, I think in the 50's there must be some kind of a subterranean leading that Hindi ruling. That may be why IPTA wasn't a very viable option for theatre.
Aparna: I think it was more than subterranean. It was very much on the surface.
Aparna: A couple of points have been made about the necessity to theatricalise effectively material from prose sources, narrative sources. Of course, one can't agree strongly enough with that. The term that Raghu has used, Shakespeare sources. I think it is worth keeping in mind that a source for a play is a very different thing from an actual novel or story, where the intention then is to try and preserve the novelistic or the short fictional qualities which is what is happening at least in one branch of theatricalisation. So I think these are things one can simply agree with.
Aparna: It's interesting how we came immediately to the Aristotelian categories from the poetics. Lyric, epic and dramatic as the three major literary modes in Aristotle. And if you want to bring that into your theorising, what the 'Kahani Ka Rangmanch' or other kinds of things that do not effectively theatricalise the material do, is to combine the epic and the dramatic and in some cases not very effectively.
Aparna: Ok! About the journalistic. The badness of journalistic writing - both Ajay and Vikram have talked about that. Again, I think the response to that is protest. When you read something that is so egregiously ill-informed, write a letter to the editor or in some way vocalise your disapproval of this because in one sense what is the alternative to that? And I can't give you a solution to the problem. I think it is for all of us to think of what we could do to try and ensure over a period of time that performance reviews - especially when they affect the performance, the reception of the performance itself, are well-informed mature acts of writing for that medium. And I think the quality of performance reviews varies quite widely depending on who it is, who is doing the review.
Aparna: By the way, this reminds me and I will just take a minute. I think I lost about one point in my paper which I want to return to very briefly and that is on page seven, last few lines of the second last paragraph - 'The reductive notion of "criticism" as merely the rhetoric of praise and blame also obscures the other functions of criticism' - This is really, you know, it is sort of tucked away but I think this is something we need to reflect on. Criticism has many functions. We are used to criticism that's mostly a game of praise and blame especially in performance reviews, but it is the task of criticism to explicate, interpret, analyse, compare, retrieve, document etc. And just in terms of the potential for interpretive criticism - and I know again that I am speaking to a gathering of mostly practitioners so may be this is not for you but for that sort of at present not quite formed body of perhaps professional theatre scholars like myself.
Aparna: Even contemporary Indian theatre provides the richest minds for what we might call 'closed readings'. Closed readings of plays. You take a major play and you do a kind of closed reading and you will be surprised at what the effects are in that sense. And every time that has been done in recent years by professional theatre critics, it adds something of value. I think it is ironic that almost all of the professional sort of theatre- scholarship and criticism on Indian theatre is being done by people who are members of either the North American or the European academy. Nandi Bhatia in Canada at the University of Western Ontario, Rakesh Solomon in Indiana, Vasudha Dalmia at Berkeley and Subroto Chatterjee who was at Berkeley but has now gone to England. So, there seems to be, I guess, a kind of unavoidable separation between scholar and subject but that is how it is at the moment.
Praveen: We will have another very quick round. We have about four minutes. A lot of hands have gone up and we have space for exactly three. I'll take Pralayan and then I am going to take Sundar and Shankar because...you will have to make it brief please because you have only 15 seconds.
Pralayan: My name is Pralayan. Thank you! (Laughs).
Pralayan: I would like to share one thing. You are taking record, documents as a major resource for returning the (?) theatre scene in India. In my views it is incomplete. The segment of IPTA of Tamil Nadu, maybe N.S. Krishnan, K. Subramaniam who have been vice-presidents but nothing has been documented. Nothing has been brought into the pan-Indian memory about what happened in Tamil Nadu in the 40's and 50's. Actually the Vice-Presidents, they were invited to the Soviet Union and they performed there. And the first central team formed under Uday Shankar central dance team were invited to Chennai. They have given the first performance in Chennai.
Pralayan: These things were documented but what happened in Tamil Nadu in the theatre scene under the national movement - nothing has been brought out and documented. This is for your information. Actually N.S. Krishnan himself is a very popular film actor/ director (?) and he has done Kirtanar (?) Charitra. It is Kathakalakshepam - a traditional format. It is very popular and it has very strong sentimental, very political message. Also so many things happened. The Dramatic Performance Act executed vehemently as a (?). It has attacked all the Dravidian movement theatre. Ramayana was banned - done by M.R. Radha (?). So many things happened in Tamil Nadu. This is for your information.
Aparna: Sorry! What years are you talking about?
Sankaran: Mr. N.T. working for Samudaya. Mr. Sankaran N.T. working for Samudaya. In Karnataka, literatures like Kuvempu and BM Sree (?) translated into so many languages particularly (?) has transcribed the Hamlet by (?) and B.M Sree Ashok Daman and they is translated (?) into the regional languages. Where does this stand in the history of Dramatic Literature translations?
Aparna: I am sorry I really didn't get your question! Was that a question or was that an observation?
Shankar: Literatures like Kuvempu here, in Kannada. B.M.Sree. Since they have worked from 1920s to up to 65-70. They have translated Shakespeare dramas into regional languages particularly Kuvempu. He has translated three or four dramas, indianised and B.M.Sree - he has translated several dramas of English literature into Kannada. Even ...(indistinct)...Sanskrit drama is translated into Indian different languages. Where do these literature translations stand in the drama translations? Drama translation entry.
Praveen: What is their status in the history of dramatic translations?
Sundar: Thank you! A very quick question.
Aparna: Just one second.
Sundar: You have talked about how there is a big revolution going on in Indian academics which is an attempt to try to find all the categories restricted to Indian thought drawing from not only Indian experience but larger Indian categories drawing from classical and other traditions. Do you see that happening in criticism in theatre? Especially in other languages. Are they coming up in different concepts and categories which are not applicable to just Indian theatre but also to theatre outside - to other non-Indian theatres? And finally a quick point also about the fact that criticism doesn't engage in translation studies that much...I mean the interactions. For example, the very idea that the performance of a text is one kind of translation seems to await a lot of...(indistinct)...
Sadanand: Could be like opinion. But opinions are like assholes, everybody has one! Now criticism is something that is a product of certain kind of methodology applied to the practice of watching and seeing and discourse. This methodology can have certain spontaneous elements certainly but in the modern era certainly it has come from a certain kind of academic university pursuit where it is systematically produced. Criticism is a product and before you set out of looking at critical practice in India, I think you will essentially have to preface what are the pre-conditions for that in the Indian academia.
Sadanand: How many theatre schools are there? How many of them have theatre history programmes? And so on and so forth - or even theatre appreciation and then from there how does it proceed to a certain kind of body of literature produced? And if you apply across the book to dance and visual arts practice in India etc. you will find that the situation is exactly the same. If we want to have a dance seminar in India we cannot have it today without importing - half a dozen Indian scholars from the America, Canada and U.K. We can't have a visual arts seminar in India today without importing half a dozen people from the global university if you want to call it. Who will unfortunately then begin to create a line and one notices this tendency to be...(indistinct)...theory...
Sadanand: It becomes like a neo-colonial exercise where you yourself talk about the split between subject and scholarship. Subject is here - it's native. Scholarship will come from the western world. This I think is a huge problematic - which you need to problematize in the presentation levels. Instead of that, you can't be like behaving like a cock that says that the sun has risen to hear me crow. Indian theatre can't be working to help U.S. Scholarship. That's the tone you are applying here. That you send me material and I'll write it out. Unfortunately this is an unconscious act. I am not saying you are doing it deliberately. It is an unconscious act.
Sadanand: I can name at least 3-4 American scholars who do precisely this - Phillip Zarrilli, Joan Erdman. It is fantastic. You spend your entire life in an American university; once in a way you come here and say, "Oh, when I came here only this was going on, so this is my spectacle (?)!" I think that is very very unfair and uneven even as scholarship and then to make that a premise for a certain kind of theorising becomes hugely propagandising. So I think to...what I think Vikram raised, let's extend this to dance criticism.
Sadanand: We all believe that dance criticism doesn't exist in India or dance theory - scholarship, doesn't exist in India. Criticism exists in India. Now why is this? Dance, I would contend and I would like to explain this premise through theatre also since theatre and dance are somewhere linked to the mind. It has a divine origin theory. Dance performance began when Shiva danced his Nataraja on top of the Kailasa. Therefore it is a divine line. The person who performs it on stage is therefore a divine creature. In front of a divine creature an Apsara, a Rambha, an Urvasi etc who are performing your attitude can only be worshipful, your attitude can't be critical. You are only a worshipful prekshaka (spectator), that's all.
Sadanand: Now in this environment where will criticism begin from? Where will the tone for it come from? Will it come from the audiences? Will it come from the media? Will it come from the academy? Will it come from outside scholarship? These are things that...sufficiently problematised. You can't simply enter the realm of the critical discourse in India as if that is something that is non-existent and therefore I will come with my kind of superior methodology. I think that is a huge problem.
Aparna: I don't want to get into any kind of a defensive posture here because that itself is a self-defeating thing. What I would say very quickly in response to your comment is that again there are varieties of criticism. I practice one variety and it is practised in a sense in relation to what I as a scholar and my academic context sort of, I won't say dictate but what seems to be required of that particular kind of criticism. It is certainly not the only kind of criticism and I would say that you are absolutely right. The conditions under which criticism can be practised in India are - they are very different. They differ perhaps even from region to region and from language to language; again I am sorry that some of this has seemed as though I wish to dictate the terms in which criticism should be practised, ought to be practised.
Aparna: The attempt has been because I was invited to speak on the subject, because it was considered by the organisers of this seminar as something that is important that we do along with everything else here is to reflect on what it seems to be or some of what it seems to be and I right at the beginning said that I am only going to speak about the languages in which I have knowledge and not the languages in which I don't - which I don't read. So I think the eventual prospect or something that some of us might be able to move towards is a kind of professionalised criticism and we already have in this room at least three or four people who practice that.
Aparna: You know, as I said a few minutes ago if you don't think about something it is not going to happen by itself. So this is simply an occasion to reflect on certain...the professionalisation of criticism as and when it happens is only going to help the situation of theatre itself. The kinds of criticism that do exist, some of them are more problematic than others as we have again heard this morning. So once again my response will be - let's keep the differences in mind. Nothing is absolute. There is no attempt to set up an agenda. Any specific agenda because I think, all of us who practice criticism know in one sense that each of us has his or her own limitations also.
Aparna: They might be methodological, they might be epistemological. But let us at least hold ourselves to a higher standard and hold others who are indulging in the act of criticism to a higher standard also because otherwise what happens is complaint. Let me say very very quickly the reason I did my doctoral work in the late 17th and early 18th century British theatre. The only reason in the mid 90's I decided I wanted to write a book-length study of the post independence period was precisely because of the kinds of, excuse me, garbage that was floating around about Indian criticism in the western academy particularly in which I am by myself in a sense apart and hopefully some of that will have become obsolete because there is something else for people to read about Indian theatre.
Aparna: I have listed some of the most egregious sort of misrepresentations. All of us know about the orientalising of Indian theatre. All of us know about the ill-effects that that has had on even the production of theatre in India and again I don't think we have time to get into all of that but the constant complaints that one hears about the packaging of Indian theatre for the consumption abroad which has been dictated by a particular kind of cultural policy which in itself is determined by a certain notion of Indianness and so on. All of this has had very active components and partners abroad. They are practitioners, they are scholars. You have mentioned one of them. The kind of writing that Peter Brook and Eugenio Barba have done about Indian theatre and performance. The kind of writing that Richard Schechner has done about Indian theatre and performance. All of it. So you know they...I personally felt the need to provide atleast an alternative if not an antidote to that but that is not the only kind of thing that can be done. I fully recognise that.
Aparna: Sorry! There was Sundar. Do we have time? It's 11 o'clock.
Praveen: Very very quickly, yeah!
Aparna: Ok! I think your point about performance itself as a kind of translation is very well taken. Again I personally don't know if either in India or in reflections on Indian theatre abroad that is been taken into account to any significant extent. I think your other question was about the critical categories that Indian aesthetics throws up and there is an attempt to use those to construct critical perceptions or arguments - was that...?
Aparna: I don't know of..,most of the references to that I have seen have come from the cultural policy makers/bureaucrats such as Kapila Vatsyayan and Suresh Awasthi and to some extent Nemichandra Jain that is that the assertion of the relevance of those categories for not only the criticism but also in a sense a production of theatre in India. Again I don't know of eithe a more scholarly or a less traditionalist approach for using that framework. I don't know if it exists in the languages that you are familiar with so maybe this is something I need to think a little more about, and reflect on before I can actually give you a response.
Praveen: Thank You Aparna!
Aparna: Thank you!
(End of clip.)