Dance, music, theatre and puppetry were born in India millennia ago, while cinema is the most new-fangled art form hardly a century old. But all five of them have been undergoing rapid transformation over the last few decades and the process has only been accelerated in the new millennium. The present volume attempts to provide some exciting glimpses in the happening scene in the current decade. Some aesthetes and experts, with substantial knowledge of their domains have offered an uncluttered insight, into their own areas. Thereafter, each performing art-scene is taken up and illustrations are offered so that the common art-lover and art-enthusiast can pick up enough acquaintance with the area of one's interest and appreciate what is going around.
Classical dances, for instance, are performed galore in their newfound strength and, side-by-side, new experiments are on: in keeping with new tastes and heterogeneous audiences. Classical music has found its firm foothold notwithstanding plenty of innovative attempts and fusion efforts. Theater has come of age: with both dramatic texts as well as performance practices that happily commingle today. Cinema, the most nascent art, is perhaps the one most given to innovations and experimentations. The age-old art of puppetry, one the contrary, is perhaps discovering its new potential: both in tradition and contemporaneity. Then there are some brilliant intellects who have contributed such a lot to the framing of the millennium ethos and some twilight areas of art and culture that are pluralistic. All these bear looking into. On the whole, the millennium mind is throbbing and excited at the prospects of the performing arts providing not merely entertainment, but much food for thought.
This book looks at not merely at the scene, but also behind the scene: in delving into the practitioner's and director's psyche: to understand and appreciate how the creative acumen in working, which is so important for appreciating their endeavors in the coming decades.
About the Author:
Dr. Utpal K. Banerjee's career is both varied and prolific. He has been an adviser on management and information technology for over thirty years and has an abiding interest in Indian art and culture. In 1998, he was sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to lecture on art and culture in South America. Earlier lectures included those given in Canada and the USA in 1990 and 1995 when he was invited by ICCR and Kalabharati Foundation of Canada. His comprehensive book, Indian Performing Arts, has gone into several editions and another, Begali Theatre: 200 Years, has been published by the Publications Division, Government of India. His most recent works include Indian Performing Arts: A Mosaic and Indian Puppets.
Dr. Banerjee's formal introduction to the visual and performing arts of the world came through several courses that he attended at the Extra-Mural department, University of Manchester, UK in 1969-72. He was National Project Director for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) for a UNDP project on 'Multimedia Database for Art and Culture Documentation and Computerization'. His articles appear regularly in India Perspective, Indian Horizons and The Pioneer. He has contributed to countless cultural programs on the BBC, All Indian Radio and Doordarshan.