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    »The Golden Age of Greek Theater Arts«

  • TorontoSEO 2:34 AM on May 3, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Greek, , , , , The Golden Age of Greek Theater Arts, , ,   

    The Golden Age of Greek Theater Arts

    The period around 600 BC – 200 BC was known as the Golden age of Greek Theater arts. Athens was the focal point for the flourishing arts. The political and military epicenter gave birth to great emperors, soldiers, philosophers, poets, writers and actors.

    Annually plays were staged at Theater of Dionysia. Songs were sung at first in praise of God of wine and fertility, Dionysus. Out of them Aristotle’s poetry was outstanding. Its major element was tragedy which was the inspiration behind the tragic stories. Another poet Arion developed chorus singing which was known as Dithyramb. Later on chorus became an integral part of Greek Theater alongside actors, commentators and narrators who were also a part of the chorus team. In some plays chorus acted as a separately different character. They all synchronized with each other to project the image of a single entity rather than a group. In the beginning chorus comprised of twelve singing and dancing participants known as Choreutai. Later the number was increased to fifteen and two groups of seven, known as Hemichoria, were made with a lead singer known as Koryphaios.

    Plays were written by Thespis in the beginning with one actor who enacted different characters by wearing different masks. He interacted with the chorus which narrated some parts of the story and sang when required. His play’s themes were tragedy and God Dionysus. Aeschylus introduced a second actor, followed by Sophocles, who introduced a third actor. This increased the complexity of the story and opened the horizons as other Greek mythological characters were being considered. And this was when the leader of the chorus was also introduced. He was responsible to interact with the actors on stage and with the audience too, for their opinion and for the summarization. Sometimes the interaction was in the form of a song and at other times he spoke directly. The rest of the chorus sang along in the background and illustrated on the main theme.

    And thus two masks became the symbol of Greek Theater or Theatron. One had a smile and gleeful expression representing the comic aspect of the play and the other mask bore a sad expression which represented the tragic aspect of the play. By 500s BC, theaters were more dignified and became the pride of Athenian culture. The first renowned theater was the Theater of Dionysus. Annual competitions were held where three tragic plays were performed and the best play was rewarded. Competition between comedy plays started in 430s BC.

    In the fourth century BC, King Alexander attacked Athens which led to the Peloponnesian War. It was then when the power of Athens began to deteriorate. In spite of the threat to the theatrical traditions of Greek, it still survived and passed onto the Hellenistic period. It was in this period when Comedy Theater came to its full form which reflected the lives of common man. The storyline of the plays was never mixed, i.e. comedy was never intermingled with tragedy and vice-versa. Menander was the writer who attained fame during this period.

    The three main elements of theater became Orchestra, Skene and Audience. The platform on which artists performed and chorus performed was known as orchestra or the dancing place. At other times it was used to conduct religious rites. Skene was a huge rectangular building behind the orchestra. Originally it was a simple hut or tent used as a backstage. Actors changed their costumes here and it was used for religious purposes also. But later it took the form of a firm stone structure with two to three doors which opened into the orchestra. Paintings were done on this structure which was used as the background of the play and that’s how the term Skene came into existence. Later on another structure named as Proskene was also erected in front of the Skene which was exclusively meant for the performance of the actors. The audience sat in round ascending stair-case form of seating. Therefore the shape of the mountain into which the whole structure is being sculptured is important.

    The theater arts that emerged during that era are mirrored in the plays of today all over the world. Out of all the plays written at that time plays of tragedians like Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles and plays of comedian Aristophanes became famous in the golden history of Greek arts. Their work was taken one step further by Plautus and Terence.


  • »Types of Theatre and their affect«

  • TorontoSEO 2:34 AM on May 2, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: ancient Greek, apron stage, , , proscenium stage, , , theatre stages, Theatres, , , , , Types of Theatre and their affect   

    Types of Theatre and their affect

    The history of theatre arts can be dated back to as early as the period of ancient Greek. Since then the various eras witnessed changes in the types of theatre stages, which affected the actors and also gave rise to different forms of acting.

    In ancient Greece, plays were staged to mark a religious occasion in theatres where only prestigious men were allowed as at that time women and slaves were looked down upon in the society. Theatres popularly known as amphitheatres housed a large round stage which was encircled three-fourth by audience. This is how a stage would be set in the Greek Era. Amphitheatre could accommodate an audience of 25,000 at a time which made it very difficult to see what’s going on for the audience at the back. To overcome this obstruction the actors would be loud with grandiose voice and enormous gestures and to be more noticeable wore mask and symbolical attires. High pitched chorus was used to as a means of cautioning of an upcoming event or to advice co-actors. To improve the visibility and to give a deception of reality to the plays they were held in daylight and a real landscape acted as the background of the play.

    In the medieval era facilities were more commonly available to many of the inhabitants of the community. Theatres too were no longer reserved for the rich. Plays were held on wagons better known as pageants. The wagon would be dragged into the marketplace where the play was decided to be held. Spectators would surround the stage from all sides and would watch the play. The themes of most of the plays at that time were the daily happenings and day to day experiences depicted as an ironic comedy or as a genuine mime depending on the taste of the audience. This created an interaction between the audience and the actors with the audience expressing their views on the theme.

    During the Renaissance Period theatre performance took the form of professional performance more than an artistic one. The blueblood of England started investing into performing groups and theatres with an apron stage. The apron stage had a rectangular platform with nearly an audience of 2,000 surrounding the three sides of it and was in close proximity with the actors performing on stage. With the wealthy aristocrats funding the plays the costumes were designed with more details and were elegant. Plays were enacted at daytime which made the creation of illusion of nighttime difficult which was overcome by dispatching the information as a part of an actor’s dialogue which is termed as word scenery. Denizens from all sects of the society attended these plays so an effort was made to please a large array of spectators by taking different storylines into consideration.

    The period around the seventeenth and eighteenth century was known as the Restoration period. The theatres around this time were smaller than those of the Renaissance period and held up to 500 spectators at a time. This period gave an end to daylight lit auditoriums replacing them with closed rooms lit completely with man-made light. Stages were bounded with decorated frames but with no curtains like the modern times. Although the audiences weren’t in close vicinity of the stage, a small stage protruded into the auditorium so as to increase the interaction between the audience and the actors. Lack of curtain hindered the privacy of changing of scenes which affected the realistic illusion. Performances by the restoration period were character driven with more emphasis on the perfectionism, social issues, and scenery.

    The stage in the later centuries evolved into what is known as the proscenium stage or picture frame stage. It’s designed and named after the technique of how one visualizes a picture. There is a defined separation between the spectators and the actors with the introduction of ramp. Curtains added to this and the same time gave privacy to change scenes thus creating a realistic and elaborated picturization. The auditorium is darkened during the performance there by increasing the concentration of the audience. Modern technologies and aids have made illustration more interesting and realistic and made the art even more interesting and popular.


  • »Theater Arts Various Dance Forms of India«

  • TorontoSEO 2:34 AM on May 1, 2009 Permalink |
    Tags: , Bharata Natyam, , , , Natyam, , Theater Arts Various Dance Forms of India, Theater Arts Various Dance Forms of India Theater Arts Various Dance Forms, , ,   

    Theater Arts Various Dance Forms of India

    The Indians have created various dance forms to celebrate occasions, express joy and most importantly as a means of worshiping their gods and goddesses. The famous Ajanta and Ellora caves and many other monuments reflect this culture through the sculptures inscribed in the walls. God Nataraja is the god of dance whose sculptures depicts him dancing and getting triumph over the evil. There is a huge variety of different dance forms in India based on geographic location and socio-economical condition of carious states and regions.

    Bharata Natyam flourished in the royal courts and temples of ancient India. Finally in the 19th century it was codified and certified as performing arts. The Tanjore Quartet made a great contribution to this dance form by making great musical compositions. Bharata Natyam was also practiced by Devadasi who were women who dedicated their life to the temple and used to dance to please god and goddesses as part of religious rituals. Bharata Natyam gives a chance for both the male and female to bring out their talents as dancers. As time passed by people began recognizing the talent and presenting it on a bigger platform. Rukmini Devi Arundale and E Krishna Iyer were the prominent figures who were responsible in the upbringing of this classical art. Many universities award degree in graduation and post graduation in Bharata Natyam. The field is very elaborate because of the wide extent of movement, postures, facial expressions and stylized mime.

    Kathak is the form of dance nurtured by the nomads of the northern India. The word “Kathak” means story teller as its performer depicts the storyline with the help of facial expressions and hand gestures. Dancers wear bells or “Ghungru” on their feet and with their footwork used to synchronize with the accompanying Indian classical instruments such as Pakhawaj or Tabla at a lightning speed. The shows were hosted in temple and village squares. The themes of these dances were stories from moral and mythological epics. Song and instrumental music added to the realistic illusion of the story. During the Mogul era this form of art gained recognition and dancers were encouraged to perform in royal palaces. To please the art loving rulers more effort was put in to refine the art and more dramatic aspects and rhythms were added. Banaras, Jaipur and Luckhnow are the breeding grounds of this refined art.

    Kuchipudi nourished in a village Kuchelapuram of the state of Andhra Pradesh which is located in the South. This dance form is famous for its fast footwork and “sculpturesque” body gyrations. It is one kind of dance form where the dancer speaks some dialogues and at other times uses facial expressions and hand gestures.

    Being honored by UNESCO as the “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” Koodiyattam is the oldest form of Indian Classical dance. It is the traditional dance of the Sanskrit theater of Kerala. The prominent Sanskrit dramatists who dedicated their life to this art form are Bhasa, Kalidaas, Harsha,and Saktibhadra. The attire of the artist is really attractive and outstanding. They stick on artificial beard and huge hips and the makeup, too, which is very loud and the whole face is painted.

    The most graceful dance form of India is Manipuri. It flourished in the northeastern state of India, Manipur which means a jewel of the land. According to folklore the gods emptied a lake to make a place to dance and due to this Manipuri dance has become an integral part of the day to day life as well as important occasions like birthdays, wedding, and holy ceremonies. The dancers wear long flared skirts with beautiful embellishments and the main lead who enacts the role of God Krishna wears tall peacock crown playing a flute to whose tune the beautiful girls dance gracefully. Another version of this art form involves Pung Cholam or drum dance, where dancers dance to the tune of drums or pung with fast gyrations taking thrilling leaps.

    Odissi originated in Orissa, a state geographically located in the middle of India. The two important facets of this dance form are Abhinaya, a stylized mime involving facial expressions and hand gestures and the other is Nritta or non-representational dance, where ornamental patters are depicted using the body movements.

    India is a rich country in heritage and culture. Other than the above mentioned variety of theater arts, the others are Chhau, Kathakali, Mohiniattam, and Satriya. Along with these dance forms instruments such as Flute, Pakhawaj, Sitar, Santoor, Sarangi, Sarod, Shehnai, Tabla, and Vina have been deployed to reach great heights of perfection.


  • »Theater Arts Ballet«

  • TorontoSEO 1:04 AM on May 22, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Italy, , Paris, Paris Opera Ballet, , Theater Arts Ballet, Theater Arts Ballet Theater Arts Ballet, , ,   

    Theater Arts Ballet

    The ancient Greeks were known to be great warriors and artists. People were known to be blessed with talents
    in fields such as theater, painting, sculpturing, and poetry. Theater itself was one field which included
    many other arts such as acting, singing, dancing, writing, and poetry. This art was later on reflected in
    other countries such as Indian, China and Indonesia. Ballet is a special dance form basically inspired from
    Greek and Roman theaters to take its full form in 1400s in Italy and France. Although dance was suppressed by
    the churches this art spread to Russia and America with a version of their own. Ballet was driven from the Latin
    word “Ballere” which meant dance.

    During the renaissance period in Italy, ballet was the product of court pageantry. Domenico da Piacenza was
    a well-known artist to have mastered arts. He used to teach the nobles and other people who used to perform in the
    court. These court musicians and dancers used to perform on great occasions like weddings. They were later joined
    by the ballet De Cour which consisted of dancers who wore elegant costumes and sang beautiful songs. This art was
    transferred from Italy to France when Catherine de Medici of France married Henry II of Italy. She made great contribution to
    help flourish the art in France.

    It was under the rule of Louis XIV, performance art was given great importance as he himself had a liking for it and was responsible to entrench what is known now as Paris Opera Ballet. Jean-Baptiste Lully was the favorite Italian composer of the king. He had a great understanding of the physical movements, musical songs and graceful dance. He made great contribution to ballet which was of utmost importance even after many years. He along with another French writer Moliere created Comedie-ballet. He was responsible to combine Italian and French ballet. French ballet consisted of instrumental music at first and then vocal music was added to it.

    In the late 1800s ballet began to be practiced in Russia, America, Denmark, and Paris. Artists who were responsible for this were Marius Petipa, August Bournonville and Jules Perrot. Stories with Middle Eastern touch were also written. Ballets such as The Talisman and Pharaohs’ Daughter became very famous with the people. Many plays of William Shakespeare like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet were interpreted through ballets.

    The most important feature of ballet is that the thighs rotate in an outward direction from the hips. Performers who are interested in learning this art are expected to undergo very strenuous health workouts. It ends along with getting the high school degree. Some exams are practical and some are theoretical. Ballet incorporates French words which are used to name the movements and steps. The dancers should know French in order to be more familiar. This also means that the terms used for the steps are universal. It’s very important for the artist to have a strong lower body especially the legs and the abs. strong legs are necessary for the en pointe position and strong abs are necessary for turning the body. A dancer can also create an illusion of long or short hands and legs. If the limbs are placed near the back of the body they appear short and when they are brought forward the limbs seem to be longer.

    A lot of physics is involved in ballet. The dancer should create an illusion that she or he is opposing gravity. The dancer’s body acts like a parabola or a projectile in the air and gravity works on the center of mass of the body. Like they can act as if they are suspended in air by jumping with their arms and legs suspended and head lowered. But the landing should be carefully done; otherwise the dancer could fall down, hurting one self which would also affect the show. A precaution that can be taken in such cases is to have a shock absorbent floor. Another technique which can be extremely hazardous is the rolling of the foot from toe to heel with knees bend. Such type of training calls for the help of professionals. Despite all these complications involved in performing ballet, it remains one of the most popular performing arts in the world.


  • »Theater Arts Beijing Opera«

  • TorontoSEO 1:04 AM on May 21, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , Beijing Opera, , , , Peking opera, , Theater Arts Beijing Opera, , , ,   

    Theater Arts Beijing Opera

    During the 18th-19th century Peking opera or more commonly known as Beijing Opera flourished in the Qing Dynasty. It had attained such levels that it was specifically being performed in the royal court and later was made accessible to public. Native to the Anhui and Hubei province this art later became the cultural jewel of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. Over the period of time its fame crossed the Great Wall of China and spread to countries like Taiwan, Japan and America.

    The movements of the dancers are very graceful. Dialogues, music, song, dance and combat are used to the fullest extent to depict the storyline which majorly revolves around Chinese age old folklore and history. The Beijing opera performers wear bright colored outfits to be the center of attraction on sparingly decorated stage. The dialect used in dialogue delivery is archaic dialect. Since it has a great historical value the actors really worked hard in order to respect and carry on the tradition. The training was started at a very tender age which lasted for seven years on permission from the parents. The student was expected to pay back to the teacher by the future performances. Daily routine consisted of early rise followed by training in acting, acrobatics, and combat. The senior students perform in the evening theaters. Upon committing a mistake the whole bunch of students were punished with bamboo cane but training became milder during the 1900s. These schools were shut down during the Japanese invasion in 1931 but again reestablished in 1952. The renowned schools popular in this art are the Ma Lianliang school, the Qi Lintong school and the Cheng Yanqiu school. The repository of this opera includes about one thousand and four hundred works.

    The Four Anhui Troupes was responsible for the birth of Beijing opera in the late 1700s. They were joined by the Hubei tropes in the early 1800s and came to its complete form in mid 1800s. This form of art is actually a mixture of various dance forms and music with a unique twist. There are four leading characters in Beijing opera. The Sheng is the male lead role with subtype Laosheng, old and wise version, Xiaosheng, the younger version and Wusheng, the warrior version. This character is gentle and sophisticated and the costumes worn by them are more subtle. The Laosheng character is further categorized as Guan Gong, God of War and Zhao Kuang-yin, the first emperor of the Song Dynasty. Xiaosheng sings in a loud and shrill voice.

    In the later years, the male actors began painting their faces. These characters were known as Jing. They were usually supporting characters and were forceful so they had to have a heavy voice and exaggerated expression. Dan is the female lead and is divided into five types. Laodan was played by aged ladies, Wudan was played by middle aged women depicting married women, Daomadan were brave female warriors, Qingyi were righteous women and Huadan were young and innocent girls. The role Qingyi and Huadan together is known as Huashan.

    The male clown role was known as Chou. It was a minor role to add some humor to serious scenes. The character of Chou hardly got a chance to sing when compared to the Kunqu opera which was its inspiration. On the whole this art form cut down on the voice and singing .Acrobatics came to its full form in Beijing opera. So actors who couldn’t sing much but knew acrobatics well were easily taken into the performing troupe.

    The drama was being accompanied with music. The two different styles of music being played are Xipi, created by the Anhui tropes and Erhuang, created by the Hubei tropes. Based on this music, the earliest name of Beijing opera was Pihuang which changed according to geographical location and time. The melodies can be classified as arias, fixed and percussion. It was known as Guoju in Taiwan.

    The Anhui troupe gained name and fame after forming Beijing opera and were invited to various kingdoms to perform. Empress Dowager Cixi encouraged this art and became a great admirer of it. The performing troupes consisted of only males at first as the Qianlong Emperor had banned female actors. But in the 1870s, a former Beijing opera performer, Li Maoer started a female troupe, which persuaded others to take the lead and finally the ban was lifted in 1912.


  • »Chinese Theater Arts«

  • TorontoSEO 1:04 AM on May 20, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , Cantonese, , Chinese theater, Chinese Theater Arts, Chinese Theater Arts Chinese Theater Arts, , , Shadow, Shang Dynasty, , ,   

    Chinese Theater Arts

    The Chinese theater art dates back to as early as the Shang Dynasty in 1500 BC. Now there are so many subcategories in the Chinese theater such as Beijing Opera, Acrobats, Clowning, Shadow puppetry, etc. Music and acrobatics evolved in the Shang Dynasty with many plays having these elements. Theater arts further flourished during Yuan Dynasty. The structure began evolving and gaining recognition throughout whole of China. The Yuan style is reflected in Beijing Opera which is alive till this date.

    Chinese theater arts involve primarily four skills. They are voice, dance, song and acrobats. Dancing is done along with acting and combat is a part of the acrobats. In all these the basic emphasis is on the beauty of the movement and the actors are supposed to master all four of them as they are the part and parcel of the Chinese theater arts. Certain actions are a code and can be interpreted about some happening. Like when an actor walks in a circular motion, that means he is travelling over a long distance, on other instances if the actors on stage straighten their cloths and head gear means that the leading character is going to say something important.

    The Tang Dynasty witnessed the rise in shadow puppetry. It reached such great heights that an acting school named The Pear Garden was started by Ming Huang which produced musical drama and the actors of this school were known as The Children of the Pear Garden. There two subcategories of shadow puppetry, Cantonese and Pekingese. The difference was in the making of the puppet. The Cantonese puppets were larger with the characters having symbolic colors according to the roles they are depicting. They were made out of thick leather and the rods were attached perpendicular to the head of the puppet. The Pekingese puppets were more delicate and small and brightly colored. They were made out of thin and translucent leather and the rods were attached to the neck of the puppet which were bent at ninety degree and ran parallel to the body of the puppet. The storyline was usually same for both Cantonese and Pekingese. The Chinese puppeteers believed in an age-old superstition that the puppets come alive at night if the head of the puppet was left intact with the body. So the head and the body were detached and stored in two different boxes.

    The shows are usually being presented on rectangular platforms with the audience surrounding it from three sides. Shoujiu is an embellished curtain which divides the curtain into two. The stage is sparsely decorated with more emphasis on the actors who wear bright clothes and makeup and thus less number of props are used during the performance. The attire differs according to the role being played. King and his family wear yellow costumes where as a highly ranked warrior wears a purple outfit. Mang or python robe is the name given to this class of costumes. A character of high rank wears red garment with rich embellishments often in the shape of a dragon and other characters of lower rank wear blue robe. A young character wears white clothes, an older personality wears white, olive or brown and the rest of the supporting actors wear black robes.

    The music is played on instruments such as jinghu, a small two strings, high pitched spike fiddle and Ruan, a plucked lute with circular body. The performance begins with the stern beating of drums known as Xiaoluo and Daluo. There are three classifications of the melodies being played. Aria is the first class with two subcategories, Erhuang and Xipi. Xipi is used to express more loud expressions. Qupai is the second class which basically consists of instrumental tunes depicting the happening of a big event like a festival or feast or the entree of an important character. Percussion pattern is the third class which includes fixed tune music.

    The theme of most of the plays are illusionistic and nor realistic mostly involving Chinese folk tales. Later on plays were also written on history and the dramas today encompass the Chinese version of international plays such as A Midsummer Nights’ Dream and King Lear.


  • »Theater Arts Classical Ballet«

  • TorontoSEO 12:54 AM on May 19, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: ballet dancers, , Classical ballet, , Pointe, , , Theater Arts Classical Ballet, Theater Arts Classical Ballet Theater Arts Classical Ballet, , , ,   

    Theater Arts Classical Ballet

    Classical ballet is a type of ballet. Training in Classical Ballet requires dedication for strenuous workouts and a strong lower body. The styles of classical ballet training can be divided into seven types. The most famous ones are Vaganova or Russian method, Balanchine or American method, Royal or English method, Cecchetti or Italian method, Royal Academy of Dance method.

    Dancers usually wear white, black, pink and flesh colored tights and a leotard. The styles and colors of the leotard can vary according to the storyline. The leotard garment has been named after the French acrobat Jules Leotard who made it famous. The shoes worn by dancers are very important as they will have a direct impact on the feet of the dancer and can also cause harm to them. During the course of time different kinds of shoes have been made for ballet dancers. At first the dancers are made to work on soft technique shoes rather known as flat shoes. Once the bones are no longer fragile and have become strong and mature enough the dancers are made to practice on Pointe shoes. The tutu is not a must though it can be used to bring in royalty with crochet sequenced wrap skirt.

    Pointe shoes, if not worn properly and on proper time can cause intense damage and sometimes disability to the dancer especially if high impact dancing is done. Before starting to wear them, it’s very essential to get a thorough bone structure diagnosis done by the doctors. Although the ballet trainers might be of some help but they cannot outdo the doctors who are more familiar with the anatomy of the body. The hardness of the bones of not only ankles, but also knees, hips, arms and back should be checked along with the check of muscle density. It’s advised that you should start wearing the Pointe shoes after sixteen. After starting their use the dancers should practice vigorously for long hours to build their strength. If compared to all other kinds of sports football is the only game which requires more strength than ballet.

    Nearly eighty percent of ballet dancers get injured at some point of time while performing. Some movements are so out of the natural range that it can lead to unhealthy stress on the body and if not done correctly can result in serious consequences. Many beginners get knee injuries and shin splits if they don’t do the plying, which is deeply bending the knees in a correct way. Warm up exercises should be done before starting the practice or performance. Other surrounding conditions should be taken care of and things like hard floor, cold temperature and uncomfortable clothes should always be avoided.

    Another major issue with the ballet dancers is that they are expected to have a slim figure and should be on the lighter side because some dances require the dancers to create an illusion of floating. So as to maintain a beautiful body, the dancers start dieting and sometimes develop eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia or nervosa. Sometimes to keep away from eating and to control their weight many dancers switch to smoking. They find this method less stressful and that’s the reason why forty percent of the ballet dancers both men as well as women are smoker. This is a serious health issue which has serious consequences later on in life. If the dances control their diets to the farthest extent they are also on the danger of risking the strength required.

    But when done correctly and according to the rules, it can act as a great strength training program. Many athletes take ballet part time classes to make their bones and muscles more strong and body more flexible. But the ballet dancers have very tough competition and job security is also very low. This adds to their stress.

    Other dance forms such as modern ballet, contemporary ballet and hip hop dance are basically inspired works from classical ballets.


  • »Classification of Theater Arts based on different Themes«

  • TorontoSEO 12:54 AM on May 19, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: Classification of Theater Arts based on different Themes, comedy of manners, , , , ,   

    Classification of Theater Arts based on different Themes

    Writers, directors and producers play a vital role in the building of the storyline of a play. The script modeled by them encompasses various kinds of arts to be taken into consideration to bring out the true essence of the story. The various factors considered helps to classify the genre of theater into various subcategories like comedy, tragedy, musical, drama, and action.

    In a musical theater the story is narrated by signing, which can be accompanied by dialog delivery or dance or both. This type of conveyance of art was adopted especially during the Greek times. Later on background instrumental music was also added to it.

    The word comedy originated from the Greek word “Komos” meaning celebration or merrymaking. Comedy plays may not actually go by the literal meaning of comedy that is the whole play can be funny or there can be plays with some adversities to start with but at the end could have a joyous finishing. Comedy too can be further classified as pantomime, comedy of situation, romantic comedy, black comedy and comedy of manners.

    The type of theater dedicated entirely to entertain the children is known as pantomime. Usually a musical drama accompanied with dance and comedy is brought during the holiday season exclusively for the kids.

    Comedy of situation as the name suggests begins with a messy situation which leads to a problem which they concentrate to resolve on throughout the rest of the play.

    Comedy can also be flavored with romance to give a nice feeling to the spectators and to take them into dreams of fascination. The focus is on the love story between the leading actor and actress which is sparked with canny plots, calculated coincidences which ultimately results in them getting together and living happily ever after.

    Although morally acceptable, black comedy has ghastly experiences with some comical elements in contrast with it.

    Comedy of manners is dependant on a serious note but with a light outlook. Dramatic comedy is made a part of the play which revolves around the social standards and mannerism which is expected to be respected by the actors during the play.

    Commedia dell’arte, native to Italy, includes an array of comical events which are created on the spur of the moment.

    Melodrama is the typical stereotype dramas where there is a hero and a heroine who suffer at the hands of a villain and in the end they gain triumph over the evil-doer.

    Play comprising of bitter events and which result in sorrowful consequences is know as tragedy. The word tragedy has been derived from the Greek word “Tragos” which means goat. It has been derived from this word because the blood of goat is used as a replacement to bring a real feeling to the bloodshed during the play.

    A blend of comedy and tragedy is known as tragicomedy which has elements of tragedy and comedy within it.

    Theaters targeting real life social issues play a vital role in opening the eyes of the audience and make them aware of the wrongdoings in the society. By doing so it encourages the spectators to address a change in their way of living or on a large scale a change in the whole society.

    Morality play have theme with more spirituality and morality.

    Play that focuses on the nick-nacks of the daily life and relationships between common people is known as domestic drama.

    The type of theater having implausible situations, high exaggeration, and violence and with some spice of comedy to relieve the audience of the pressure is known as farce.

    In the Indian peninsula, the Natya and Nautanki form of theater arts evolved. The Natya is a sacred classical version of musical theater. Folklores are enacted by dancing to Indian classical music known as nritta and facial expressions or mime known as Natya proper. The other theater art Nautanki, is usually staged in streets. The storyline of these street plays are usually mythological dramas which also include folk songs and dances.

    Opera is a more musical experience with emotions being expressed with songs and music.

    Rock opera is more like the usual opera only that the music played along with the songs is rock oriented.

    Fantasy is that genre where the hero enacts a fictitious story usually a happy one. Sometimes the characters have proxy supernatural powers.

    Plays where the story is being explained using body movement, gestures, dance, mime, and puppetry is known as physical theater.


  • »Theater Arts French Opera«

  • TorontoSEO 12:54 AM on May 18, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , Cadmus, , French opera, King Louis XIV, , , Theater Arts French Opera, , , , Tragedie   

    Theater Arts French Opera

    French opera is the traditional opera of France and was spread from Italy. It was Cardinal Mazarin a reagent of King Louis XIV who presented the first opera named “La Finta Pazza” in the year 1645. This inspired King Louis XIV and he was the one behind the flourishing of opera in France. The father of French opera was Jean-Baptiste Lully; he presented “Cadmus et Hermione” in the king’s court. After seeing that performance, the king’s interest increased even more. This encouraged Lully to make “Tragedie En Musique”, also known as tragedies en musique, along with Philippe Quinault. It was the tragic story of Corneille and Racine and it was a dance musical with choral writing. Lully was famous for composing music for plays meant for court as well as many other theaters. Cadmus et Hermione was the first French opera of Lully in Paris.

    This pair was also known for altering the complex and detailed Baroque plot. They made a five-act structure instead. Before the performance praises were sung for King Louis XIV this was inspired from Italy who sung allegorical prologue instead. It then started with an aria which was followed by recitative and a short aria which was elaborately modeled keeping the French taste in mind and was appreciated many times. It then ended with divertissement. It was the most important factor as it involved lots of singing, dancing, and lots of entertainment which was the main attraction for the audience. In the mid of eighteenth century “opera Comique” another opera genre caught the fancy of the people in which dialogues and arias music were used. Huge efforts were put in to make the performance a success and especially to win the heart of the king. The stage was set with lots of details and special effects known as machinery in which Olivet did the choreography and Quinault wrote the phrases.

    Lully had acquired the whole market by befriending the king. It was only after his death that the other composers got a chance to show their talents. Marc-Antoine Charpentier was one such opera composer who wrote and presented his first “Tragedie en mMusique”, “Medee” in the year 1693. As he had some Italian connection this disappointed Lully’s fans and hence it received a mixed reaction. Andre Campra and Marin Marais also made their attempts at Tragedie en Musique. Campra later created a new type of opera known as opera ballet. It had more dance and musical element in it. A lot of comedy was also included with a light storyline. This was different from what Lully used to compose and it proved to be a good change for the audience with it’s over whelming response. This gave the idea of involving comedy completely into the performance. This was done by Mouret who used this style in his work Les amours de Ragonde.

    Another composer, Jean-Philippe Rameau became a very important part of the history of French opera after Lully. His first work Hippolyte et Aricie was at the age of fifty. He used a lot of experimentation which created a stir in the audience. Although Campra appreciated it most of the fans of Lully were shocked. This created a clear line of separation between the audiences. This made Rameau to follow the existing rules. But this time he was opposed by the Italian counterparts who called him old-fashioned. This was when Rameau created a new opera genre known as opera Comique. Theater De I’Opera-Comique worked on this idea and became very famous in the eighteenth century. Even in the twentieth century composers such as Reynaldo Hahn and Andre Messager wrote many works in opera Comique.

    Even to this day the French Opera is alive and popular in many quarters of the country.


  • »German Theater Arts«

  • TorontoSEO 12:54 AM on May 17, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: German theater, German Theater Arts, German Theater Arts German Theater Arts, Germany, , , ,   

    German Theater Arts

    With unique and diverse style German theater arts are comprises of a different blend of drama and music. At first Germany lacked behind while England and Spain were evolving in their own theater styles. The Germans were always involved in war and religious riots which distracted their attention from the field of arts. There was also a lack of proper capital which could become the epicenter of such progress. The old stories had a very medieval look and weren’t polished enough. But once the interest was developed it became more of a cultural interest which later resulted in an academic interest with various universities providing courses in the various field of arts. The theater was one place in Germany where people were free to express and exchange their ideologies.

    In 1767 the first German national theater was established and in the year 1890 Deutsches Buhner-Jahrbuch made its first appearance. Presently, the “Three Category House” is the theater structure responsible to encourage performing arts like opera, music, drama and dance. Every season, five thousand and three hundred productions are performed by this board and on a yearly basis, a total of hundred and twenty thousand. New productions are being created as well as age old musical dramas of Shakespeare like “Romeo and Juliet”,” Midsummer Night’s Dream” is also enacted. The storyline of most of the performances are socio-economic, political and reflects the ups and downs of the society. Directors like Max Reinhard, Erwin Piscator and Berthold Brecht have evolved on these subjects and have created a theoretical analysis called “epic theater”.

    The seventeenth and the eighteen centuries were the struggling period of German opera. Opera took its full form later on with composers such as Handel and Gluck. Ferruccio Busoni was a renowned composer although originally he was an Italian. In 1678 the Theater an Gansemarkt was brought up in Hamburg specially meant for opera performances. It was inaugurated with the performance of Johann Theile’s Der erschaffene, Gefallene und Aufgerichtete Mensch which had the storyline of Adam and Eve. It was then followed by operas with religious themes. This was encouraged by the Pietist church to maintain the reputation of the theater as moral regulator. Later it was taken over by composer Reinhard Keiser who composed nearly hundred operas over broader themes which included history and mythology. He brought along many other traditions into the original opera which was the beginning of many more changes.

    The country’s fifteen states are controlled by one organization Lander with respect to theater arts by supporting them financially and politically. Every year they spend US $2 billion on opera houses, theaters and orchestra. Every year festivals too are being held to celebrate the spirit of arts. Altogether sixty festivals are the venue for rewarding renowned actors, actresses, writers, plays and encouraging new talent.

    But the modern theater of Germany began experimenting with the traditional performances. As times changed so did the society. The writers of today are forcing the audience to come out of the old set mode of linear flow, replacing it with patchworks. The use of contrastive language, impersonalized figuration and destructive illustration has made the audience and critics question about the legitimacy of the post-modern theater and rather refer to the present situation as an artistic crisis. Few directors like Frank Castorf, Thomas Ostermeier, and Falk Richter can be relied upon for good work.


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