Mārganāṭyam: Ancient Indian Theater in India Today. Philosophy, Discipline and Artistic Experience

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The article is the first exploration of Mārganāṭyam, a new tradition in the performing arts of modern India, created (and still in the process of the development) from the beginning of the XXI century by an outstanding researcher of musical, theatrical and dance culture, Kalamandalam Piyal Bhattacharya (Kolkata, West Bengal) and his students. It is based on the many years of the author’s personal observations, interaction, interviews and discussions with the participants of “Chidakash Kalalay. Centre of Art and Divinity”, an artistic community based on the direct transfer of knowledge and skills from teacher to students, which has developed around Piyal. The features of the method of reconstruction of the ancient Indian theater, the flexible application of the legacy of the past in modern conditions are under study. Particular attention is paid to the artistic interpretation and comprehension of the Indian philosophical heritage, and above all the concepts and worldview of Nyaya and Vedanta systems, transferring them to the space of scenic images. The presented material demonstrates that an integrated approach to the artistic heritage, a metatheater, combined with individual pedagogical unfold of the personality of the artists, creates the possibility of recreating the long-vanished tradition and complex philosophical issues in a way that is well understood today, relevant and reflects the essential needs of modern creators and viewers of the Indian theater at large.

About the authors

Svetlana I. Ryzhakova

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science

Author for correspondence.
Email: SRyzhakova@gmail.com
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8707-3231

Dr. hab. hist., leading research fellow, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology

32A, Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


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