India | West Bengal


Folk Art Of West Bengal

The Jatra is one of the most crystallized folk theaters in India reflecting the best of West Bengalís folk traditions and literature. The Jatras usually comprised plays with characters and plots taken from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Songs mark the beginning or the close of scenes. This art form has drawn upon the vast storehouse of material and music from Kathakatha, Kabigan, Panchali, Jhoomur and Keertan.

The unique features of Jatra are a kind of overacting, heavy make-up and loudness. Traditionally the audience sat on all four sides of the slightly raised stage called 'asar.' No marriage or festival would be complete in a Bengal village or town without a few nights of Jatra performances. Though this ethnic art form was in danger of facing extinction with the advent of the radio and television, it is now regaining popularity by its adaptations in the theater industry of Kolkata.

Updated on 8th December, 2005


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