India | Madhya Pradesh


Maanch is a form of operatic ballet, popular in Madhya Pradesh. Maanch dates back to the 17th century and takes its name from the Sanskrit folk-form 'Manch', which literally means 'stage'. Modern Maanch was started by Guru Balmokand.

The play opens with an invocation rendered by the entire casts standing with hands folded. Maanch is played by men and is performed in open air with the barest of theatrical accessories. The stage is a round platform and is open on all sides.

The actors of the Maanch are generally from artisan classes. The conversation of the characters always ends with a refrain, sung by the instrumentalists and the actors. The dialogues are punctuated by the Dholak.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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