Indigenous Theatre of Bangladesh
Syed Jamil Ahmed
ISBN 984 05 1462 8 2000 396p 240x175mm HB Tk.900.00 US$35.00
Achinpakhi Infinity combines a wide range of theoretical learning and understanding of the indigenous theatre in Bangladesh and describes fully the way in which the tradition lives in Bangladesh today. It studies over eighty genres, which are related to various religions, (such as Islam and Buddhism), and cults (such as Kŗşņa and Caitanya, Rāmacandra, Siva and Kāli, Manasā and Nātha). It also includes a number of secular performances. The methodology adopted for major part of the study is based on fieldwork which includes witnessing performances in actual condition, interviewing the performers and the spectators, and studying written texts, audio recording and photographs of performances. In a few cases, performances, which no longer exist, have also been studied from published accounts. Excepting the minor cases, most of the genres have been studies in terms of. (i) background information of the genre, its performers and sponsors, (ii) performance space, (iii) text, (iv) structure of performance and (v) miscellaneous information related to the genre. Plans of performance space and photographs of performance have also been provided. Art forms tend to go through perpetual changes but it is hoped that the book will help the readers journey into an art form rooted in endogenity.
Syed Jamil Ahmed is a director and designer in theatre and Associate Professor at the Department of Theatre and Music, University of Dhaka. Born in 1955, he graduated from the National School of Drama (New Delhi, India) in 1978, earned his MA in Theatre from the University of Warwick (Coventry, England) in 1989 and his Ph.D. from the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) in 1997. His reputation is w 11 established as a director with credits such as Chaka (Dhaka), Bishad Sindhu (Dhaka), Ek Hazar Aur Thi Rate (Karachi), and also as a designer with credits such as Achalayatan (Dhaka), Kittankhola (Dhaka), Keramat Mangal (Dhaka), Good Woman of Setzuan (Calcutta). The distinction of his work is in the sharp contemporary relevance he succeeds in providing to ‘traditional’ material, and his poetic blending of Euro-American theatre practice with elements drawn from the indigenous theatre of Bangladesh in particular and Asian theatre in general. The founding chair of his department, Jamil Ahmed has number of research papers on indigenous theatre of Bangladesh and has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and North America, where he has taught, given seminars and workshops.