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PDF | On Jun 1, , UA Coorlawala and others published Kapila Vatsyayan honorary papers. Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Founder and Former Academic Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts, New Delhi, India. “We want the principle of. More by Kapila Vatsyayan. Plural Cultures and Monolothic Structures. Kapila Vatsyayan. Indian Classical Dance. Kapila Vatsyayan. from: $ Arrested.

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Long ago, I met briefly in Stockholm with Mrs. It was immediately clear that this lady was a person of deep knowledge and highly refined culture, as well as the impressive capacity to communicate both with ease.

When later reading her writings, I was equally struck by her clarity of mind and the rare and specific beauty in her writing. A person from the Western world easily feels helpless before Indian culture and its performing arts. We are looking for story lines and characters to identify with, and we easily get suspicious when we feel lost in fogs of spiritualism and religion.

Here, the guidance of Kapila Vatsyayan is firm and distinct and miraculously combines a wide perspective—historical, philosophical and political— with microcosmic notes on gestures and movements, masks and colours, rhythm and sound.

Kapila Vatsyayan|

She introduces the ignorant reader with great efficiency:. The two aspects are interconnected and mutually dependent. The challenge to the Western reader is a fact. In fact, understanding early Western modernism, as well as post modern styles and even post postmodern performing arts, is helped or guided by the ways a scholar like Kapila Vatsyayan has been working. It might sound bizarre, but it is through studies of Indian performing arts that I learned how impossible the separation between dance and dramatic theatre is.

In my studies of kathakali and its variations, I learned how the dramatic expression resides within the movement, and this made me turn back to the European theatre with a new look at the history of the European stages, where, in fact theatre, dance and music were inseparable until the middle of the 19th century.


Theatre and dance remained divorced for some time, but the artists of modernism longed to return to the great possibilities of cross-over-forms. Time in the sense of continuity, and diversity in the catsyayan of multi-layers, are Indian classical thinking, but are also highly contemporary.

You will find them in contemporary butoh dance from Japan as well as in Bollywood films, or in yet another remake of Hamlet.

Kapila Vatsyayan

A moment can last for hours, and it is possible to move freely within the story telling, going back and forth in a way that is as original as it is contemporary. Europeans and Americans have repeatedly searched among Asian traditions, looking for inspiration, ideas, material and forms, following an old pattern of vatsgayan of the treasures from the far East. Orientalism and exoticism have flavoured the arts of the Western world throughout the centuries and it has to be noted in the writings of Kapila Vatsyayan that her analysis is crystal clear concerning kapla, being colonized and living in a post colonial era.

She puts the colonial time into her vast scheme of multiple layers and the fact that there is not one tradition but traditions in India — which goes for any area of the globe.

When India became a colony, the process of mutual influence and acculturation continued: Many civil servants who came to India were brought up in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century liberal-arts tradition of Europe; a spirit of inquiry and desire for intellectual adventure was engrained.

In this way, Kapila Vatsyayan shows elegantly that despite the fact that all Indians were forced to accept a foreign system of education, the culture itself lived on and formed a solid base for the new independent Indian nation. Diversity and multi-layers were all the time principles of understanding, which served as a resistance of mind and a reservoir tank for times to come. The continuity of the Indian philosophy makes the notions of classic and modern melt together.


Books by Kapila Vatsyayan

It creates a perspective of very long lines, and of something very precious in our time: When describing the many layers of Indian culture, Kapila Vatsyayan does not think in hierarchies; she puts folklore and popular traditions along with elaborate and refined forms, discussing cultural variations and regional traditions with the same energy and values.

Tolerance and equality, freedom and colorful multitudes are values that can be found between the lines of the many books and studies of Kapila Vatsyayan.

Someone who has made the critics or theatre goers around the world learn something new and guided us all to a better understanding of the performing arts, of their tradition and to what extent they are parts of global exchange and patterns. Indeed, Kapila Vatsyayan has made such a change. Her importance in India is deep and wide, but to the world beyond the subcontinent she has described the richness of her tradition in such a precise way that it puts our own tradition in a new context.

To be able to present her as our fourth Thalia Prize laureate is a great joy and proof of the fruitfulness of global work.

She introduces the ignorant reader with great efficiency: