Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article
Indian theatre Classical and modern dramatic traditions of the Indian subcontinent, including Sanskrit, Kutiyattam and Kathakali. Sanskrit (Hindu) classical drama, the two great epics of which are the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, can be traced back as far as the 3rd century bc and survived into the 11th century ad, dying out probably as a result of Muslim disapproval. Sanskrit was followed by a more eclectic tradition that emphasized music, poetry and dance in its performance. This developed in tandem with the endemic Indian folk drama. Largely as a result of Western influence, modern drama appeared during the latter half of the 20th century. There is also a strong tradition of puppetry in Indian theatre.