Art

Nukkad: All You Need To Know About The This Theatre Form Of India

In general, street theatre in India, is commonly called as Nukkad. But, all sorts of street theatre are not Nukkad.

India’s history in theatre is illustrious. Classical drama on the one hand, and folk drama on the other, have enriched the history of Indian theatre. The composition of Natyashastra began around 500 BC, while the history of Shruti, Yatra, Palagan, Nautanki can be seen from around 700 BC.

Historically, there have been many evolutions in these two genres of drama. Not only in dramaturgy and formal stage performances, folk drama has gained widespread popularity and different genres of folk drama have developed in different parts of India. These folk plays were performed in the open, in the audience. The history of Dravidian civilization is not particularly studied in this country, as a result the history of folk art of that time is not particularly known. The first folk drama that is widely known is ‘Kushilab’ drama based on the story of Ramachandra’s two sons Lab and Kush.

What is Nukkad?

In general, street theatre in India, is commonly called as Nukkad. But, all sorts of street theatre are not Nukkad. A street performance, in between the audience, on a contemporary story which is relatable to the common people, with a message, designed in a harmonic temper, having a common dress code, is usually termed as Nukkad.

The origin

The word Nukkad, is a common word used both in Hindi and Urdu language, which means “Street Corner”. Mainly, street performances in the northern and north-western region of India are called Nukkad.

Present market

Nukkad is now a very much famous form of theatre, especially nowadays because of its:

Almost no-cost facility

Highly interacting format

Attractive dressing

Usability on various purposes

So many theatre groups, political and non-political organisations, NGOs perform Nukkad throughout the country. They try to convey some message to the audience.

Some famous names of Nukkad genre

There were so many eminent Nukkad artists in the past. But two of them are famous till today, even after their death, for their creations and invention of new structures. One is Badal Sircar and the other one is Safdar Hashmi. Badal Sircar formed a new form of Nukkad, called Third Theatre.

Both of them have inspired so many youth towards street theatre and that brought a chunk of new Nukkad groups. And especially, during the periods of crisis, Nukkad becomes a weapon to speak out, to connect with the audience, with a very nominal, almost zero expenditure.

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