The Conscience Man of Jatra: A Conversation with Shekh Madhusudan on Jatra’s Hybrid Identity Formation
- Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
- The University of Kansas, Department of Theatre and Dance
- Volume 33, Number 2, Spring 2019
- pp. 97-107
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- Additional Information
The Jatra of Bengal, India is embedded in religious celebration, and communal and cultural quests. Jatra is known for its distinctive presentational styles comprising song-dance sequences, larger than life physicalization, enthralling dialogues, and the anthropomorphizing of the “conscience,” commonly known as the bibek. This article focuses on an interview with Shekh Madhusudan, the 87-year old Jatra artist who reminiscences about his relationship with this form of theatre. This interview exposes how religion, and his journey as a bibek in relation to the dramatic and theatrical theories of postcolonialism and hybridity inform the nature of contemporary Jatra in West Bengal.