Theatrescapes: Experiencing Rasas

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Item Code: NAJ981
Author: Shobha Deepak Singh
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789383098347
Pages: 256 (Throughout Color and B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 12.0 inch x 9.5 inch
Weight 1.70 kg
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
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About the Book


The Indian theatre of the last three decades (1980-2013) gets immortalized with Shobha Deepak Singh’s photographs. Shobha’s art of photographing captures the wide spectrum of the modern India theatre with imperative movements anchored by Progressive Artists’ Group, National School of Drama (NSD), and other independent theatre organizations. If theatre is an art of ‘single-shot’ then Shobha’s photographs justly frame the genres of performance with an eye of precision and finesse. The stalwarts of Indian theatre: Ebrahim Alkazi, Amal Allana, Shabana Azmi, Manohar Singh, Kusum Haider, Naseeruddin Shah, Alyque Padamsee, Ratan Thiyam, Neelam Mansingh Choudhary Seema Biswas, Nadeera Babbar Bring multiple dimension of theatre under her lens. Theatrescapes is not a simple attempt to historically archive the socio-cultural repository i.e. India theatre but an innovative art to re-narrate the intricate history of theatre for posterity.


About the Author


Shobha began photographing as a child with a Rolleiflex camera. Later, she was gifted a Yashica. Her most memorable photo is of the sunrise from Kanya Kumari taken in 1960.


In 1969 she bought a Nikon an captured Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra’s productions. She focused the spot of action, and the result were a wonderful set of images. From then on there was no looking back. She graduated from the Kendra in ballet and further in music. Shobha’s knowledge of intricacies of music and dance brought the dramatic moment alive. Her real break/turning point came in 1996 when E. Alkazi held a solo photo show of her works in Shridharani Art Gallery.


In the word of E. Alkazi, “Her dogged and indefatigable persistence is rewarded by the images captured as a result of her swift, instinctive reflexes.”


He again invited her to display at Art Heritage in Triveni. In between, Shobha had been invited by the India Habitat Centre to display images of women in performing arts on the occasion of International Women’s Day. She exhibited her images in the year 2013 at The Nehru Centre, London. Her photographs have appeared in leading dailies and magazines.




A photograph is not merely a factual record of outward appearances. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, the camera can provide revealing insights into situation and character, and the subtle interplay in human relationships. The theatre is a fugitive and an ephemeral art. The dramatic performance disappears into thin air after its brief two-and-a-half hour passage on the stage, and may survive for a while, some what erratically, in the memory of the spectators.


I was often intrigued, and occasionally irritated, by Smt. Shobha Deepak Singh's obsessive preoccupation with the idea of recording rehearsals and performances in audio-visual form. I was irritated because the presence of the camera constitutes an act of intrusion into the quiet concentration essential at a rehearsal, which is a painful and private period of gestation for the actors and the director. But all such factors notwithstanding, what the camera seizes upon and exposes can indeed be a revelation, not only for the viewer, but also for the actor himself. Shobha Deepak Singh's camera is everywhere, and freezes the fleeting moment with uncanny precision, and with a sensitive awareness of the multiple layers of being of the actor vis-a-vis the character be incarnates. Apart from her presence into the individual personality, she has succeeded in capturing the spirit of a production as a whole: the monumental grandeur and spectacle of The Royal Hunt of the Sun where the soft, colorful opulence of the Incas contrasts with the hard, black, metal-and-leather abrasiveness of the Spanish conquistadors; the quiet, shadowed eloquences of sequences from Chekhov's The Three Sisters; the vicious brutality of Stanley Kowalski which overwhelms the decadent and at times perverse pursuit of beauty of Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire; the towering pain and passion of the Greek tragedies.


I would like to express my gratitude to Shobha Deepak Singh for her exemplary dedication and unflinching faith, and my respect for her creative accomplishment. This exhibition is a tribute to her remarkable talent and also to the equally remarkable achievement of the gifted actors and directors of the Living Theatre's course in Drama.


Shobha Deepak Singh's forthcoming book on theatrical photos is a magnificent project and the photographs are of stupendous quality.






The Journey Begins...


The Visual archivist: Shobha Deepak Singh


Simply Shobha...


The Navarasas





Sample Pages

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