Memory and the written testimony: the actresses of the public theatre in Calcutta in the 19th & 20th century

Palavras-chave: Actresses, Bengali Theatre, Social pariahs, Performance and creative output, Memory and written testimony.

Resumo

Modern theatrical performances in Bengali language in Calcutta, the capital of British colonial rule, thrived from the mid-nineteenth century though they did not include women performers till 1874. The story of the early actresses is difficult to trace due to a lack of evidence in contemporary sources. So though a researcher is vaguely aware of their significance and contribution to Indian theatre, they have remained shadowy figures – nameless except for those few who have left a written testimony of their lives and activities. It is my intention through the study of this primary material and the scattered references to these legendary actresses in vernacular journals and memoirs, to recreate the stories of some of these divas and draw a connection between testimony and lasting memory.

 

***Memória e testemunho escrito: as atrizes do teatro público em Calcutá nos séculos XIX e XX***

As representações teatrais modernas na língua bengali em Calcutá, a capital do governo colonial britânico, prosperaram a partir de meados do século XIX, embora não incluíssem mulheres até 1874. É difícil traçar a história das primeiras atrizes devido à falta de evidências em fontes contemporâneas. Dessa forma, embora o pesquisador tenha uma vaga consciência de sua contribuição e importância para o teatro indiano, elas permaneceram obscuras – anônimas, com exceção daquelas que deixaram um testemunho escrito de suas vidas e atividades. Por meio do estudo desse material primário e das referências esparsas a essas lendárias atrizes em diários e memórias na língua vernácula, pretendo recriar as histórias de algumas dessas divas e estabelecer uma conexão entre testemunho e memória duradoura

Palavras-chave: Atrizes; Teatro bengali; Párias sociais; Representação e produção criativa; Memória e testemunho escrito.

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Referências

Amit Maitra, Rangalaye Banganati, (the Bengali stage actresses). Calcutta: Ananda Publishers, 2004.

Binodini Dasi, Amar Katha O Onanya Rachana (My Story and other writings), ed. Saumitra Chattopadhyay and Nirmalya Acharya, Calcutta, Subarnarekha, 1987.

Binodini Dasi, Amar Jiban, Translation by Rimli Bhattacharya, My story and my life as an actress, Delhi: Kali for women, 1998.

Binodini Dasi, Amar Abhinetri Jiban, (My years as an Actress) originally serialized in Rup O Ranga (1924-25) reprinted in Shatabdir Natyachinta.

Brojendra Nath Bandopadhyay, Bangla NatyashalarItihas, (History of Bengali theatre), 1795-1876, Calcutta: Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, 1979.

Devnarayan Gupta, Protibhamoyee Abhinetri Probha Debi, Banglar Nat Nati (Actors and Actresses of Bengal) Vol II, Calcutta: Sahityalok, 1990.

Girish Chandra Ghosh, Girish Rachanabali (Collected Works), ed. Rathindra Nath Roy and Devipada Bhattacharya, Calcutta: Sahitya Samsad, 1001.

Girish Chandra Ghosh, Bartoman Rangabhoomi, Rangalaya, n. 1, v. 23, 1901, reprinted in Shatabdir Natyachinta, (A Collection of essays on Bengali theatre) ed. Debashish Majumdar and Sekhar Samaddar, Kolkata: A. Mukherjee and company Pvt. Ltd., 2000.

Hemendranath Dasgupta, The Indian Theatre, 4 vols, Calcutta: Metropolitan Printing and Publishing House, 1934-44.

Nalini Mohon Roychowdhury, Editorial, Nachghar, n. 3, v. 4, 1914.

P. C. Guhathakurta, The Bengali Drama: Its origin and Development, London: K. Paul, Trench and Trubner Co. Pvt Ltd, 1930.

Probha Devi, RahasyerChabi, Nachghar, n. 5, v. 43, 1928.

Sarvani Gooptu, The Actress in the Public Theatres of Calcutta, Delhi: Primus Books, 2015.

Sumanta Banerjee, Asruta Kanthaswar (Unheard Voices), Subarnarekha, Calcutta, 2002.

Tinkadi Dasi, Amar AbhinetriJibon or My Life as an Actress reprinted in Shatabdir Natyachinta, (A century of Ed. Debashish Majumdar and Sekhar Samaddar, Kolkata, A Mukherjee and Company Pvt ltd, 2000.

Publicado
2018-10-19
Como Citar
Gooptu, S. (2018). Memory and the written testimony: the actresses of the public theatre in Calcutta in the 19th & 20th century. Letrônica, 11(3), s113-s124. https://doi.org/10.15448/1984-4301.2018.s.30663