Shakeshastra by HuM Theatre

Genres / Categories: Dance

Like music, theatre too has a common syntax regardless of which culture it is practiced in. This is what Hum Theatre’s “ShakeShastras” seeks to explore. The project discovers the nine human emotions (Nav Rasas) that are set down in the ancient Indian theatrologist Bharata Muni’s treatise ‘Natya Shastra’ (200 BCE) to be clearly embedded in the works of William Shakespeare.
This is particularly interesting from Singapore’s perspective because we, Singaporeans, have come to appreciate Bharata Natyam as part of our Indian heritage and Shakespeare as part of our modern-day education. However, we have come to appreciate them as two independent experiences. So, what happens when you juxtapose the elegance of Bharat Natyam, danced by one of the country’s talented practitioners on the performance of Shakespearean monologues by a multi-cultural cast of six established Singaporean actors to the tune of live Carnatic classical music? You get a wonderful sense of re-affirmation that our art forms are not strangers to each other but are actually embedded in each other. HuM Theatre’s multi-disciplinary project will generate a fresh appreciation of the crossover treatment of the nine rasas/emotions between Indian classical and English classical art forms.
The digitally recorded intersection of these three extraordinary performances will explore and enhance the following essential 9 rasas/ emotions:
Shringaram – Love
Haasyam – Comedy/Laughter
Raudram – Fury
Kaarunyam – Compassion/Tragedy
Bhayanakam – Horror/Terror
Adbhutam – Amazement
Bhibatsam – Disgust/Aversion
Viram – Heroism
Shaantam – Peace
Along with a commentary in English, the resulting experience will be a confirmation of the aesthetic’ Rasa’ theory: that the audience gets propelled into a world where he/she experiences the full wonder and essence of his/her emotions through dance, music and drama of completely different forms and cultures.

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