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I.N.T. has undertaken and established a Research Centre for the Performing Folk Arts, in order to further fulfil the basic aim of the Institution.

There are several reasons which make the establishment of such a centre imperative at this juncture.

The various folk art forms of India, have developed from the antiquities of the past centuries. They reflect, what may be called, the genuine (Indian) theatre of the people of this country, especially with reference to the rural and small town communities.

Unfortunately, these art forms are unknown and lost to the urban public. Theatre activities in the cities have, in the main, become imitations of trends in the theatre of the West and hybrid forms of cinema.

It has therefore become necessary that folk arts be recognised for their inherent liveliness and charm, and be appreciated by larger audiences throughout the country. What is more important, is that contemporary theatre artistes should be made conversant with the folk art forms so that they are inspired by the different forms of folk theatre. Unless these genuine, indigenous, traditions of Indian Folk Theatre are revitalised and contemporary Indian Theatre begins to adapt them for contemporary presentations, our theatre presentations will not acquire the depth and universality which is essential to make worthwhile contribution to the world theatre in general.

The survival of the folk artistes and folk theatre has become difficult in present times. In the past, these art forms received royal patronage or economic aid from local landlords. Today, although these art forms are very popular in the rural areas, the economic conditions of the folk artistes has been rapidly deteriorating.

Consequently, several artistes belonging to the folk art groups have migrated to the cities for better employment. There is in fact, a danger of many of the groups becoming totally extinct, if immediate aid is not rendered to them.

Not much systematic research work has been done, on the various folk art forms of India, until now. Although some of the folk groups have been studied, comprehensive study of all the folk groups within a particular region has not, as yet been undertaken. Such a project would have great dimensions, because even within a definite region of India, there are great variations in the different folk art groups. If research regarding the various folk art groups is further delayed, then they may become totally extinct and lost to the future.

Even today, very few of the traditional artistes are alive, and most of them are aged. Their knowledge and experiences are worthy of study, for the theatre world in general.

For these reasons, Indian National Theatre has undertaken and founded Research Centre for the Performing Folk Arts. No one centre can do justice to the folk art forms of the whole country. Hence, I.N.T. ha initially chosen for its field of study the regions of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Rajasthan.

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Theatre Training & Research Institute

The Institution was inaugurated in 1978. It gives intensive training to young college students and artistes in the various aspects of theatre and a theatre workshop is also attached to the Institute.

INT also started its Research Centre during the same period to study the folk and tribal art forms in the two States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Through this Research Centre INT has organised many festivals in both States in Folk and Tribal Arts as also produced research-oriented productions in both the languages of Marathi and Gujarati.

 

Government Recognition

The goodwill generated by INT's cooperative efforts and its impressive record of work have earned for it the recognition of the State as well as the Central Governments. It receives grants-in-aid from both the Governments. As one of the premiere theatre Organisations in the State, the INT is frequently called upon by Government to arrange cultural programmes for visiting foreign dignitaries and Stage guests, and to undertake stage-management for the shows of visiting foreign cultural delegations.

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Trained and Dedicated Workers

Obviously such a wide variety of theatre activity demands a band of technically trained and dedicated workers. It has been INT's good fortune that quite a few of its artistes, stage directors, technical directors and other in-charge of various departments have grown with the Institution and are today well equipped for meeting the varied requirements of the most challenging stage productions. To this band of devoted artistes and technicians have now been added technically trained research scholars, directors, fieldworkers, research workers and teachers - altogether an impressive array of self-equipped people capable of tackling the demands of growing theatre movement.

 

Cultural Centre

The INT's biggest dream and ambition is to build a cultural centre which will also serve as a centre for dramatic experiments and research and help to build a truly dynamic theatre movement in India. INT aims to construct a building which will house a well equipped theatre, a experimental theatre, a technical academy with workshop, library, museum, rehearsal halls, music room, a hostel for visiting artistes and administrative offices. For this the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has allotted a Plot of Land at Babulnath where INT will build it's mentioned Complex to house all the activities mentioned above in association with House of Birlas. As an outstanding Organisation in the Indian amateur theatre world, the INT faces the future with confidence and hopes that in the years to come its activities will increase and its ambitious programme fulfilled towards better and brighter entertainment.

Government of Gujarat has also allotted us a Plot of Land in Rajkot to construct the Research Complex to house our activities of Gujarat Region and now have already developed the infrastructure to promote and carry on the work of building theatre centers. We look forward to generous donors to come forward to help us finish our cherished dream of the Project at Rajkot, to continue Research in Performing Folk Arts of Gujarat.


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