stage Art-Bhavai

A typical folk drama of Gujarat called Bhavai is performed in village and temple grounds by professional communities of North Gujarat- the Taragalas, Bhojakas, etc. The word Bhavai is derived from the Sanskrit word “Bhava” meaning expression of emotion. The Bhavai drama is a continuous performance lasting the whole night in which many “veshas” are performed in the open without any stage equipment. These Veshas depict episodes from the social life of communities in the countryside, focusing in a satirical or farcical way the characteristics of certain sections- Banias, Bohras, wandering tribes, etc. Continuous playing on the Bhungal, a very long wind brass instrument, before and during the performance calls the rural patrons to the scene of the Bhavai. Women are strictly tabooed from taking part in the Bhavai. Their role is performed by the male artists which makes the entire drama more ridiculous. The repertoire of the Bhavai is limited to about three dozen veshas, the authorship of which is attributed to Asait.

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