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Theatre, an effective medium expression is universally acknowledged, can at times be propagandist and negotiating and even subversive too.
Among many such issues is the question of gender representation which is brought into relief by situating it into the complex structure of Indian family system, which upholds the father as the master of the house.
Dattani possesses an exceptional sensibility for the suffering i society born out of gender discrimination. His vision is not confined to socio-religious of those myths only, but he delves deep to examine the psychic reactions of those who are the victims of them.
Though both the terms used as synonymous in normal context, but there is a technical difference between them.
Its a socio cultural construction. The stereotypes of gender roles are pitted against the idea of the artist in search of creativity within the restrictive constriction of the world that he is forced to inhibit.
Jairaj with his obsession for dance is all set to demolish these stereotypes. The play dispels this notion and explores the nature of the tyranny that even men might be subject to within such structures.
His antipathy to a great many things that concern the activities of his son and daughter in law draws the boundary lines for their behaviour within his sphere of influence.
He forbids Ratna from visiting the old devdasi who teaches her the intricacies of Bharatnatyam; he cannot tolerate the sounds of the dancing bells that ring through their practice sessions; is aghast at the long haired guru with an effeminate walk and cannot, most of all, stomach the idea of his son-a man- becoming a professional dancer.
The two can then enjoy the security of his riches. Through the seamless movement in time and space, Dattani weaves in the intricate web of gender relationships and the given of societal norm spanning three generations: Amritlal and the old Jairaj, Viswas and the young Jairaj, Lata and the young Ratna are to be played by the same actor.
As they shed or put on different characters, the resonating sense of time and change illuminate and give newer meanings to the issues that Dattani raises. Amritlal, the frustrated patriarch changes into the equally frustrated and alcoholic Jairaj who interviews Viswas, the son of a rich mithai-walla, an alien to the world of dance, transforms into the young Jairaj who is consumed by his love for the art form.
Lata, the most pragmatic and level-headed of the characters also plays the insecure, calculating and scheming young Ratna who has to survive despite the few choices that are offered to her. She will be haunted as the older Ratna by the ghosts of the past that nonetheless do not daunt her determination to realize her own unfulfilled ambitions through Lata, her daughter.
Like the characters the stage iconography too helps to consolidate and reinforce these strong reverberations. The old cupboard, the shawl, the rose garden and the rest of the stage set all leave their impact in the juxtaposition of the stereotypes.
Slowly, we realize that at the receiving end of the politics of gender is not Ratna so much as is Jairaj: His father and wife have colluded to achieve their own selfish ends, to perpetuate the old stereotypes and reinforce their own sense of security at his expense. That is why Amritlal is willing to have Ratna as the dancer and not Jairaj.
Amidst this resonance is played out the angst of Jairaj and Ratna who are obviously holding back a deep, dark secret, which will be revealed at the end of the play. Like in all battles, a completely innocent individual becomes the victim, the baby son of the dancing couple, Shankar.
If you have a victim, it implies that there is a persecutor and it also implies that you will eventually have a rescuer.Feb 16, · The "Most Anticipated Indian Movies and Shows" widget tracks the real-time popularity of relevant pages on IMDb, and displays those that are currently generating the highest number of pageviews on IMDb/10(16).
Dattani‟s Dance Like a Man therefore must be truly rewarding when read through the prism of gender and its nuanced presence in the Indian context.
II. Feminist Discourse And Contemporary Gender Studies Feminism‟s key aim is to foreground that the roles performed by women as daughters or mothers are.
Dance like a Man itself was staged at Museum Theatre a few years back, directed by Mithran Devanesan. Mahesh himself has conducted theatre workshops in Chennai and is a very familiar figure.
Lillette Dubey is also known to Chennai audiences through her film appearances in "Zubeida" and "Monsoon Wedding". Mahesh Dattani's 'Dance Like A Man' centers on an individual's plight, where a dying form of art serves as the backdrop. Lillete Dubey's direction makes a powerful story more realistic.
A man stifled by his ageing father's principles, must find a way to escape, in order to create an alternative world that will enable him to practice the one. The spectacular stage play in two acts," Dance like a man", is truly a portrayal of gender discrimination based on social issues. The theme of the play is intertwined with relationships, career, caste and society.
Dance Like a Man has ratings and 16 reviews. Krina Satra said: This play may seem very drab in the beginning but there are gems of conflict, repressi /5.