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Pandavani

Story of Pandava from Mahabharata


India_A06_Pandavani

(from left)
-Pune Ram Nishad, an Akademi Award winner, in a performance of Pandavani.
-Tijan Bai, and Akademi Award winner, in a vibrant mood narrating Pandavani.
(c) Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi


Pandavani is a popular form of singing and narrating the story from the epic Mahabharata. The narrator not only sings the story but enters into religious discourse through music, mime and dancing movements.


Reasons for selection

Pandavani is a form of singing and narrating the episodes from Mahabharata which is quite popular and known to people.


Area where performed

In the Chattisgarh area of Madhya Pradesh (Central India)


Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Theatre


Detailed explanation

Pandavani is a ballad form from the Chattisgarh region of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. The narrator not only sings the epic Mahabharata but also enters into religious discourse through music, mime and dance movements. Two or three musicians who sing the refrain also comment, ask questions and emphasize parts of the narration effectively to enhance the total dramatic quality of rendition. The Pandavani artist improvises on a theme or episode for hours during a performance. The musical instruments accompanying the artist are mainly a pair of tabla, manjira, and a benzo.

The Pandavani is generally performed by men only. However, a few ladies have also started singing Pandavani in the recent years. Jhaduram Devagan, Puneram Nishad, Tijan Bai, Ritu Verma, Shantibai Chelak are few names considered as fine artists of Pandavani today.


Publication and textual documentation

N/A


Audio documentation

Audio tape recordings made over the years are available in Akademi; 1969, 1971, 1984, 1996.


Visual documentation

Video and photographs made over the years are available in Akademi: 1984 and 1996.


Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

-Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
-M.P. Kala Parishad, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.


Data provider

Mr. Sharbari Mukherjee
Secretary
Sangeet Natak Akademi
Address: Rabindra Bhawan, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi - 110001, India