a musical and dance presentation in India (Bengal and Orissa). It emerged in remote antiquity out of the shepherds’ plays and religious processions of the cult of Vishnu-Krishna. Jatra incorporates dance, pantomime, speech, and instrumental and vocal music; singing predominates. Jatra emerged as a literary genre in the 16th and 17th centuries. Of the dramatists and composers who created jatras, the most famous is K. Gosvami (1810-88), author of Meeting With Bharata, Nimai Saniasa, Svapnavilasa, and Ray Unmadini. At the turn of the 20th century the jatra was enriched by the incorporation of new themes, using historical figures and fighters for national liberation as heroes (Shahjahan by Ghosh and Mir Qasim by Roy). Jatra is performed by youths and men. The orchestra includes folk percussion and wind musical instruments and a small portable harmonium. The main singer, the vivek, provides the commentary, explaining the course of the action of the drama to the audience.
Jatra influenced the creative work of many Indian dramatists. R. Tagore, G. Ghosh, and D. Roy wrote works in the style ofjatra. Many texts were composed by A. Ta-gore. Individuals involved in the contemporary Indian theater are making attempts to use some of the elements ofjatrain professional theater. Sisir Kumar Bhaduri was one of the outstanding Indian actors who performed in jatra.
M. P. BABKINA