UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on Art & Culture – Topic 3 (Theatre & Drama)

UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on Art & Culture – Topic 3 (Theatre & Drama): Traditional Theatre forms and Puppetry has been a key part of the Indian culture for ages. Performed in different states under different names, costumes, and styles, the drama has been an important source of entertainment as well as a celebration for the people in Ancient and Medieval India. Even today, many of these art forms are still performed at various festivals in many states. Aspirants need to study the theatre forms, their origin, costumes, performance, actors, and other important facts related to each. To help aspirants prepare, we have compiled a list of 10 important questions on the Theatre & Drama performed in various parts of India.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Topic-wise Important Questions & Answers on Art & Culture (History): most important questions and answers with explanations on Art & Culture categorized topic-wise for the aspirants of UPSC Prelims exam. These questions can be solved to test your preparation for the exam. 


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Ques 1: Consider the following statements with reference to “Bhand-Pather’ art form:

  1. It is a unique combination of dance, music and acting performed in the state of Haryana.
  2. Music is provided with surnai, nagaara and dhol.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: b

Explanation:Bhand-Pather is a unique combination of dance, music and acting performed in the state of Kashmir. • Satire, wit and parody are preferred for inducing laughter.

Ques 2: Match the following theatre forms with their state of origin:

Theatre formsStates
(A) Bhavai(I) Madhya Pradesh
(B) Bhaona(II) Gujarat
(C) Maach(III) Assam

Select the correct code:

(a) A-II, B-I, C-III

(b) A-II, B-III, C-I

(c) A-I, B-II, C-III

(d) A-I, B-III, C-II

Ans: b

Explanation:Bhavai is performed in Kutch and Kathiawar districts of Gujarat.Bhaona, also known as Ankia Naat is performed in Assam.Maach is performed in Madhya Pradesh. Maach is used for the stage itself as also for the play.

Ques 3: Consider the following statements:

  1. Karyala is celebrated in the month of Vrischikam (November-December). performed only in the Kali temples of Kerala, as an oblation to the Goddess.
  2. It depicts the triumph of goddess Bhadrakali over the asura Darika.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: d

Explanation:Karyala is a theatre form performed in Himachal Pradesh. It deals with the serious questions of life & death briefly and with the simplicity of expression & diction, all enveloped in humour.The art form discussed in the above two statements is Mudiyettu performed in Kerala.

Ques 4: Which of the following dramas are not performed in Kerala?

(a) Krishnattam

(b) Theyyam

(c) Therukoothu

(d) Mudiyettu

Ans: c

Explanation:Therukoothu literally means “street play” performed in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is mostly performed at the time of annual temple festivals of Mariamman (Rain goddess) to achieveA rich harvest.

Ques 5: Which of the following caves is the most ancient evidence of theatre?

(a). Sitabenga Cave and Jogimara Cave of Raigarh hill

(b). Bhimbetka rock shelters

(c). Ellora Caves

(d). Borra Caves

Ans: c

Explanation:The Sitabenga Cave and Jogimara Cave of Raigarh hill of the Madhya Pradesh reflect most ancient evidence of theatre where a man plays with drum and another dance in tiger mask on the theme taken from Indus Valley Civilisation. Hence A is the correct option.

Ques 6:  Who among the following was started the theatre culture in Odisha?

(a). Dharmvir Bharati

(b). Mohan Rakesh

(c). Rama Shankar Rai

(d). Bhisham Sahni

Ans: c

Explanation:Theatre culture in Odisha was started by Rama Shankar Rai (1860-1910 AD). Manoranjan Das nurtured and accelerated this tradition. Hence, C is the correct option.

Ques 7: Which of the following theatre art is also known as “proscenium theatre”?

(a) Shadow Theatre

(b) Western classical theatre

(c) Parsi theatre 

(d) Puppet Theatre

Ans: c

Explanation:There were also adaptations of Western classics like Shakespeare and Lessing. Unlike traditional folk and tribal theatre, Parsi theatre was acted out in interior spaces, now called proscenium theatre.

Ques 8: Consider the following statements with reference to Puppet Theatre:

  1. The glove puppets are found mainly in Orissa, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  2. String puppets are found in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: a

Explanation:In Puppet Theatre various forms, known as Puppets are used to illustrate the narratives. There are different kinds of puppets of glove string, rod and shadow. The glove puppets are found mainly on Orissa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These puppets are worn on the hand and the puppeteer manipulates their heads and arms with his fingers. String puppets are found in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In this, the stress is more on the manipulative skill of the puppeteer.

Ques 9: Which of the following is not types of Natyamandap according to the Bharata Muni?

(a). Vikrisht

(b). Chaturasra

(c). Trayashra

(d). Vikramorvsaiyam

Ans: d

Explanation:Vikramorvasiyam is a five-act Sanskrit play by ancient Indian poet Kalidasa who flourished in the 4th Century CE, on the Vedic love story of king Pururavas and an Apsara, a celestial nymph named Urvashi. Hence, D is the correct option.

Ques 10: “Doha, Chaubola, Chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel” are verse meters used in which of the following theatre forms:

  1. Rasleela
  2. Nautanki
  3. Bhavai
  4. Jatra

Ans: b

Explanation:Nautanki is performed in Kanpur, Lucknow and Haathras districts of Uttar Pradesh. • The meters used in the verses are: Doha, Chaubola, Chhappai, Behar-e-tabeel.

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