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Ebrahim Alkazi

Ebrahim Alkazi

Holding Time Captive

Amal Allana
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Amal Allana’s compelling biography of her father is the first carefully researched, full-length account of the life, work and times of Ebrahim Alkazi, one of the giants of twentieth-century theatre and a key promoter of the visual arts movement in India. Evoking the excitement of Alkazi’s student years in England, the controversies that surrounded his provocative ideas to transform the theatre movement in Bombay and later in Delhi, as the director of the National School of Drama (NSD), this book charts Alkazi’s meteoric rise to the top, with his modernist staging of plays and his aim of putting Hindi theatre on the map.

It was at the Sangeet Natak Akademi that Alkazi first confronted resistance to his ideas on the role of tradition in the making of a new ‘national’ culture. By the 1970s, disillusioned with the curtailing of civil liberties and a dysfunctional bureaucracy, he ultimately resigned from the NSD, developing his own independent institutions for the promotion of the visual arts in India as well as abroad. Staging the cultural history of India between the 1940s and 2000s, and featuring a galaxy of artists and actors as the dramatis personae—including M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Akbar Padamsee, Gieve Patel, Nissim Ezekiel, Alyque Padamsee, Girish Karnad, Manohar Singh, Vijaya Mehta, Kusum Haidar and Gerson da Cunha—Allana’s chronicle is charged with their fierce energy and commitment as contributors to a vibrant new India.

The author’s personal perspective as Alkazi’s daughter brings to the narrative an added dimension of veracity and sensitivity. With objective candour, Allana shares details of her parents’ relationship as they examine their marriage on entirely new terms, as a partnership of equals. Holding Time Captive shows a dynamic Alkazi in his quest to bring about an inclusive, international, intercultural and interdisciplinary thinking in artistic expressions that is transformative and liberating. This book offers unique glimpses into an enigmatic personality whose emotionally charged life closely reflected and ran parallel to the growth and evolution of his startlingly fresh ideas and vision for a modern cultural movement in India.

Imprint: Vintage Books

Published: Mar/2024

ISBN: 9780670096381

Length : 672 Pages

MRP : ₹1299.00

Ebrahim Alkazi

Holding Time Captive

Amal Allana

Amal Allana’s compelling biography of her father is the first carefully researched, full-length account of the life, work and times of Ebrahim Alkazi, one of the giants of twentieth-century theatre and a key promoter of the visual arts movement in India. Evoking the excitement of Alkazi’s student years in England, the controversies that surrounded his provocative ideas to transform the theatre movement in Bombay and later in Delhi, as the director of the National School of Drama (NSD), this book charts Alkazi’s meteoric rise to the top, with his modernist staging of plays and his aim of putting Hindi theatre on the map.

It was at the Sangeet Natak Akademi that Alkazi first confronted resistance to his ideas on the role of tradition in the making of a new ‘national’ culture. By the 1970s, disillusioned with the curtailing of civil liberties and a dysfunctional bureaucracy, he ultimately resigned from the NSD, developing his own independent institutions for the promotion of the visual arts in India as well as abroad. Staging the cultural history of India between the 1940s and 2000s, and featuring a galaxy of artists and actors as the dramatis personae—including M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Akbar Padamsee, Gieve Patel, Nissim Ezekiel, Alyque Padamsee, Girish Karnad, Manohar Singh, Vijaya Mehta, Kusum Haidar and Gerson da Cunha—Allana’s chronicle is charged with their fierce energy and commitment as contributors to a vibrant new India.

The author’s personal perspective as Alkazi’s daughter brings to the narrative an added dimension of veracity and sensitivity. With objective candour, Allana shares details of her parents’ relationship as they examine their marriage on entirely new terms, as a partnership of equals. Holding Time Captive shows a dynamic Alkazi in his quest to bring about an inclusive, international, intercultural and interdisciplinary thinking in artistic expressions that is transformative and liberating. This book offers unique glimpses into an enigmatic personality whose emotionally charged life closely reflected and ran parallel to the growth and evolution of his startlingly fresh ideas and vision for a modern cultural movement in India.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

Amal Allana

AMAL ALLANA is a theatre director of over sixty stage productions, including Nati Binodini, Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother,
Begum Barve, Himmat Mai, King Lear, Mahabhoj, Khamosh! Adalat Jaari Hai! and Aadhe Adhure. She was the maker of the television series Raj Se Swaraj and Mullah Nasruddin, among others. She has served as chairperson of the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and head of the Department
of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

She, along with her husband, Nissar Allana,
established the Dramatic Art and Design Academy (DADA), and Theatre and Television Associates (TTA) for the dissemination of theatre knowledge. Her book The Act of Becoming is about twenty-two famous Indian theatre actors. She is currently the director of Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi, and is a lifetime trustee of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts. She is a recipient of the Girish Ghosh Award, the Homi Bhabha Fellowship and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, among others.

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