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ugc net syllabus for Performing Arts Dance Drama Theatre

UGC NET Syllabus for Performing Arts / Dance / Drama / Theatre: National Testing Agency (NTA) has been formed to conduct the UGC NET Exam along with some other competitive exams. After forming NTA, the new pattern of UGC NET Exam has been introduced i.e. Computer Based Test (CBT). For the new pattern of NET Exam, the University Grant Commission (UGC) has also revised the UGC NET Syllabus for all subjects including Paper 1.

New Pattern of UGC NET Exam

The pattern of the exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). Now, there are 50 MCQs in Paper 1 and 100 MCQs in Paper 2. Each question carries 2 marks without any NEGATIVE marking for the wrong answer. There is no break between Paper 1 and Paper 2.

UGC NET Syllabus for PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Drama / Theatre

The UGC NET exam would be computer-based like bank PO, SSC exam. Paper 2 will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true/false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

New UGC NET PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Drama / Theatre Syllabus

NOTE: Unit 1 to 5 Common syllabus for Dance and Drama/Theatre

Unit 1. Cultural History of India

  • Cultures of India from pre-historic to CE 1200
  • Evolution of Art in pre-historic and historic periods, as evidenced in cave paintings, sculptures and other visual representations
  • Evolution of dance and drama (Natya), (a) the divine origin theory according to Natyasastra, and, (b) art as a product of society, its rituals and belief systems
  • The Vedas, major epics and puranas (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Cilappadikaram and Bhagavatapurana) in terms of their content, character and relevance to dance and theatre
  • Bhakti and various religious movements and their influence on different representative aspects of culture with focus on dance and theatre

Unit 2. Folk and Traditional Theatre Forms of India

  • Understanding and defining the terms Tribal, Folk, Traditional and Classical in the context of Indian dance and drama and their interrelation
  • Introduction to the different tribal, folk and traditional dance and theatre forms spread over various regions of India
  • Introduction to regional theatrical practices of Kudiattam, Yakshagana, Bhagavatamela, Tamasha, Ramalila, Rasalila, Bhavai, Nautanki, Jatra, Chhau, Laiharaoba, Therukoothu, Theyyam, Ankia-nat, Pandvani, Chindu Bhagavata, Bhand Jashan and others
  • Awareness of various musical instruments, costumes and make-up used in these forms

Unit 3. The Natyasastra

  • Knowledge of Natyasastra and the concept of Natya and Nritta
  • Study of chapters relating to the eleven aspects (ekadash sangraha) such as, Abhinayas, Dharmis, Vrittis, Pravrittis and Aatodyas. Samanya and Chitrabhinayas and their classification
  • Dasarupakas
  • Natyagruha (Playhouse) and Ranga – Construction, types and different elements
  • Poorvarangavidhi and Stage conventions viz. Kakshya vibhag

Unit 4. Art and Aesthetics

  • Rasasutra’ of Bharata
  • Elaboration of the theory of Rasa by commentators like Bhattalollata, Sri Sankuka, Bhattanayaka and Abhinavagupta.
  • Rasa and its constituent elements, viz., Sthayi, Sanchari and Sattvika bhavas and their corresponding Vibhavas and Anubhavas
  • Definition, purpose and elements of Art
  • A brief introduction to Performance studies and significant western theories on Art : ‘Art as Imitation/Catharsis’ , ‘as Imagination’, ‘as Beauty’, ‘as Communication’ and ‘as Utility’ put forth by various Philosophers

Unit 5. Dance and Theatre forms of East and South Asian Countries

  • An overview of dance and theatre forms of East Asian (China, Japan and Korea), South Asian (Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and South- East Asian (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Laos) countries
  • History and presentation techniques of various popular theatre and dance forms of the above countries


Unit 6. Dance in Sanskrit Literature and Treatises

  • A brief study of references to dance in the works of Kalidasa, Bhasa, Sudraka and others
  • General understanding of the concepts relating to dance from texts of ancient and medieval period- Natyasastra, Abhinaya Darpana, Sangeeta Ratnakara, Nritta Ratnavali and Nartana Nirnaya. Concepts include Natya, Nritta, Nritya, Lasya, Tandava, Marga, Desi, Baddha, Anibaddha, Nartaki lakshana, Sabha lakshana
  • and the like. Also specific study of the padas, hastas, caris, mandalas and karanas, and anga, upanga and pratyanga movements
  • Detailed study of Abhinaya Darpana along with introduction to other region/form specific texts like Hasta Lakshana Deepika, Balarama Bharatam, Abhinaya Chandrika, Srihasta Muktavali and others
  • The various categories and typologies of Nayakas and Nayikas and their avasthas according to Bharata’s Natyasastra, Saradatanaya’s Bhavaprakasana, Bhanudatta’s Rasamanjari and Akbar Shah’s Sringaramanjari

Unit 7. India Classical Dance

  • Origin and history of Indian classical dance
  • Evolution, technique, costumes, music, Gurus and pioneers of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi and Sattriya
  • General understanding of major Talas of Hindustani and Carnatic music traditions
  • A brief study of Composers/Vaggeyakaras and their works including Jayadeva, Narayanateertha, Surdas, Meera Bai, Tulasidas, Vanamalidas, Kshetrayya, Srimanta Shankar Deva, Govindadas, Vidyapati, and others.
  • Study of the role of Rabindranath Tagore, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Vallathole Narayana Menon, Madame Menaka and others in the revival and reconstruction of classical dance

Unit. 8 Indian Classical Dance in Independent India

  • An overview of major Gurus, performers, their works and important institutions in Independent India
  • Institutionalization of dance and its effect on form, pedagogy, repertoire etc.
  • The new wave in Indian dance – Its development through the works of Uday Shanker and Ram Gopal and the later major contemporary artists and their works. (eg. Shantibardhan, Narendra Sharma, Sachin Shanker, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Maya Rao, Kumudini Lakhia, Manjusri Chaki Sarkar, Chandralekha, Astad Deboo and others)
  • Indian classical dances in diaspora
  • Patronage to Dance- the role of government and private bodies
  • Awareness of important dance festivals, awardees and current happenings in dance

Unit 9. Dance Education, Pedagogy and Research

  • Dance as part of curriculum in school education and Universities
  • Movement Analysis based on kinesthetics and Laban system
  • Eminent scholars and their works, who contributed significantly to the knowledge of Indian dance
  • Key inroads in dance training and research in India from the 1930’s to the present like applied areas of dance, therapy, cross- cultural training etc.

Unit 10. International dance and interactions

  • Study of the history and development of classical ballet in Europe, Russia and America
  • Emergence of Modern Dance in the west and major personalities involved
  • Influence of the West on Indian dance in terms of production design


Unit 6. Drama and its theories: Indian and Western

  • Concept of drama- Indian and Western
  • Elements and structure of drama according to Indian and Western Dramaturgy
  • A brief study of different classifications of Western dramas – Tragedy, comedy, tragic comedy, melodrama and farce
  • A brief introduction to various ‘isms’ in relation to drama including realism, naturalism, symbolism, expressionism, absurd and epic
  • Playwrights and their contribution: Sanskrit – Kalidasa, Bhasa, Sudraka, Bhavabhuti, Visakhadutta, Bhattanarayana;
  • Ancient Greek and Roman – Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Seneca
  • Western – Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Brecht, Pirandello, Miller, Chekov, Beckett, Ionesco
  • Unit 7. Modern Indian Theatre
  • Origin and development of modern Indian theatre with reference to region, state and personalities
  • A brief study of new trends in theatre since Independence movement both at national and regional level, such as, IPTA movement, Navanatya movement, Root Theatre movement, Third Theatre, Alternate theatre, Street theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, Applied theatre, Forum Theatre, Site Specific theatre
  • An overview of major playwrights, directors and other contributing personalities of various regions, whose plays are widely performed at the national level.
  • Popular Play Houses, Theatre Companies, Institutions and Groups in India and their contribution

Unit 8. Acting and Direction


  • Different schools of acting – Western and Eastern
  1. Early period- Greek, Roman, Elizabethan, Commedia Dell’ arte
  2. Modern Period – Representational, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Brecht, Grotowski
  3. Eastern – Sanskrit, Peking Opera, Noh, Kabuki
  • Role of Mime, Voice, Speech, Improvisation and Physical Theatre in actor’s training


  • Different directorial innovations and methods
  • Role of director in Theatre
  • Fundamentals of play direction: Balance, emphasis, composition, picturisation, movement, tempo and rhythm
  • Process of production: Script to performance


  • Ideas on Production
  1. Realistic : Duke of Sexe Meiningen, Stanislavsky, Elia Kazan, Antione
  2. Non-realistic : Brecht, Meyerhold, Peter Brook, Augusto Boal
  • Impact of above ideas on post independent Indian Theatre movements

Unit 9. Theatre Design and techniques


  • Theatre architecture: Greek, Roman, Elizabethan, Thrust Stage, Proscenium, Arena, Open Stage.
  • Sanskrit : Vikrishta – Madhyam Natyagruha
  • Chinese, Japanese play houses of classical era


  • Stage craft: Fundamentals and functions of sets, lights, costumes, make-up, sound, props, other arts and theatre music in terms of various kinds of play production
  • Aharya and Nepathya vidhi in classical Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Indian Traditional theatre


  • Theatre management and organization


  • Children’s theatre, applied theatre, community theatre, theatre in education, theatre of oppressed and feminist theatre

Unit 10: Theatre Education, Pedagogy and Research

  • Theatre as part of curriculum from primary education and in University system
  • Relevance of traditional theatre training
  • Movement analysis based on kinesthetics, Yoga, Theatre Game, Martial Arts, Folk, Puppetry and other forms
  • Eminent scholars and their works who contributed to the knowledge of Indian Theatre
  • Trends in Indian Theatre research and scholarship in India
  • Patronization to theatre- major institutions, organizations, Government, corporate, private bodies and personalities after independence
  • Awareness of important theatre festivals, Awardees and current affairs in theatre

Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Drama / Theatre


UGC NET Study Materials for Paper 1 in PDF with MCQs ⇒ BUY NOW

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