Volume 2 Issue 61 | July 4, 2009 |


   Cover Story
   Learner's Club
   Learner's Club
   Journey through    Bangladesh
   Behind the Scene
   Guru Griho

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Editor's Note

What Makes a Good Show?

Live performances that are not even recorded on video still happen. In rural Bangladesh, most of these are retellings of some myth, such as the story of Behula and Laxmindar. We've brought you descriptions of this serpent-themed show before- this one is a little different. The arrangement and the setup is such that it would only work in a small rural setting. These performers really have no interest in telling something new or surprising the audience. There is no impulse to go “out with the old”, no desire to add a twist to the story. The audience doesn't want change either. They want the comfort and security in hearing the same story they've heard so many times before.

But what is it that makes a good show? I pose the question but I don't suggest an answer. What would be the fate of these low-budget performances if suddenly cable television was introduced to the original audience? What is more important- familiarity, or newness? We've seen Bollywood serve up the same formula for decades. No matter how much money they make, they rely on sameness, not invention. Perhaps, both in the case of these village dramas as well as high-budget Bollywood, the audience rests on a careful balance between comfort and boredom.

Abak Hussain
From the Insight Desk

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