Workshop : ‘History of Dastangoi’ by Ankit Chadha

‘History of Dastangoi’ by Ankit Chadha was very interactive workshop and he laid stress on preservation and revival of lost art form. The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling, it is a compound of two Persian words dastan and goi which means to tell a Dastan. Telling tales of adventure, magic and warfare, Dastans mapped new worlds and horizons, encountered the unseen and protected the hero through many travails and lovers as he moved on his quest. The first historian of Lucknow, Abdul Halim Sharar wrote in Guzishta Lucknow about the proliferation of the art of Dastangoi in the city after the mutiny. Every nobleman, he said, had made it a practice to employ a Dastango in his retinue as chowks or city squares became a favored site for performance of the art. In 1928, just a few years before sound revolutionized the Indian film industry, Mir Baqar Ali died, he was the last famous Dastango of India. The connection is not merely incidental, reports of his performances establish beyond doubt that he was perhaps the last great traditional actor to be born in this country. The first modern Dastangoi performance took place on 4th May 2005 at the India International Auditorium after the recent revival of the art !