Phonetic languages have two major purposes – one is related to the realm of emotion (bhāvopayoga) and the other to the material world (bhavopayoga). We do not consider classical arts such as dance and music as media for communicating information. Spoken language, which is the medium of our everyday communication, is mostly expected to provide us with information, while the same phonetic language, taking the form of poetry and story becomes non-utilitarian.
While discussing about mārga and deśī, the author has brought much clarity in drawing the lines of distinction between the two, and at the same time showing their merging points. Clarity on these major concepts will throw much light in the works on re-construction of techniques. Also, the realisation that mārga becomes a vocabulary with which many languages as Deśī forms may emerge (all with respect to dance in this context), will be a big revelation. The following sentences are significant for this reason.
One of the most important contributions of the second edition is the article titled, ‘Aesthetics and Interconnectedness of the Daśa-rūpakas, Upa-rūpakas, and Nṛtya Traditions’.
This article is a very exhaustive one, both in terms of data and insights. This article gets a robust start with the analysis of the terms Anukaraṇa and Anukīrtana. This talks about the difference between classical arts and non-classical arts, between art becoming alaukika or remaining mundane and so on.
Prekṣaṇīyam is authored by Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh and translated to English with additional material by Arjun Bharadwaj. This is a book on the Essays on Indian Classical Dance and Theatre. It was my fortune that I was invited to speak on the contents of the books on the occasion of the release of its second edition, which was an improvised version of the first edition in terms of inclusion of additional essays, footnotes in more detail and also giving a section for glossary and indices.
The daśa-rūpakas and many upa-rūpakas need to be staged using mārga-karaṇas, mārga-cārīs, and mārga-sthānakas; these have to come along with nṛtta-hastas as well; aṅgahāras may be employed as necessary. Thus, mastery over the grammar of the mārga-tradition is extremely important. Similarly, in the case of quite a few upa-rūpakas and forms of nṛtya documented in the treatises on saṅgīta-śāstra, mastery over the deśī grammar is important.
Chalika, cillī, cillikā, cillī-karma, or cillī-mārga – Abhinava-gupta defines this as a kind of upa-rūpaka rooted in śuddha-nṛtta – pure, non-representational dance.