Classical Dance and Yakṣagāna – Comparative Aesthetics (Part 2)

A theatrical performance that is rich in prose-like spoken language, employs gesture language that isn’t stylized and has āṅgika that largely divorced from pure nṛtta can be called nāṭya; such a theatrical performance is closer to loka-dharmī. In another case where vācika takes the form of lyrics (which are largely in metrical patterns) set to a rāga and to a rhythmic pattern, and when āṅgika becomes stylized like in nṛtta, the performance assumes the form of a nṛtya.

Classical Dance and Yakṣagāna – Comparative Aesthetics (Part 1)

All of us will have witnessed different forms of classical theatre art in India. It is not difficult to estimate their mutual concordance and inter-connectedness. To understand the philosophy behind these arts and to grasp the manner in which they have crystallised over the years, we will need to take refuge in the unbroken tradition of the Nāṭyaśāstra. It evokes great pride even to take a cursory glance of these arts and realise that they belong to this eternal tradition; such an unbroken tradition of theory and practice is unique only to India.

Limitations of Nṛtya-nāṭakas: Heading Towards Ekāhārya and Ekahārya Presentations - Part 3

The aesthetics of group dance is compromised because choreographers fail to keep track of the changes that a solo performing art needs to undergo in the process of adapting itself to a group performance. The effort is like trying to put a square nut into a circular hole. Unless we go to the level of abstraction and examine things, no transformation can successfully take place. For example, to turn a bronze sculpture of Gaṇapati into one of Śrīkṛṣṇa, we will need to first melt the sculpture we have with us. Then we will need to recast the bronze so obtained into the image of Śrīkṛṣṇa.

Limitations of Nṛtya-nāṭakas: Heading Towards Ekāhārya and Ekahārya Presentations - Part 2

We will need to search for an object at the place where we have lost it – this is inevitable and also expected. We can examine this from the perspective of music. It is needless to say that music is inevitable for dance and in a sense directs dance. In a dance recital, even if the dancer is below par, we can relish the performance to some extent if the music accompaniment is good. On the contrary, if the dance is good but the accompanying music is below par, we will be unable to stand the show.

The Sanātana-Devālaya Booklist - On Indian Temples

For people of the sanātana-dharma, the whole of creation is an embodiment of divinity – the creation is pervaded by its Creator and both are equally divine; they are, in fact, not two different entities.  It is for this reason, there is hardly any object that is not worshipped in the sanātana culture. From a vedāntic perspective, the nirguṇa-parabrahma is the only Reality and needs to be realised within oneself.

Limitations of Nṛtya-nāṭakas: Heading Towards Ekāhārya and Ekahārya Presentations - Part 1

We often wonder what the state of classical art in the modern world will be, especially when we have several media that can entertain us. Various modes of entertainment such as movies and tele-serials, and platforms such as YouTube and Netflix rule the world. A movie can portray amazing feats of men, easily capturing the hearts of its audience. Television brings several serials to our drawing room, effortlessly entertaining the masses. Similarly, we can watch video recordings of the performances of stalwarts on YouTube. Smartphones help us access all of this at our fingertips.

Ekavyakti-Yakṣagāna: Conclusion (Part 10)

Yakṣa-navodaya is an attempt at aesthetically stitching together the compositions of a few Navodaya poets of Kannada. The compositions chosen are ene śuka-bhāṣiṇi of D V Gundappa, nānu baḍavi āta baḍava of Bendre, bṛṃdāvanakè hālanu māralu of Kuvempu, nīḍu pātheyavanu of Ti. Nam. Sri, ahalyè of Pu. Ti. Na, nīvallave of K S Narasimhaswamy. The production is merely an attempt to indicate one such possibility.

The Mahābhārata Paintings by Sri Chandranath Acharya: An Introduction

The paintings on epic and purāṇic themes by Sri Chandranath Acharya, an artiste par excellence, represent an optimal blend of the classical Indian flavour with the techniques of the West. He has not only mastered the traditional Indian techniques but also brings in perfect anatomy and three-dimensional charm, typical to the Greco-roman tradition and the Italian Renaissance. He has taken forward the tradition of master artistes such as Raja Ravi Varma, M V Durandhar, M T V Acharya, Vaddadi Papaiah, and S M Pandit.

Ekavyakti-Yakṣagāna: Sāttvikābhinaya (Part 8)

The interpretation and elaboration that Mantap does for the line raṅganyātakè bārano is extraordinary. He shows several different emotions of the gopikā as he enacts the line. O Raṅga! Why haven’t you come? – Do you think I am ugly? Or has our love lost lusture? Have other women captured you more than me? Or am I hallucinating? I am not able to bear this! Why is he so proud? Why is he arrogant and insensitive? Why do you still ignore?