ಭಾರತೀಯನೃತ್ಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಶೈಲಿಯ ಅನನ್ಯತೆಯನ್ನು ಕುರಿತ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆ

ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಕಲೆಗೂ ತನ್ನದೇ ಆದ ಶೈಲಿಯಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಅಷ್ಟೇಕೆ, ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಬ್ಬ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗೂ ಜೀವಿಗೂ ಅಸ್ತಿತ್ವಕ್ಕೂ ತನ್ನದೇ ಆದ ಶೈಲಿಯಿರುವಾಗ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಜೀವನಸಮಷ್ಟಿಯೆನಿಸಿದ ಸಮಾಜವೊಂದರ ವಿಕಸಿತವೂ ಮನೋಹರವೂ ಆದ ಕಲಾಪ್ರಕಾರವೊಂದಕ್ಕೆ ಶೈಲಿಯ ಅನನ್ಯತೆಯಿಲ್ಲವೆಂದರೆ ಹೇಗೆ? ಹೀಗಾಗಿಯೇ ನರ್ತನಕಲೆಗೂ ಶೈಲಿಗಳ ಅನನ್ಯರೂಪಗಳುಂಟು; ಮತ್ತಿದಕ್ಕೆ ಭಾರತೀಯನೃತ್ಯಗಳು ಅಪವಾದವೇನಲ್ಲ.

Naayakaabhinaya in Classical Dance – 2

Let us focus on shrngaaraabhinaya (expression of shrngaara – love) that is based on graceful dance (laasya). Like mentioned in the previous article, delineation of female characters has been the focus of most dance forms for centuries. We are familiar with love-poems related to women and their depiction in dance. When men started performing dance based on shrngaara, some difficulties probably arose. In fact, it is rather apt for dancers to put on the roles described in the lyrics, regardless of the actual gender of the dancers.

Naayakaabhinaya in Classical Dance - 1

Art scholars say that the two seemingly different modes of dance known as ‘maarga’ and ‘deshi’ are essentially the same. ‘Maarga’ is the realization of dance and ‘deshi’ is its application in practice. A well defined art, with a set of rules governing it is ‘shaastriya’, i.e., subscribed to a shaastra. (‘Shaastriya’ can be roughly translated as ‘classical’). It belongs to the heritage that was founded by Bharata and his predecessors such as Shilaali and Krshaashva.

The Need of a Shaastric Framework for Indian Dance – 5

We had an overview of Bharata Muni’s Naatyashaastra in the previous article. We picked only one shloka from the 6000 that Bharata has written and analyzed its meaning. We have seen that just like all other art forms, dance too is governed by techniques as laid down by the shaastra. We also discussed the advantage of relying on shaastra and on classical heritage.

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The Need of a Shaastric Framework for Indian Dance – 4

We shall have a look at Indian dance from the perspective of shaastra and heritage (sampradaaya).

Indian dance, just like other art forms and knowledge systems of India, is idealized. It mainly shows us how things ought to be and not how they currently are or how they appear to be. In other words, it helps us look at nature from the perspective of culture. Bharata Muni speaks of this at the beginning of the Naatyashaastra (1.107 to 1.123)

The Need of a Shaastric Framework for Indian Dance – 3

Shaastra is inevitable for the learning of any art form. However, it is also true that it is almost impossible to ‘teach’ an art. Any learning that can develop only through experience cannot be ‘taught’ using external means.  This can be better appreciated when seen from the perspective of Vedanta and Brahmaanubhava (the experience of the Brahman – the non-dual entity, Bliss in essence).