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Dramatic Concepts Greek and Indian

A Study of the Poetics and the Natyashastra

This study offers a fresh approach in comparing ancient Greek and Indian dramatic theories. Instead of treating the Poetics and the Natyashastra as Western and Eastern viewpoints, it places them within the broad below

About This Book

This study offers a fresh approach in comparing ancient Greek and Indian dramatic theories. Instead of treating the Poetics and the Natyashastra as Western and Eastern viewpoints, it places them within the broad framework of ancient Indo-European culture and the art of sacred drama (hieropraxis). It demonstrates that hieropraxis was basically different from post-Renaissance European drama which was entirely secular in content and Realistic in presentation. The Poetics and the Natyashastra on the contrary, belonged to theatres which pleased both gods and men, and which used semiotised gesture, dance, music, and dialogue to create a highly ornate theatrical reality. The book aims at comparing not only the concepts as propounded by Aristotle and Bharata Muni, but also attempts to reconstruct the Greek and Indian performances to highlight their similarities and differences. In view of the increasing constrains imposed on artistic endeavours by commercial pre-occupations in today's world, this stimulating revaluation of the two major classical stage-crafts will go a long way in the discerning and shaping of newer modes of performance. Concepts like anukarana, dharmi, abhinaya, itivritta, mimesis, muthos, melopoiia, katharsis and rasa, etc., as revisited and expounded here, can be seen as means of creating dramatic shows which go beyond message and entertainment to provide sublimer experiences.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124600252
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124600252
  • Edition : 3rd Impression
  • Year : 2006
  • Pages : xvii, 295 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 600 gm


Part I
Ancient Drama as Hieropraxis

1. Introduction

Ancient Drama as Hieropraxis
Unification of Speech, Gesture and Dance in Hieropraxis
Departure from Hieropraxis
Growth of European Drama as Word-Centered Performance
Christian Bias against Transformation
Elimination of Dance and Music
Rise of Portraiture
Social Reformism
The Poetics and the Natyashastra as Systems of Performance

2. The Date Of The Natyashastra

The Sanskrit of the NSH
The Antiquity of Dasharupakas
Musical Instruments in the NSH
Gandharvas and Gandharva
Pre-epic Themes of Early Drama
The NSH and the Ramayana
The NSH and the Mahabharata
The Prose Passages in the NSH
The NSH as Antedating Kautilya, Vatsyayana and Amarakosha
The NSH as a Compilation
Bharata Muni, a Person not a 'Tradition'
Later Growth of the NSH

3. Indo-European Beliefs in Greek and Indian Drama

Miasma-katharsis or Shauca-ashauca
The Gift of Vitality
Ancestor Worship and Burial Customs
Protection to the Supplicant
The Power of Oath
Oracles and Curses
Some Other Common Beliefs

4. Drama as Festive Ritual

Drama and Ritual
The Nucleus of Dance in Greek Theatre
Audience Participation
Origin of Indian Drama
Indian Festive Setting
Community Involvement

Part II
Concepts and Techniques

5. Basic Concepts of Aristotle and Bharata Muni: A Reassessment
6. Theory of Imitation

The Concept of Anukarana

7. Medium of Imitation

Rhythm, Language, and Harmony
The Indian Medium of Anukarana
Abhinaya of Four Kinds
Angika Abhinaya
Head Movements
Hand Postures
Breast, Belly and Leg Movements
Leg Postures or Cari
Gatipracara or Gait
Verbal Abhinaya
Sattvika Abhinaya
Aharya Abhinaya
Kinds of Aharya
The Unification of Four Abhinayas or Samanikarana

8. A Comparison of Greek and Indian Theatrical Space

Hieropraxic Division of Space
The Greek Performance Space
The Effect of the Mask on Theatron Size
The Indian Performance Space
Space for Musical Activity
Dance Space
Division of Acting Area, or Kakshya Vibhaga
Open Theatres

9. The Visual Content

Greek Gesture and Dance
Orchestral Activity
Greek Choreology
Greek Dance Genres
Theatrical Dances
Unification of Dance with Words
Visual Content in Indian Drama

10. The Aural Content

Rhythm and Tone
Melopoiia: The Greek Musical System
Application in Theatre
The Vagabhinaya Concept
Prose-Verse Dialogue in Indian Drama
Elements of Dialogue or Pathya
Gana or Dhruva Songs

11. Dramatic Genres and Play Structures

The Serious and the Trivial
The Four Vrittis
Significance of Dasharupakas
Play Structure
Ethos and Nayakas
Nayakas and Nayikas

Part III
Transformation and Emotional Arousal

12. Transformation and Emotional Arousal

Transformation of Reality
Lokadharmi and Natyadharmi
Transformation for Emotional Arousal
Emotional Arousal in Greek Theory
Indian System of Emotional Arousal
Vibhavas and Anubhavas
Katharsis and Hedone
The Rasa Concept
Lollata's Analysis
Shankuka's Analysis
Bhattanayaka's Analysis
Abhinavagupta's Analysis
Katharsis and Rasa


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