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Dramatic Concepts, Greek and Indian

A Study of the Poetics and the Natyasastra by: Bharat Gupt

This study offers a fresh approach in comparing ancient Greek and Indian dramatic theories — by reconstructing Greek/Indian performances to highlight their similarities and differences. This revaluation will help in shaping of newer modes of performance.

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ISBN: 9788124600252
Year Of Publication: 2006
Edition: 1st
Pages : xvii, 295
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 600 gm.

Overview

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.

Contents

Preface

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
Lexis – Rhythm and Tone – Melopoiia: The Greek Musical System – Application in Theatre – The Vagabhinaya Concept – Pathya – Prose-Verse Dialogue in Indian Drama – Elements of Dialogue or Pathya – Gana or Dhruva Songs – Gandharva – Dianoia
11. Dramatic Genres and Play Structures
The Serious and the Trivial – Dasharupakas – The Four Vrittis – Significance of Dasharupakas – Play Structure – Itivritta – Ethos and Nayakas – Ethos – 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 – Samyuktivada – Katharsis and Rasa – Epilogue
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
avatar-author
1946
Bharat Gupt, Reader (Associate Professor) in English, College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi, holds two Master’s degrees, one from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and another from Toronto. He did this doctoral research at the M.S. University of Baroda. He was taught sitar and surbahar by Pandit Uma Shankar Mishra and musicology and classics by Acarya Brhaspati. Trained both in modern and traditional educational systems, he is also on the Visiting Faculty of National School of Drama, Delhi. For his interest in media studies he was awarded a Fellowship to work at the McLuhan Program, University of Toronto. Author of several research articles, he has presented many papers at various international seminars.
Books of Bharat Gupt