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Speaking of Dance

The Indian Critique by: Mandakranta Bose

The book presents a fresh, critical appraisal of the key concepts surfacing from the Natyasastra of Bharata Muni and some of the other landmark treatises, like Abhinayadarpana, Sangitaratnakara, and Nartana-nirnaya to show how these time-honoured writings have contributed to the evolution of classical dancing in India.

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ISBN: 9788124601723
Year Of Publication: 2001
Edition: 1st
Pages : xii, 144
Bibliographic Details : 25 Coloured and B/w photographs; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 650

Overview

Indian classical dance is a ‘high art’. In ancient India, it was even venerated as a ‘sacred’ act. Ever since Bharata wrote his seminal Natyashastra (c. 200 ce), it has been one of the central elements of scholarly discourse, generating a whole host of learned treatises. Mandakranta Bose here takes a close look at this vast Sanskritic textual corpus attempting not only to reconstruct India’s two-millennia-long dance tradition, but also to dispel the historical and aesthetic misconceptions woven around it. With a fresh, critical appraisal of the key concepts surfacing from the Natyashastra of Bharata Muni and some of the other landmark treatises, like Abhinayadarpana, Sangitaratnakara, and Nartananirnaya, the book tries to highlight how these time-honoured writings have contributed to the evolution of classical dancing in India. And, yet more significantly perhaps, the author ventures into a comparatively uncharted terrain seeking to explore the status of performing arts (including dance) in early Jaina tradition. Focussing on the position of dancing in the contemporary cultural life of India, Mandakranta Bose shows how classical dance in India today has achieved a creative blend of tradition and modernity, leading to a vigorous revival of a great heritage, a part of the larger effort towards ‘nationalist rediscovery’. Supporting the text with visual material to correlate the theory and practice of dancing in India, the book offers perceptions that will appeal to everyone involved with performing arts.

Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Note on Illustrations
1. Introduction
2. Bharata on Dance: The Key Concepts
3. Shastra and Prayoga: The use of Abhinayadarpana
4. Defining Dance: Shrngadeva’s New Approach
5. Nartananirnaya: An Early Textual Source of Kathak
6. Nartananirnaya: The Textual Source of Odissi
7. The Idea of Anukarana in the Jaina Tradition
8. The Lost Natyavidhis of the Jaina Tradition
9. The Dance Re-invented: Rabindranath Tagore’s Vision
Visuals
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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1938
Mandakranta Bose, Professor Emerita, and till her retirement Director of the Centre for South Asia and India Research, at the University of British Columbia, has made the Sanskrit tradition of dance and theatre arts the subject of her lifelong study. She has published major studies in the field, including Classical Indian Dancing: A Glossary, Speaking of Dance: The Indian Critique, and critical editions of Sanskrit texts on music and dance. Her interests also comprise gender issues and Ramayana studies, represented by Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval and Modern India, The Ramayana Culture, and The Ramayana Revisited. Dr Bose is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain.
Books of Mandakranta Bose