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The Aesthetics of Dhvani in Theatre by: K.G. Paulose

Vyangyavyakhya (interpretation of implied sense), ninth century, is the first performance text in Sanskrit applying dhvani to Bharata’s theatre. The author Kulasekhara deserves a place next to Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta in the history of Natyasastra studies. The text is published for the first time.



ISBN: 9788124606995
Year Of Publication: 2013
Edition: 1st
Pages : xvii, 546p.
Bibliographic Details : 43 B/w Photographs; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 1500


The doctrine of dhvani, expounded by Anandavardhana (ninth century ce) in Kashmir though contested by his contemporaries at home, received sound acclamation in Kerala. A royal dramatist — Kulashekhara – of the same century applied dhvani to the theatre. His performance text is known as Vyangyavyakhya (VV), meaning interpreting the implied. This was an epoch-making event in the history of Indian theatre. This innovation in performative practices marked a deviation from Bharata’s national tradition and laid down the foundation for classical forms like Kutiyattam, Kgrshnanattam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. VV today continues to inspire contemporary directors to formulate new interpretative sub-texts for ancient plays. VV, which remained in manuscripts till now, is published for the first time.
As icing on the cake, four eminent scholars — K.D. Tripathy, Radhavallabh Tripathi, N.P. Unni and Kavalam Narayana Panikkar – delve deep into the aspects of VV as introduction to this book. This volume discusses in detail the Sanskrit theatre until tenth century ce, performance texts of Dhananjayadhvani and Samvaranadhvani, and the developments in the post-Kulashekhara era.
VV should serve as a guide to all practitioners of performing arts, and should entice students, teachers and lovers of Indian performing arts.

Meet the Author
Dr K.G. Paulose (b. 1946), presently a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, was the first Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam. He also held various key positions like Registrar, Sree Sankaracharya University, Kalady; Chief Editor — Publications, Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal; Chairman, Chinmaya International Sodha Sansthan; and Principal of Government Sanskrit College, Tripunithura. He specializes in Comparative Aesthetics, Natyashastra, Ancient Theatre and Kutiyattam. He has authored twenty and edited over fifty books and published many research papers. He was the Chief Editor of three research journals — Purnatrayi, Aryavaidyan and Dhimahi. Two of his important publications are Natankusha: A Critique of Dramaturgy (1993) and Kutiyattam Theatre: The Earliest Living Tradition (2006). Dr Paulose is an awardee of Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi. Thirupati Sanskrit Viswavidyalaya conferred on him the title of “Vachaspati” in 2009.
Books of K.G. Paulose