A Comprehensive Introduction to Bharata's Natyasastra, the oldest treatise on performin arts in the world. This 13 Episode Series is a Valuable Set for Dance Students, Teachers, Performers, and for All Lovers of Indian Aesthetics and Performing Arts
Bharatyam Ardhyam Yashastham goes the verse from the Natyashastra as the scene opens to a view of the majestic Himalayas the Sahastradhaara and the backwaters of Kerala with the flute music playing Raga Pahaadi. Much like these indelible features defining the geographical landscape of India the Natyashastra of Bharata muni defines the aesthetic and artistic contours of the Indian. Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam’s interaction with students establishes the all pervading nature of this magnum opus also called Natya veda. Like the limitless Vedas with neither beginning nor end it comprises intuitively revealed knowledge, its holistic approach linking artistic consciousness and the individual with the entirely of creation even while theorizing on fundamental principles governing artistic expression through the medium of movement sculpture painting music and language. Hence it is both Natya Veda and Natyashastra.
Natya as Padma specifies is a comprehensive term embracing total theatre with the Nata or actor speaking singing and dancing. She dates the text as Pre-Ramayana for neither epic hero Rama nor Krishna finds mention anywhere though scholars variously ascribe the Natyashastra to a period ranging from 500 B.C. to 500 A.D.
The Maargi or classical tradition crystallized by Natyashastra cementing and unifying force knitting the entire Jambhudhwepa area flourished along with the regional or desi traditions though political/ social upheavals from 12th century onwards snapped these links which were revived partially by Vidyaranya’s founding of the Vijayanagara Empire. Not reflected in its entirely in any prevailing art tradition aspects of maargi have however unconsciously survived in regional or Desi Traditional its reinvented manifestations being our classical Bharatanayam Kathak, Manupure, Odissi and Chhau and also in Natya traditions like Kathakali Yakshagana etc.
Manipuri guru Bipin Singh explains how Vaishnavism carried the Natyashastra even to Manipur believed to be culturally and geographically isolated from the rest of the country.
To bridge the wide gap between theory and practice and to revitalize Maargi syombolising the country’s oneness is padma’s aim. The stupendous similarity between a Kumbhakonam temple Natyashastra Karana sculpture and a Tibetan painting or between a kanchipuram temple sculpture and live movement in Thailand’s dance tradition and several examples from art forms of different areas proves the massive sway of the Natyashastra transcending religious frontiers its features reflected in both Buddhist and Jain art.
The origin of Natya is splet out. Bharata received the Natya Veda from Brahma and produced the first ever play. Amritha Manthana for Indira’s flag festival enacted in the playhouse designed as a mini cosmos by the divine architect Vishwakarma. The demons mistaking an enactment of their defeat in poetic glorification or anukeertanta were aroused. Indira pacified the asuras and with his flagstaff, Jarjara, protected the actors.
The Purvaranga a pre performance ritual of which an abridged version is presented symbolizes this planting of the Jarjara.
Session 1: Introduction and Purvaranga
Session 2: Angikaabhinaya
Session 3: Angikaabhinaya (Continued)
Session 4: Nrittaabhinaya (Karanas)
Session 5: Karanas (Continued)
Session 6: Saushthava Recaka
Session 7: Anghaaras and Pindi
Session 8: Padaartha Abhinaya
Session 9: Aahaarya and Saatvikaabhinaya Dharmi and Sancharibhava
Session 10: Bhava and Rasa
Session 11: Vritti/Pravritti
Session 12: Dasharupaka