Did man's not-too-distant animal forefathers have a sense of rhythm and like to dance to music? It would certainly seem so, as the latest research at Kyoto University suggests, from their experiments with seven chimpanzees who, incidentally, have as many as 93 per cent (perhaps more) of genes in common with their human progeny. Although none of the primates had been taught to groove and received any rewards for doing so, they still broke out into spontaneous movement -- by clapping hands, tapping feet and swaying along - when played bursts of tunes on piano!
The consummate way in which both nritya and nritta of Indian classical dances are linked to the geetam and vadyam of the land, appears to recognize this heritage, in being beautifully integrated in their conceptualizations and aesthetics, as well as in their manifestation, as it struck this critic once again, while watching some of the recent dance performances in the eastern metropolis.
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