Sunday, 9 December 2012

Article - Role and function of dance: Historical context (Part 2) - Dr. Anonna Guha

(Excerpt from the Phd thesis ‘Dance in the urban culture’ under the guidance of Dr. Sharit Bhowmik.)

Indian context

The historical background of dance in India has to be understood and comprehended in its particular context. Since this research studies Indian dance and dancers in the urban scenario, an in-depth knowledge about Indian dances with their historical setting will be important in dealing with its current picture.

For the sake of clarity, I will divide the analysis of Indian dances into two categories.


1) presentational

2) participational (IED Vol 3, 1998: 455)

The first category would include the classical dances – dance as an art form - while the second would cover folk, tribal / ritual / traditional dances. The historical context, function and role of both may have to be understood distinctly though there would be overlapping areas. (The English word ‘classical’ is used primarily as a translation of the Sanskrit ‘
sastriya’ (also called marga) and indicated that a dance tradition has a relatively highly developed technique and theory of movement that relate to theoretical texts of the earlier period known as sastras like the Natyashastra. The folk or rural category in Indian tradition is called desi, provincial or rural.

Read the article in the site

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