Monday 15 June 2015

Article - Education in Spiritual values through Bharatanatyam – Part IX "Audience and the Art" - Chandra Anand

An Indian classical performing art plucks at the heartstrings of spectators, by presenting an emotional human experience that is universal in nature. This aesthetic theory is the underlying belief and philosophy of all Indian classical arts called rasa theory.
The rasa-sutra
The goal of any natya is only to create rasa.  Rasa is the enjoyment of an aesthetic bliss derived through witnessing or reading a dramatic or literary piece of work. “Vibhava anubhava  vyabhichari  samyogad  nishpattih” is the famous rasa-sutra of Bharata, which is a formula-like, succinct statement about how rasa arises. …..In formulating the sutra, Bharata is explaining the factors of art creation; he is also suggesting that an emotion or an emotional experience, which is content of art-presentation, cannot be stated in words or narrated; it has to be poetically constructed in order that it conveys not merely information or knowledge of the emotion but also produces an appropriate emotional response.  The factors or components of this art construction are the determinants and the physical and mental consequents, which the sutra states.  It is also suggested that an emotional experience constructed through the art components can alone reach the reader or spectator, evoke an emotional response in him and lead him to enjoy it. This is rasa; and the sutra, in a way, presents to us an anatomy of rasa-experience.”[1] Therefore, the success of the art-presentation depends on the audience response (relish of rasa) to the dominant emotion (sthayibhava); or their identification with the idea i.e., content of art-presentation.

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