I) The Predravidian Kerala legacy
"It's my dance-give it back to me."
- La Danseuse (French movie, October 2016)
Let alone the idea of getting hints from an inspiring ritual, rural source in most cases acts like a rejuvenating incubator of talents for 'Shastriya Natya' - the corpus of Indian classical dances . Classic tradition, its model rooted in Hindu history, versus rural creativity, a disposition of the mind, expressed bodily in a "freer way", would be two terms: the two sides of a formal disengagement. Once looking into productions, rural epistemology brings more aesthetics to the light. We find any time the evidence of an argument, a mood or a gesture was picked up from rural performance, passed on to the classical repertoire; it soon has modified the scale of body language. It was the case for the canonization of Bharatanatyam (1932), led by Rukmini Devi Arundale, according to a procedure Indira Viswanathan Peterson describes entirely in the genesis of the art form, outside its rural origin . It is also true for Ottam Thullal, inspired two centuries ago from Padayani vinodams. Something was borrowed, and it was deviated. Much of what creators have picked from the rural, the musical or the dance motif, the idea or the narrative once performed, has generated something different in another social context.
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