During more than two months duration 8th Olympic Theatre Festival was organized by National School of Drama (NSD) and Ministry of Culture at several cities within India, with presentation of plays in various languages along with seminars on various aspects of theatre. One which was organized at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal was on different aspects of theatre in relation to Natyashastra. Many leading scholars, practitioners, directors, dancers, musicians, authors and critics were invited to participate for two days on 23rd and 24th March, to discuss and deliberate on practice of Natyashastra. I was invited to present my paper and chair the session on Practice of Natyashastra: In perspective of Rasa.
The Rasa Sutra as mentioned in the sixth chapter of the Natyashastra refers to bhava, vibhava, vyabhichari bhava and with their confluence takes place the rasanishpatti. The aphoristic formula for the issuance of rasa as given in Natyashastra is that the rasa issues forth when vibhava, anubhava and vyabhicharibhava are appropriately blended.
Natyashastra continues to remain a main semiotic text for plurality of various dance and dance-drama forms of India. In practice, the Rasa Theory applies more in principle to the performances of classical dance forms, which are eight in number with inclusion of Odissi, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam and Sattriya dances to well established forms of Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Manipuri and Kathakali.
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