Saturday 13 July 2019

Article - Influence of Bharata's 'Tandavalakshanam' on Kathak 'Taalpaksh' - Sunil Sunkara

AbstractIn the journey of evolution of any species, there are certain intrinsic elements that withstand the test of time. Evolved from the earlier apes and bonobos, the Neanderthal man evolved into the homo sapiens, the homo sapiens sapiens and so on. But at one point in this process the species was no longer that of 'ape' but that of a 'human'. This same lens has been applied in this essay while looking at the connection between Natyashastra and Kathak Prayoga. While the movement vocabulary of the Natyashastra as described in the Tandavalakshanam classifies as margi, all the movement vocabulary in Kathak today would classify as desi. That withstanding, this essay bases itself on the belief that there have been certain connecting principles that connects with the very ethos or internal fabric of dance and its creation. It is with this perspective that the influence of Bharata's Tandavalakshanam principles have been looked at in perspective of the taalpaksh in Kathak. 

The chapter IV of Bharata's Natyashastra, Tandavalakshanam deals with the cadence of movements, the karanas and longer sequences built upon them, the angaharas. None of the descriptions can be understood without the aid of Chapters VIII, IX and X which deals with the micro and micro movements of the body - in short, all that Bharata recognizes as the larger rubric of Aangikabhinaya [Vatsyayan, 1996].

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