Sunday 27 October 2019

Prism - Purvaranga From Bharata's Natyamandapam to Kathak Proscenium - Sunil Sunkara, Edited by Dr. Puru Dadheech

Abstract: This essay looks at the Purvaranga Vidhi described in chapter V of the Natyashastra, focusing on the components of the purvaranga that became a part of the Kathak parampara, keeping in mind the lecture series, 'Kathak in reference to Natyashastra' conducted by Dr. Puru Dadheech at Bharata College of Fine Arts & Culture, Mumbai and 'Kathak Shastra' conducted by him at the Kathak Darpan Cultural Centre, Mumbai.

The fifth chapter of the Natyashastra deals with the preliminaries of the play or Purvaranga Vidhanam. It is here that Bharata lays down broad parameters of consecrating space which would prepare actors, performers and the audience to be transported to the world of 'kalpana' (imagination) and simultaneously to the divine. Thus the preliminaries were believed to have a dual role of protecting and sustaining the world of imagination as well as heralding auspiciousness.

In the words of Kalidasa, a performance is a 'chaksus yagna' i.e. an offering of that which can be seen and imagined by the eye (mind). The Purvaranga Vidhi is thus akin to the setting up of the yagna kund and samagri. The parts of the purvaranga to be performed in due order with the playing of drums and stringed instruments as well as recitatives (paathya) are:

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  1. Thankyou. .its very nicely written and informative

  2. I am pleased and happy to read this article. The author has written in a simple and lucid language explaining the details of Purvarang as... Thank you.