Thursday 20 July 2023

Article - Why Naatya, not Dance? - VP Dhananjayan

Many of our performing artistes wonder and ask me why I keep harping on the word 'Naatya' to be used for our kind of performing arts like Bharatanaatyam and other classical performing arts. I have tried to explain umpteen times during my lecture demonstrations and Naatya conferences, not only in Bhaaratam but also abroad. Earlier, this article has appeared in art publications. Readers' memory is short lived. Therefore once again I am obliged to repeat my contentions and intensions on the usage of 'Naatya' in place of 'dance'.

In this context, I would like people to understand that periodical changes have taken place in every field and the present Bharatanaatyam repertoire names got in vogue only during and after Ponnayya, Chinnayya, Vadivelu, Sivanandam (Tanjavur Brothers who codified the Sadir Margam). Before them there were some other names in vogue. Also, people should remember that the name Bharatanaatyam itself was reintroduced in late 1930s. While Madras Music academy passed the resolution, Kalakshetra took it up more seriously to popularise the new name.

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