Overview for Exuberance of Indian Classical Dance
Indian classical dances, rooted in deep traditions, came virtually into their own after the nation's Independence. The process, begun in the 1930's, gathered momentum soon and received ample re-vitalisation within next half a century and count today Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, Manipuri, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and Sattriya among eight recognised genres, with Vilasininatyam and Chhau rapidly claiming shares of recognition. Structure and spirit of these exciting dance-styles – as handed down by the gurus — depend on their avowed practitioners whose collective corpus of work is seen here through an analytical eye, in dialogue with the dancers: so as not to miss their own creative viewpoints. To each critical survey's body-and-soul has been added the dancers' own voice, — by including overviews by some prominent professionals of each genre. This is an unusual stance, — steering clear of high scholarship and capturing, instead, the aura and aroma of practice alongside personality. All in all, the book – lavishly illustrated — tries to faithfully mirror the exciting times that Indian dance lives in today.
Utpal K Banerjee (Author)
Dr. Utpal K. Banerjee's career is both varied and prolific. He has been an adviser on management and information technology for over thirty years and has an abiding interest in Indian art and culture. In 1998, he was sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to lecture on art and culture in South America. Earlier lectures included those given in Canada and the USA in 1990 and 1995 when he was invited by ICCR and Kalabharati Foundation of Canada. His comprehensive book, Indian Performing Arts, has gone into several editions and another, Begali Theatre: 200 Years, has been published by the Publications Division, Government of India. His most recent works include Indian Performing Arts: A Mosaic and Indian Puppets. Dr. Banerjee's formal introduction to the visual and performing arts of the world came through several courses that he attended at the Extra-Mural department, University of Manchester, UK in 1969-72. He was National Project Director for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) for a UNDP project on 'Multimedia Database for Art and Culture Documentation and Computerisation'. His articles appear regularly in India Perspective, Indian Horizons and The Pioneer. He has contributed to countless cultural programmes on the BBC, All Indian Radio and Doordarshan.