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Shringara in Classical Indian Dance

Saron Lowen (Editor)

Shringara, Sringara, Śṛṅgāra, Sringar (love) is the dominant rasa, or aesthetic flavor, that has been interpreted in literature, philosophy, the visual and performing arts amidst other rasas - Śṛṅgāra (erotic), Hāsyam (comic), Kāruṇyam (pathetic), Raudram (fury), Veeram (heroic), Bhayānakam (fearful), Bībhatsa (odious) and Adbhutam (marvellous), Shantam (peaceful). Spiritual love through dance is a core consciousness in the Indian subcontinent documented in the 2000-year-old Nāṭyaśāstra and shared in temple dance and sculpture since then. Such dance lexicons were culled out of western spiritual traditions over roughly the same time period. The concept of communicating unselfish, unconditional spiritual love through the metaphors of mundane human love is intrinsic to Indian aesthetic and philosophical traditions. The chapters of this book offer insights into both the shared and unique understanding and performance of shringara in various classical Indian dance traditions. ‘Nritya Kalanidhi’ Guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan kindly contributed an introductory overview of Śṛṅgāra in Nāṭya (communicative dance) to contextualize the focus on specific classical genres that follows. Performing artists recognized for their scholarship have contributed chapters on the ways Sringara has developed historically and been interpreted and passed on over generations in seven of India’s classical dance traditions – Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Vilāsini Nātyam, Mohiniattam, Sattriya, Kathak and Odissi. Respectively, Kamalini Dutt, Anuradha Jonnalagadda, Anupama Kylash, Bharati Shivaji, Anwesa Mahanta, Shovana Narayan and editor Sharon Lowen, have shared their lifelong involvement with these aesthetic cultural traditions that explore the erotic as a form of Bhakti (devotion) that provides a pathway for us to transform conventional reality to metaphysical dimensions.

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Bibliographic information

Title Shringara in Classical Indian Dance
Author Saron Lowen
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2021
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788182903647
length 164p., 4 Unnumbered Pages of Plates: Illustrations., (Black and White, and Colour); 30cm.