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The Nrtyavinoda of Manasollasa: A Study

Hema Govindarajan (Author)
Synopsis The terpsichorean art of dance which has evolved over the centuries shows much variations in its contemporary manifestations. The difference between sastra and prayoga of this art makes it imperative for sustained research in its academics. There are many treatises written over the centuries which discuss in depth the technique of the art of dance. But most of them have not been exhaustively researched. Of singular importance in the study of the theoretics of dance is the Nrtyavinoda of the Manasollasa. The Manasollasa is a twelth century encyclopedia ascribed to the Kalyana Calukyan monarch Somesvara III and it contains one hundred Adhyayas or chapters on different aspects of life and culture. One Adhyaya – the Nrtyavinoda is devoted to the study of the art of dance which is considered as a part of the study of royal pastimes. The Nrtyavinoda of the Manasollasa consists of over four hundred verses which deal with the Angika Abhinaya aspect of dance. This text becomes worthy of study for it not merely discusses the technique of dance as per the Natyasastra of Bharata but broaches a technique which is new and more important – a non-Natyasastra one. It contains a discussion (though embryonic) on a tradition of dance which evolved differently in the medieval centuries – a tradition which a century after it was written came to be labelled as a Desi or a regional tradition. This study attempts to comprehend the technique of dance as discussed in the Nrtyavinoda while seeking affiliations with the Natyasastra which is the earliest available treatise on the subject and from which all later texts seek inspiration, and the Satgita Ratnakara of Sarngadeva which was written a century after the Nrtyavinoda. The monograph essays to add yet another dimension to the academics of the art of dance.
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About the author

Hema Govindarajan

Dr. Hema Govindarajan’s academic qualifications include a Masters Degree in French from the Bombay University, a post-graduate Diploma in Ancient History and Archaeology from the Mysore University and a Ph. D. in Dance for her thesis on Classical Dance of Karnataka as Represented in the Art Form, also from the Mysore University. She has worked as a Research Assistant in the Dance department of the M.S. University, Baroda. A recepient of several fellowships for her graduate, post-graduate and doctoral studies, she has to her credit many research papers and publications. Her two books, ‘The Natyasastra and Bharata Natya’ and ‘Dance Terminologies their Epigraphical Interpretations’ are a significant contribution to the academics of the art. She has also participated in several seminars both national and international and has conducted workshops including lecture-demonstrations on different aspects of dance. Besides her academic background, Dr. Hema has undergone intensive training in the practical aspects of Bharata Natya for over two decades under the guidance of eminent Gurus. A regular performer, she has presented several performances on stage and television in India and has visited many countries abroad like U.S.A., U.K., Italy, Isreal, China, Egypt, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Hongkong, Kenya and Uganda. Her thematic dance creations like ‘Dasavatara’ and ‘Visions of Sakti’ have been widely acclaimed. Dr Hema lives in Bangalore where she trains select students in Bharata Natya in her academy Nritya Mihira.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Nrtyavinoda of Manasollasa: A Study
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8186622403
length Xiii+177p., Abbreviations; Translation Table; Gloss.; Biblio.