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Vanishing Temple Arts: Temples of Kerala & Kanyaakumaari District

Deepti Omchery Bhalla (Author)
Synopsis Books dealing with ritualistic music, devotional dance forms and allied arts of Kerala are rare. Not much research has gone deep into these areas which cut across the periphery and superficial layers and touch the real core. The reasons could be many – the practitioners inability to verbalise the content and substance of their art and their inhibition to violate the rigid, protective, orthodox rules and norms intended to preserve their sanctity. The concept of ‘Sangeetam’ that is Geetam, Vadyam and Nrityam or the Triad Arts, existed before fifteenth century, is still in vogue in the music of Kerala temples. Changes in the administrative and organizational set up and nature of temples have no doubt affected to a great extent the textural purity of the Triad Arts, yet there are certain ancient temples which preserve these arts and the ritual practices in its original serene glory. The family of the author had the privilege of having long hereditary association with some of these temples. This gave her the opportunity to learn the artistic traditions, not only orally preserved in the family from her musicologist mother Dr. Leela Omchery but also to imbibe them from the traditional exponents attached to the temples. This book deals with the Sopaana music, the traditional music of Kerala and seeks to throw light on various ritualistic music and musical instruments and ritualistic dance “Thalinanka Nrityam” the precursor of Mohiniattam. Many facts and information related to the three areas, which were rarely known have been identified through systematic research of primary and secondary sources, especially the information contained in the old palm leaf manuscripts collected from ancient families and temples. It is hoped that the work will pave the way for those who want to go further in studying the temple arts of Kerala.
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About the author

Deepti Omchery Bhalla

Deepti Omchery Bhalla is an accomplished artist both in classical Dance and Music. In Music she has had the privilege of learning Music and Dance from great masters like Vidwan T.S. Raghavan, Prof T.N. Krishnan and Dagar brothers. A gold medalist in B.A. (Music), Deepti also had the distinction of topping the Delhi University in M. Phil. (Music). A recepient of UGC scholarship and fellowship in music and Delhi State Academy Scholarship in Dance, she has several awards and trophies to her credit. Deepti is a senior grade artise both in Dance and Music. She was sponsored by the Government of India to visit U.S.S.R for performing at the Festival of India in 1987. She has travelled extensively in Singapore, Egypt, Japan and Malaysia during recitals all over.

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Bibliographic information

Title Vanishing Temple Arts: Temples of Kerala & Kanyaakumaari District
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8182900786
length 136p., Tables; Plates Figures; 29cm.