Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Classical dance forms and their salient features”
2) Discuss the various sources which provide information about Bharatnatyam? Explain the role Rukmini Devi Arundale played in modern rebirth of Bharatnatyam?(250 words)
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to list down the various sources such as literary, paintings etc from which we get information about Bharatnatyam. Next, we need to explain how Rukmini Devi Arundale helped in raising the social status of Bharatnatyam and popularizing it.
Discuss – Here in your discussion, you have to list out the different sources that provide information about Bharatnatyam.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain in brief about the history of Bharatnatyam – Bharatanatyam originated in southern India in the state of Tamilnadu. It started as a temple dance tradition called Dasiyattam (the dance of the maid-servants) 2000 years ago and is perhaps the most advanced and evolved dance form of all the classical Indian dance forms. Bharata Natyam is known for its grace,purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses.
- Discuss the various sources from which we get information about Bharatnatyam – Several texts beginning with Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra (200 B.C.E. to 200 C.E.) provide information on this dance form. The Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikesvara is one of the main sources of textual material, for the study of the technique and grammar of body movement in Bharatnatyam Dance. There is also a great deal of visual evidence of this dance form in paintings and stone and metal sculptures of ancient times. On the gopurams of the Chidambaram temple, one can see a series of Bharatnatyam poses, frozen in stone as it were, by the sculptor. In many other temples, the charis and karanas of the dance are represented in sculpture and one can make a study of the dance form.
- Discuss the role that Rukmini Devi Arundale played in popularizing the movement – Rukmini Devi Arundale was also instrumental in modifying mainly the Pandanallur style of Bharata Natyam and bringing it to the attention of the West. According to Shri Sankara Menon, Rukmini Devi raised Bharata Natyam to a puritan art form, by removing certain emotional elements evocative of the erotic, such as hip, neck, lip and chest movements) from the Pandanallur style. in 1936 Rukmini Devi Arundale founded the school Kalakshetra outside the city of Madras to teach it and to promote other studies in Indian music and art. She was one of first teachers to instruct a few men to perform the dance.
Conclusion – Comment on the status of Bharatnatyam today and the need to preserve and popularize Bharatnatyam style.