Eminent Dance Scholar Sunil Kothari Passes Away
- 28 Dec 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, eminent dance scholar and critic Sunil Kothari passed away at the age of 87.
- He was conferred with the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2001.
- He authored 20 books on Indian classical dances and wrote extensively on Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Manipuri dance forms.
- His scholarly work, “Sattriya: Classical Dance of Assam”, helped in creating a better understanding of the dance form in the national and global circuit.
- His other notable contributions include New Directions in Indian Dance and Kuchipudi Indian Classical Dance Art.
- He was elected as a Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Indian Classical Dances
- The Indian classical dances have two basic aspects:
- Tandava (movement and rhythm) and Lasya (grace, bhava and rasa).
- The three main components of them are:
- Natya: the dramatic element of the dance i.e. the imitation of characters.
- Nritta: the dance movements in their basic form.
- Nritya: expressional component i.e. mudras or gestures.
- The nine rasas are: Love, Heroism, Pathos, Humour, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Wonder and Peace.
- The Natya Shastra written by Bharat Muni is the most prominent source for the Indian aestheticians for establishing the characteristics of the dances.
- There are 8 classical dances in India:
- Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu)
- Kathak (North India)
- Kathakali (Kerala)
- Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
- Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
- Odissi (Odisha)
- Sattriya (Assam)
- Manipuri (Manipur)
- Contemporary classical dance forms have evolved out of the musical play or sangeet-nataka performed from the 12th century to the 19th century.
Sangeet Natak Akademi
- It is India's national academy for music, dance and drama.
- It was created by a resolution of the Ministry of Education (formerly the Ministry of Human Resource Development), Government of India, in 1952 with Dr P V Rajamannar as its first Chairman.
- It is presently an autonomous body of the Ministry of Culture and is fully funded by the Government for implementation of its schemes and programmes.
- The Akademi establishes and looks after institutions and projects of national importance in the field of the performing arts. Few important ones are:
- National School of Drama, New Delhi (set up in 1959).
- Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal (set up in 1954).
- Kathak Kendra (National Institute of Kathak Dance), New Delhi (set up in 1964).
- National Projects of Support to Kutiyattam (Sanskrit theatre of Kerala), Chhau dances of eastern India, Sattriya traditions of Assam, etc.