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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.

Key Points

  • 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.

Source: TH

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