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Volume 34 Number 3, June 1981

Volume 34 Number 3

Aspects of the Performing Arts of India

From the Editor

The Performing Arts – a Definition
Narayana Menon

Gita Govinda – The Processes of Diffusion
Kapila Vatsyayan

Bharata Natyam
T. Balasaraswati

Kalaripayattu of Kerala
G. Sankara Pillai

Martial Dances of Manipur
E. Nilakanta Singh

Gods and Ghosts – Teyyam and Bhuta Rituals
Balan Nambiar

Chaitra Parva Rituals – Chhau Dances
Mohan Khokar

Indian Theatre Today – Grappling with New Realities
Kumud Mehta

A Ragamala Series
Saryu Doshi and Raj Tandan

A New Image of Avalokitesvara from Bombay
A.P. Jamkhedkar

Indian Folk and Tribal Dances
Czaee Daftary

From the Editor [Editorial]
Doshi, Saryu
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 2-9 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; Title - Introduction, pp. 2-9]

The editorial reflects on the tradition of the performing arts in India. The portfolio includes paintings of raginis, Chola wall paintings, and sculptures depicting musicians.

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The Performing Arts - A Definition
Menon, Narayana
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 10-21 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 10-21]

A performing art - such as music, dance, or theatre - is a live art-form only when it is being performed. The realization is dawning both in Indian and Western contemporary art movements that art performances are not mere spectacles, but indistinguishable from life itself.

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Gita Govinda - The Processes of Diffusion
Vatsyayan, Kapila
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 22-35 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 22-35]

A brief historical survey of the pan-Indian movement inspired by Jayadeva's Gita-Govinda (late 12th century), and the centres of dissemination. It became a part of temple-rituals, and was performed as a dance-drama. The history of the Gita-Govinda in the 16th and 17th centuries revolves around its commentaries, and the establishment of Chaitanya or Gaudiya Vaishnavism by Chaitanya in Puri.

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Bharata Natyam
Balasaraswati, T.
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 36-43 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 36-43]

The article relates the experience of a Bharata Natyam performance, and discusses the traditional order of Bharata Natyam and its structure. The writer, herself a leading exponent, is against "purifying" the form of Bharata Natyam by replacing traditional lyrics with devotional songs.

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Kalaripayattu of Kerala
Pillai, G.Sankara
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 44-53 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 44-53]

Kalaripayattu, a martial art and system of physical training in Kerala, is compared with karate, and linked to the social structure in Kerala. This art influenced other art forms in Kerala, including Theyyam, Padayani, Kudiyattam, Kathakali, and Krishnattam.

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Martial Dances of Manipur
Singh, E. Nilakanta
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 54-61

The martial arts of Manipur are Thanghairol, Ta Khousarol, and Mukna – the first two are performed with swords and spears respectively, and the last is a wrestling fight. The martial arts contributed to the classical dance forms such as Lai-Haraoba, Rasalila and Sankirtana.

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Gods and Ghosts - Teyyam and Bhuta Rituals
Nambiar, Balan
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 62-73 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 62-73]

Theyyams and Bhutas are unique theatrical performances, which serve as harmonious links between various communities. The article discusses the antiquity and influence of these ritual dances, their performance in shrines, and the ritual offertories.

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Chaitra Parva Rituals - Chhau Dances
Khokar, Mohan
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 74-87 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 74-87]

A narration of the rituals during the Seraikela (Bihar) and Mayurbhanj (Orissa) festivals, where the ritualistic Chhau dance is performed in the month of Chaitra (mid-March to mid-April).

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Indian Theatre Today - Grappling with New Realities
Mehta, Kumud
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 88–96 [Also in The Performing Arts edited by Narayana Menon and Saryu Doshi; Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1982; pp. 88–95]

The plays of the mid-fifties expressed the concerns of post-independent India. By the 1960s, the productions of 4 playwrights - Mohan Rakesh, Sombhu Mitra, Girish Karnad, and Vijay Tendulkar - were considered as part of a national theatre movement. In the ’70s, dramatists, directors, and actors were attracted to more flexible structures, with scope for music and dance. By the end ’70s, the experience of the past two decades of theatre found an outlet in the "new" cinema.

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Notes
Doshi, Saryu and Tandan, Raj and Jamkhedkar, A.P.
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 96–99
A ragamala series was discovered at Udaipur; its format, iconography, and stylistic features are discussed by Saryu Doshi and Raj Tandan. A new image found at Deonar in 1976 is identified as Avalokitesvara.
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Book Reviews
Vol. 34 No. 3, June 1981, pp. 100-105

Traditional Indian Theatre: Multiple Streams by Kapila Vatsyayan, reviewed by Girish Karnad; The Palaces of India by the Maharaja of Baroda, reviewed by H.J. Rogers; Classical Accounts of India by R.C. Majumdar, reviewed by D.R. Amladi; Rajasthan: India's enchanted land with an Introduction by Raghubir Singh and a Foreword by Satyajit Ray, reviewed by Radhika Sabavala; Kumbh Mela by Raghubir Singh, reviewed by Saryu Doshi.

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