Performing Art Text: Abhinaya Darpan & Natyashastra

Performing Art Text: Abhinaya Darpan & Natyashastra
image source: nritya-gokulam
Drawing by Mr.Arun Kumar 

Abhinaya Darpan & Natyashastra are the two oldest Performing Art texts or treatises on dance, music, and theatre of Indian History.

The Natyashastra explains all the aspects of theater and dance whereas the Abhinaya Darpana concentrates on Abhinaya (acting) and expressions (Ras and Bhava)

  • Abhinaya Darpan- Nandikeshwar wrote in 5 Century. Although the final penning of this work was known to have been completed after that of the Natya-shastra. (source: Wikipedia)
  • Natyashastra- Bharatmuni. It is believed to have been written by the mythic Brahman sage and priest Bharata (1st century BCE–3rd century CE). (source: Britanica)

Abhinaya Darpan and Natyashastra are the two major treatises to all the art forms majorly to dance. It contains all the core constructs and aspects of Bhava (emotion) and Abhinaya (expression).

According to Indian History, on the commandment of Lord Shiva (originator of dance), Nandikeshwar taught dance to Bharatmuni.

Once, on the order of Lord Brahma, Bharatmuni performed a drama called “Tripur Dah” on Kailash mountain in front of Lord Shiva. After watching Lord Shiva advised to introduce Dance into drama and asked Nandikeshwar (Tandu Muni) to teach dance to BharatMuni.

In this way, the famous dance of Lord Shiva was called Tandav because it is being taught by Tandu Muni.

FAQ’S Related to Performing Art Text: Abhinaya Darpan & Natyashastra

What is the importance of these treatise in Indian Classical Dance?

Majorly all the Indian classical Dance techniques are described in these treatises (Abhinaya Darpan & Natyashastra), learned and presented accordingly.

About the Author: – Neha Khunteta

She is a Kathak Artist and has been associated with it for more than 10 years and the founder of Kathak By Neha the best Kathak dance academy in Jaipur.

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