The heritage, the histrionics, the pioneers, prodigals and prima donnas of Bharatanatyam are what this book celebrates.
Ancient Indian dances originated either in worship or are ascribed to the gods themselves. Bharatanatyam was born in the temples. Today it is one of the most sought-after forms among students and aficionados of Indian classical dance.
Over the last two centuries Bharatanatyam has evolved from a highly codified style to one affording the maximum freedom to innovate. The dance’s journey from the temple to the proscenium is a fascinating story. No other form has traversed such a long distance without losing its original content and yet being a sparkling example of creative evolution in terms of material, music, costume etc. Bharatnatyam today ranks as a major cultural symbol of India.
Ashish Mohan Khokar is a well-known writer and commentator on the arts and crafts, culture and civilisation, and religion and spirituality of India. He has been a critic for The Times of India, a columnist for several magazines, a TV personality, and editor of Attendance, India’s Year-book on Dance. He is based in Bangalore and Chennai.
Ashish Mohan Khokar
Rupa & Co.