Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts on the Nandikesvara Abhinayadarpanam by Manmohan Ghosh

My first thought: Is the abhinaya darpana only this long?

My second thought: wow, there are a lot of typos (ie, in the pataka hasta viniyoga, there is one translation that says “might” instead of “night”).

My third thought: Manmohan Ghosh has a clear bias towards thinking that Indian classical dance is truly 2,000 some odd years old and his introduction reflects that. But can’t see how the actual translation reflects that since it’s prescriptive/descriptive.

My fourth thought: This is amazing. But, why are there some seemingly arbitrary (though I’d like to research why) paragraphs – ie, “women with white specks in their eyeballs” are disqualified from practicing the art, and why in the stances there is no tiger walk, but there is a lion walk…

Interestingly enough, Ghosh comments that the Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana do NOT always line up, even in simple things like how many hastas there are. This is just a general statement to be probed further, but I believe that the comparisons of these two texts hold a key to understanding the further development and evolution of dance forms in India.

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