History of Ancient India has seen many dynasties like the Maurya, Śunga, Śatavahana, Kaḻinga, Gupta, Pāla, Vardhana, Raśtrakūta, Cālukya and so on, that have ruled across its length and breadth. The magnitude or the expanse of these dynasties can be realised by studying the history relating to these dynasties. Through their great patronage to arts, each of these dynasties set their impression into history, which is as glorious and unique as one can imagine. Gupta period is considered as the “Golden Era” by most historians . Inscriptions, sculptures, and literary sources of Imperial Gupta period (4th Century CE to 6th Century CE), provide some of the crucial evidence with which one can estimate the state of dance during the Gupta period. When Chandragupta-I established the kingdom of the Guptas, it was a significant political development as the Guptas were one of the earliest indigenous kingdoms to rule such a vast empire where there was multitudinous development. Excellencies were achieved in terms of education, administration, science, literature and so on during the Gupta reign. Such growth influenced the social life of its people that further nourished art and culture too . Hence through the study of various sources of this time like the inscriptions, literature and sculptures, one can understand the dance during Gupta period. The Gupta inscriptions as well as literary sources belonging to the Gupta period like the Kāmasūtra of Vatsyāyana, Caturbhāṇi by Śyāmilaka, Vararuci, Śūdraka, Īśvaradatta and works of Kālidāsa gives us an idea of the society and the system during Gupta period.
The photograph has been valued for its ability to produce authentic and realistic representations of the world. Early in the history of photography, attempts were made to record movement through the still photograph. Initially employed in studying locomotion in animals, photography technique was soon used to capture the human body in movement. With the evolution of camera technology, what once required multiple cameras to capture motion sequences, now requires only a single camera. With these advances, using photography to record dance and other performing arts slowly gained popularity. Initially appearing in print media such as newspapers, magazines and books, photographs of dance now seem to be ubiquitous with the advent of internet and social media. Dance photographs not only seek to capture the movement of the physical body, but also the emotion pervading the motion. While there are many works on dance photography in the western context, there are very limited studies in this area, specific to the Indian context. The present study aims at understanding dance photography in the context of Indian classical dance. Capturing Indian classical dance through the camera implies that the photograph must convey the Abhinaya (Caturvidha Abhinaya aspects as theorised by Bharata) of the dancer. Hence, the current study aims at understanding the way in which a photograph can capture the Āṅgika, Āhārya and Sātvika Abhinaya of the dancer. In order to achieve this, the study analyses few dance photographs captured in performances, on two levels: i) aesthetics of the dance captured by the photograph and ii) the aesthetics of the photograph itself. Given that this research is interdisciplinary in nature it could be useful in understanding the inter-relationships between art forms.
Light plays a very important role in everyday life of all living beings and their activities. The world of performing arts is no exception. Imagine you are in a room with no light, which means you cannot see anything. Now if you turn on a single bulb, then all the focus would be towards the area emitted by the bulb. Add another bulb which will widen the focus and then we add another. Slowly as and when the lights are turned on, the visibility increases. What seemed to be sober with single light now seems to be brighter with many lights. The beauty of the place would have slowly unveiled. This is exactly what happens when we look back into history. The journey from a lamp as a source of light to modern equipment has seen varied improvements over the years. The advent of technology in the 21st century has led to many inventions with regard to stage lighting in performing arts. Theatre in India emerged as classical, rural or folk and modern theatres during different times. These theatres played a very important role in protecting the day-to-day life of human existence in their own ways. Presentation of a theatrical concept followed elaborated aspects of Natyashastra during the classical period and the folk theatre depicted the rural characteristics whereas the contemporary /modern themes, some influenced by western and some by our own mythology were projected by amateur theatres. Aesthetics plays a very important role in performing arts. Even during the times when there was no stage or the modern technological stage lightings the performances used to happen entire days and nights. Understanding how the natural ambience and illumination would have added beauty to the theatrical performance during those periods and is the current technology been able to add more value to the performances as most of them have now moved to the proscenium stage. Were the old ways of stage lighting more subtle and effective? Does the current modern technological advancement add to the aesthetics of the performance.? These are some of the questions the researcher wants to answer as part of this research paper.
Rashmi Krishna Thaper is a promising Dance research scholar, discussed the Vyayama's in dance and its basic reference found in ancient treatises.
The present study is Mphil research and presented in Dance Research symposium conducted by Noopura Bhramari and Kalagowri on August 2018. The study is about the journey of Sthanaka concept from Marga tradition to Desi of Medieval custom, their forms and adaptations in the contemporary style of Indian Classical Dances as stated in the treatises.