Vikasana Goshti Part 1-2 (2012)

Posted On: Monday, August 27th, 2012
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Author: ಮನೋರಮಾ. ಬಿ.ಎನ್

Orientation Course

Part I

‘What is dance?’, ‘How is it performed?’ and ‘Why dance?’ these are some of the questions that keep cropping up often for deliberation from the very beginning of learning to the stage of performance. Besides, starting with technical terms such as nritta-nritya-naatya, maarga-desi, lokadharmi-naatyadharmi, uddhatha-sukumara, laasya-taandava, abhinaya-nritta, bhaava-vibhaava-anubhaava, rasa-ouchitya-vyutpatti, shaastra-sampradaaya-parampare-ranganirmaana through several dimensions of research like ‘What is good research?’, ‘What are its attributes?’, selection of the topic, methodology, etc., there have been disconcerting trends that have made commentating on the subject lose its significance. In this background, as well as with a view to address the need for a systematic process to examine and observe our roots and in keeping with the aspirations of its members, Nupura Bhramari Dance Researchers’ Forum had organised an orientation seminar on August 26, 2012, at Gowri Natyashala at Basavanagudi, Bangalore.

Though it was on the lines of ‘Vakyartha Goshti’, where, a given topic or a descriptive sentence is debated, its pros and cons discussed and finally arrived at a unanimous decision; the emphasis was laid on understanding the evolution of terms used in dance and related art fields.  Here, the terms were taken one by one in the backgdrop of the evolution of art and analyzed, argued and arrived at individual definitions. It came to the knowledge of the artistes and researchers that the terms which till now seemed trivial had many complex dimensions.

In this background, the summary of the Orientation course, part I, is given hereunder;

Major points of discussion

  1. What is art? What is the criterion to call anything an art? Analysis of a theory and own definitions by members based on it
  2. Origin and development of art
  3. Origin of dance, different forms and varieties of dances in the studies of mankind. Categorization using the Star and the Pyramid concept
  4. Nrtta – meaning as per Natyashastra and the understanding at present
  5. Points to be adapted to create awareness among dance teachers, parents and students. From the point of view of regional understanding, discussion was held to work on dance items written in Kannada language.

Under above discussion many definitions has been constructed on ‘What is an art’ . (It is not updated here because of the rules of Forum)

Forum’s convener and administration section chief , Smt. Manorama B.N. presented the introductory note and towards the end read out the decisions before thanking the participants. Dr. Karuna Vijayendra, head of the academic wing, conducted the proceedings. A total of thirteen members from different parts of the country participated.

Important Instructions: All the members of the forum are equally responsible for the decisions taken in this orientation course and adherence to the same is expected from each one of them. The forum will not consider any negative opinions expressed by absentees and the topics will not be taken for discussion again. In this regard, it is suggested to each of the members to actively take part in all the sessions of the orientation course.  If this opportunity is missed, link to the future activities may be lost. Hence it is advised to take complete advantage of the forum and get benefited.


Decisions taken in the Orientation course – 1


  1. Understanding the difference between Performing Artiste and Visual Artist and using the term ‘Artiste’ for dancers.
  2. In today’s time where, the terms ‘janapada’ and ‘jaanapada’ are wrongly used, using the term ‘jaanapada’ appropriately when mentioning about dance. For eg., ‘janapada samskriti’  and ‘jaanapada sangeeta’. Whereas ‘janapada’ represents an existence, the other will be a part originating from it.
  3. During the classification of dances, dropping the usage of words such as ‘Folk and Classical’ which are being negatively used in the dance culture of India. Removing such thoughts and illogical arguments as ‘folk is inferior, classical art is great’. Since the so called Folk dances also have their own rules and regulations, categorizing as folk or classical and deciding its quality is improper. Instead, while classifying various dance styles and forms, they should be divided on the basis of social, religious, traditional, foreign, contemporary, ritual, imitation dances and be called by that suitable name only. For eg., the dances such as Bharatanatya, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, Kathak, Manipuri, Satriya be called as  ‘Paramparika’ dances instead of classical dances.
  4. Clear understanding of the difference in the meaning of terms ‘parampara’ and ‘sampradaya‘ and using them in actual sense. paramapara’ emerges from Sanskrit words ‘param param’ which means saying or performing again and again.  Sampradaya holds the meaning of ‘that which is given’. Any transfer of knowledge has to be according to the ‘paddhati’ of ‘Shruthi and Smriti’.  Therefore if ‘Sampradaya’ stands for the ancient and basic foundation of ‘marga’; a system started by a Guru or a Stalwart and continued by his disciples and which will not have a long life, becomes ‘Parampara’. Hence it is better to term Bharatanatya and other dances as ‘pAramparika’ rather than ‘SampradAyika’.
  5. In view of regional understanding, promoting the usage of  Kannada Literature in the dance presentations.
  6. Understanding the difference in meaning of Spectator and Audience and using the term spectator, connoisseur or ‘rasika’, during dance performances.
  7. Kathakali is not a classical Dance. It blongs to Natya(Theatre) Tradition. Hence forth here onwards it has been treated as Theater tradition.

The proceedings of the session created a common platform and stood as a preparation for future programmes, workshops, seminars and annual conference. The committee expects similar co operation from its members complimented with necessary studies and deliberation.


Important Note: This opportunity is for the members of the forum only as the aim here is to respond to the needs and expectations of the members. Hence maximum usage can be obtained from the forum. The same has to be seriously noted by the members who missed the previous session.

Guidance is available for members desirous of presenting papers in the annual conference. Further, any clarifications needed in relevant topics, can be sought from the forum.

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