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|Title Review |
Traditional art forms are susceptible to the cycles of growth, decay and renewal. After centuries of being nurtured in the temple and the court, Indian dances suffered reversal during the colonial rule. They, however, revived during the Nationalist Movement to start a dance renaissance in the post-independence India.
Even if the classical arts have always been challenged by the dialectics of tradition versus modernity, the journey of the dance from temple and court to the proscenium has meant change. Dances performed for years in interior areas are now seen on the international stage. Exploring the dance for creating visual geometry, trying abstract works, fusing different styles, fashioning classical movements and rhythms to varied sound tracks are all a part of contemporary classical dance scenario. Today, dancers are pushing the classical forms to their farthest limits.
With a compelling description of Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Odissi, Kathak, Mohini Attam, Manipuri, and Kuchipudi, Leela Venkataraman's book traces these Indian classical dance forms as they have journeyed from the past to the present -- with their history, growth, decay and renewal, right from the temple floor and kingly court to the modern stage. In the process, the author also looks at its trends and possibilities, specially in view of the challenges of a globalised society poses to art.
At one level, it is a compendium of classical dance, an exploration of its moods and elegance, an ode to its sublime aesthetics. At another level, it is a stunning visual and scholarly portrayal of a pluralistic society teeming with cultural vitality. A veritable bonanza of exquisite photographs makes the book as vibrant as the dances it presents. In its range, definitive appraisal and visual power, Indian Classical Dance: Tradition in Transition is the best in its genre.
Leela Venkataraman is a widely known author and one of India's leading dance critics who, since 1980, has been associated with some of the prestigious Indian dailies. Avinash Pasricha has been photo editor of SPAN magazine in New Delhi from 1960 to 1997. His photographs have been published in Life and National Geographic.
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|Related Subjects |
| 1. Performing Arts|
| 2. Art And Fine Arts|
Indian classical dance tradition in transition