Sunday 16th November 2014

At: Teatro CAP 10100
Corso Moncalieri, 18 (Turin)

for further information:




danzatrice statua

The step gives rise inside the limbs

to the anxiety of walking;

impatient words echo in the heart

at the rhythm of dance

under the greenhouse.

Rabindranath Tagore


The dance like, music and singing is one of the expressive forms which in the Indian culture are not considered only as artistic forms but also as refined spiritual languages. The word “dance” badly presents itself to reflect the complex Indian reality of the art of dancing, where in fact the western dichotomy between theatre and dance grows terribly thinner.

In the field of the performatory arts the Indian dance occupies a very special position. In the dance there is the combination of the movements of the body, of the hands, of the expression of the face and the eyes together with a music accompaniment exalting the theme that the dance wants to describe; a theme which can have a religious, mythological, legendary character or one from the classic literature. The Sanskrit terms used to refer to the dance confirm such assertion. It is divided, in fact, in three categories : natya, nrtta and nrtya.
In the drama and hence in the Indian classic dance the concern is not really directed towards the perfect imitation of the reality; but we can rather observe the desire of stirring up emotions able to stimulate the imagination of the audience. This is the idea of abhinaya.
This term which is often translated with “dramatic art” is explained by a verse of the Natyashastra saying: “when the representation of the deva (gods), the daitya (demons), the kings, the heads of the family and their daily activities is expressed through the gestures of the body and everything which is correlated to them, then it is the natya” (Natyashastra, I,121). Both, the artist and the audience have an active role in achieving the aim of the work of art: the aesthetics pleasure, the rasa. The deep relation between actor-dancer and the audience imposes that both have specific qualities; furthermore it is in such a bond that the heart of the aesthetic theory is hidden: the idea of bhava e rasa. Bhava is generally translated with “emotion” while rasa with “feeling” or “taste”. The Indian dance is an art based on the oral transmission of knowledge and therefore on the close relationship between master and disciple. In the traditional Indian culture a certain disinterest towards the identity of the artists or towards the attempt of historically locate the events can be notice. It is therefore not always very easy in this light to outline the exact history of the dance.