Dance, my heart!

Dance of joy today.

Love songs fill with music

nights and days,

the world is aware

of the melody.

Crazy of happiness,

life and death dance

to the rhythm of this music.

The mountains, the ocean

and the earth dance.

Among laughs and sobs

the humanity dances.

Kabir - from the Songs of the infinite love



Bhava e rasa

The scope of art in India does not consist in the beauty itself but in the ability to evoke the highest status of the being. Art uses the matter, in the widest meaning of the word, to then transcend it; peculiarity of dance, as well as the sculpture is the use of the body; however their common scope is the one to create the feeling that the dance or the beauty are beyond it. In the Indian sculpture for example the anatomy depiction of the body and hence its musculature does not have the same importance as in the Greek art, but major emphasis is given to the harmony of the posture, in such a way that the attention of the audience does not stop at the simple physical aspect but catch the message of a subtle truth hidden behind the same image.
The deep relation between actor-dancer and the audience asks for both to have specific qualities; moreover it is in such a bond that the heart of the aesthetic theory is hidden: the idea of bhava and rasa.
The story of the different types of dance in India represents, in fact, a precious document of the attempt to give expression to one or more bhava in many ways.
Rasa and bhava can be considered as Siamese twins: one without the other would not have a sensitive life. Rasa cannot be generated without bhava and vice-versa if bhava does not promote the relative rasa then is basically null.

In short: the topic to be represented offers to the artist an inspiration which expresses itself mainly as an emotion (bhava). The irrepressible desire to communicate it on the outside drives the actor to direct all those factors that amplify and support such emotion. Those factors are known as vibhava and anubhava. Vibhava is what nourishes the different emotions, therefore it supplies, to give an example, the ideal context to the emotion to be transmitted. Anubhava  on the contrary gathers all means used by the actor to express the emotion. These may consist of gesture, words, costume and make up etc.

The actor-dancer has to make the strings of the chosen sentiment echo inside the mind and the heart of the audience, like love for example. A deep joy and a correspondent sentiment known as rasa will originate in the audience caressed by this ideal passion. The attempt to give rise to the rasa will be successful only if the artist will be able to live in a intimate way what he has to express and if the audience will be highly receptive, sensitive and able to merge with the represented character.