Natyashastra — text of the art of Indian dramaturgy

The art of Indian dramaturgy.

In sound through music

In body through dance

In words through poetry

In space through architecture

In form through sculpture

In thought through mathematics

A person can experience the divine.

—- This is a quote from Shilpa Shastra the ancient text of Hindu architecture.

To me the classical and the folk traditions of India are fascinating. We can call it the art of storytelling it uses vivid imagination with symbolism and imagery. There is the magic of music, movement and dialogue. Colours and stage architecture. The purpose is to dramatize a important social, religious, or political issue so that the message is driven to the viewer.

It also tries to elicit what we call as Rasa an response. Which lifts the audience from the mundane to another plane.

This technique is seen through Afghanistan where the earliest Sanskrit drama was excavated to Japan where it manifests as Noh and Kabuki. The costumes are rich and arresting. The sound over comes the geographic challenges. The acoustics are calculated and constructed.

The text book of Indian dramaturgy is called as Natyashastra, but to truly practise the art of Indian story telling it is essential to go through the technical information available in texts book like shilpashastra(architecture), arthashastra(commerce), Kamasutra(erotica), Alankarashastra(aesthetics.) There is also a parallel mine of information in the Brihadesi and Kathasaritasagar which deal with regional adaptations and stories.

The impact of Indian dramaturgy is so strong that we have the Indian movies still following the same format.

Indian dramaturgy or any dramaturgy for that matter is a lifelong practise for an adept.

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