A rasa means "juice, essence or taste". It connotes a concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described, it refers to the emotional flavors/essence crafted into the work by the writer and relished by a'sensitive spectator' or sahṛdaya or one with positive taste and mind. Rasas are created by bhavas: the state of mind; the rasa theory is mentioned in Chapter 6 of the ancient Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, attributed to Bharata Muni, but its most complete exposition in drama and other performance arts is found in the works of the Kashmiri Shaivite philosopher Abhinavagupta. According to the Rasa theory of the Natya Shastra, entertainment is a desired effect of performance arts but not the primary goal, the primary goal is to transport the individual in the audience into another parallel reality, full of wonder and bliss, where he experiences the essence of his own consciousness, reflects on spiritual and moral questions.
Although the concept of rasa is fundamental to many forms of Indian arts including dance, theatre, painting and literature, the interpretation and implementation of a particular rasa differs between different styles and schools. The Indian theory of rasa is found in the Hindu arts and Ramayana musical productions in Bali and Java, but with regional creative evolution; the word rasa appears in ancient Vedic literature. In Rigveda, it connotes an extract and flavor. In Atharvaveda, rasa in many contexts means "taste", the sense of "the sap of grain". According to Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe – a professor of Drama, rasa in the Upanishads refers to the "essence, self-luminous consciousness, quintessence" but "taste" in some contexts. In post-Vedic literature, the word connotes "extract, juice or tasty liquid". Rasa in an aesthetic sense is suggested in the Vedic literature, but the oldest surviving manuscripts, with the rasa theory of Hinduism, are of Natya Shastra; the Aitareya Brahmana in chapter 6, for example, states: The Sanskrit text Natya shastra presents the rasa theory in Chapter 6, a text attributed to Bharata Muni.
The text begins its discussion with a sutra called in Indian aesthetics as the rasa sutra: Rasa is produced from a combination of Determinants and Transitory States. According to the Natya shastra, the goals of theatre are to empower aesthetic experience and deliver emotional rasa; the text states. In many cases, it aims to produce repose and relief for those exhausted with labor, or distraught with grief, or laden with misery, or struck by austere times, yet entertainment is an effect, but not the primary goal of arts according to Natya shastra. The primary goal is to create rasa so as to lift and transport the spectators, unto the expression of ultimate reality and transcendent values; the Abhinavabhāratī is the most studied commentary on Natyasastra, written by Abhinavagupta, who referred to Natyasastra as the Natyaveda. Abhinavagupta's analysis of Natyasastra is notable for its extensive discussion of aesthetic and ontological questions. According to Abhinavagupta, the success of an artistic performance is measured not by the reviews, awards or recognition the production receives, but only when it is performed with skilled precision, devoted faith and pure concentration such that the artist gets the audience absorbed into the art and immerses the spectator with pure joy of rasa experience.
Although the concept of rasa is fundamental to many forms of Indian art, including dance, musical theatre and literature, the treatment, interpretation and actual performance of a particular rasa differs between different styles and schools of abhinaya, the huge regional differences within one style. A rasa is the developed relishable state of a permanent mood, called sthayi bhava; this development towards a relishable state results by the interplay on it of attendant emotional conditions which are called Vibhavas and sanchari/ vyabhichari bhavas. The production of aesthetic rasa from bhavas is analogous to the production of tastes/juices of kinds from food with condiments, curries and spices; this is explained by the quote below:'Vibhavas' means karana or cause. It is of two kinds: Alambana, the personal or human object and substratum, Uddipana, the excitants. Anubhava, as the name signifies, means the effects following the rise of the emotion. VyAbhichArI bhavas are described in this aspect.
The Rishi Praskanva insists that the sources of knowledge, some of which are open and some hidden, they are to be sought and found by the seekers after Truth, these sources are not available everywhere, anywhere and at all times. In this context Rishi Agastya stating thus – तव॒ त्ये पि॑तो॒ रसा॒ रजां॒स्यनु॒ विष्ठि॑ताः । दि॒वि वाता॑ इव श्रि॒ताः ॥ reminds the ardent seekers about the six kinds of Rasa or taste which food has but which all tastes cannot be found in one place or item, for these tastes are variously distributed throughout space. Food, in this context, means objects or thoughts, which are all produced effects; the Rasas are the unique qualities which bring about variety in things created whose source is one and one only. Bharata Muni enunciated the eight Rasas in the Nātyasāstra, an ancient Sanskrit text of dramatic theory and other performance arts, written between 200 BC and 200 AD. In the Indian performing arts, a rasa is a sentiment or emotion evoked in each member of the audience by the art.
Odissi referred to as Orissi in older literature, is a major ancient Indian classical dance that originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha – an eastern coastal state of India. Odissi, in its history, was performed predominantly by women, expressed religious stories and spiritual ideas of Vaishnavism. Odissi performances have expressed ideas of other traditions such as those related to Hindu gods Shiva and Surya, as well as Hindu goddesses; the theoretical foundations of Odissi trace to the ancient Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, its existence in antiquity evidenced by the dance poses in the sculptures of Odissi Hindu temples, archeological sites related to Hinduism and Jainism. The Odissi dance tradition declined during the Islamic rule era, was suppressed under the British Rule; the suppression was protested by the Indians, followed by its revival and expansion since India gained independence from the colonial rule. Odissi is traditionally a dance-drama genre of performance art, where the artist and musicians play out a mythical story, a spiritual message or devotional poem from the Hindu texts, using symbolic costumes, body movement and mudras set out in ancient Sanskrit literature.
Odissi is performed as a composite of basic dance motif called the Bhangas. It involves lower and upper as three sources of perfecting expression and audience engagement with geometric symmetry and rhythmic musical resonance. An Odissi performance repertoire includes invocation, nritya and moksha. Traditional Odissi exists in two major styles, the first perfected by women and focussed on solemn, spiritual temple dance. Modern Odissi productions by Indian artists have presented a diverse range of experimental ideas, culture fusion and plays. Odissi was the only Indian dance form present in White; the foundations of Odissi are found in Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of performance arts. The basic dance units described in Natyashastra, all 108 of them, are identical to those in Odissi. Natya Shastra is attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni, its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE; the most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters.
The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tāṇḍava dance, the theory of rasa, of bhāva, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures – all of which are part of Indian classical dances. Dance and performance arts, states this ancient text, are a form of expression of spiritual ideas and the essence of scriptures; the Natya Shastra refers to four vrittis in vogue – Avanti, Dakshinatya and Odra-Magadhi. More direct historical evidence of dance and music as an ancient performance art are found in archaeological sites such as caves and in temple carvings of Bhubaneswar and Puri; the Manchapuri cave in Udayagiri shows carvings of dance and musicians, this has been dated to the time of Jain king Kharavela in the first or second century BCE. The Hathigumpha inscriptions dated to the same ruler, mention music and dance: versed in the science of the Gandharvas, entertains the capital with the exhibition of dapa, dancing and instrumental music and by causing to be held festivities and assemblies...
— Hathigumpha inscription, Line 5, ~ 2nd-1st century BCE The musical tradition of Odisha has ancient roots. Archeologists have reported the discovery of 20-key shaped polished basalt lithophone in Sankarjang, the highlands of Odisha, dated to about 1000 BCE; the Buddhist and Hindu archaeological sites in Odisha state the Assia range of hills show inscriptions and carvings of dances that are dated to the 6th to 9th century CE. Important sites include the Ranigumpha in Udaygiri, various caves and temples at Lalitgiri and Alatgiri sites; the Buddhist icons, for example, are depicted as dancing gods and goddesses, with Haruka and Marichi in Odissi-like postures. Historical evidence, states Alexandra Carter, shows that Odissi Maharis and dance halls architecture were in vogue at least by the 9th century CE. According to Kapila Vatsyayan, the Kalpasutra of Jainism, in its manuscripts discovered in Gujarat, includes classical Indian dance poses – such as the Samapada, the Tribhangi and the Chuaka of Odissi.
This, states Vatsyayan, suggests that Odissi was admired or at least well known in distant parts of India, far from Odisha in the medieval era, to be included in the margins of an important Jain text. However, the Jain manuscripts use the dance poses as decorative art in the margins and cover, but do not describe or discuss the dance. Hindu dance texts such as the Abhinaya Chandrika and Abhinaya Darpana provide a detailed description of the movements of the feet, the standing postures, the movement and the dance repertoire, it includes illustrations of the Karanãs mentioned in NãtyaShãstra. The illustrated Hindu text on temple architecture from Odisha, the Shilpaprakãsha, deals with Odia
Bagurumba is a folk dance of indigenous Bodo tribe in Assam and Northeast India. It is a traditional dance, traditionally inherent to one generation to another generations; the Bodo women perform the Bagurumba dance with their colourful dokhna and aronai. The Bagurumba dance is accepted as main traditional dance of Bodo people, but there are some other important dances like- Bardwisikhla dance, Mwsaglangnai dance, Dahal-tungri sibnai dance, Sikri sikla dance, Daosri delai dance, Sa-gwlao mwsanai, Kopri sibnai mwsanai and so on. All these dances are known as Kristi dance, it is accompanied by musical instruments like kham, jota and gongwna, tharkha. This Bagurumba dance is originated from nature; some thousands of years ago it was practiced by the Boro people. Boro people like to stay in a green environment, they love to play with beauty of nature. So they used to stay in the foothills of the eastern and southern Himalayas, which are forest area. There are so many different symbols in this traditional dance, which are imitated from other natural environment.
Like – dance of plants, dance of animals, butterfly dance, wave of flowing river, wind etc. By seeing this bagurumba dance, all Boro people can't stay quiet. By seeing this dance every Bodo people use to dance unknowingly, they feel peace and happiness in their mind. There are no certain times to perform this dance. At present Bagurumba dance is famous over the whole world; these lines indicate that, if we are not jath and khul, they might be taken us whenever they want, but we are much jath and cool so nobody can catch or carry us- it’s a confidential song of Boro women. They thought that, lose character’s women goes to bad practices and if someone comes to catch her, she never protects or restrict them. So we are not that type of women, we are cool; the meaning of this line is- we should not lose / no failure. We must won any games always. It’s a confidential song of boro women. Among many different musical instruments, the Bodos use for Bagurumba Dance: Sifung: This is a long bamboo flute having five holes rather than six as the north Indian Bansuri would have and is much longer than it, producing a much lower tone.
Serja: a violin-like instrument. It has a round body and the scroll is bent forward. Kham: a long drum made of wood and goat skin. Jota: made of iron/tama. Gongwna: made of bamboo. Bagurumba uses F Major Pentatonic Scale similar to Chinese Traditional Music, an indication of the ancient Chinese influence. Folk dances of Assam Bodo people Bathow Puja Bodo's Bagurumba at indiantraveldestinations.com
Manipuri dance known as Jagoi, is one of the major Indian classical dance forms, named after the region of its origin – Manipur, a state in northeastern India bordering with Myanmar, Assam and Mizoram. It is known for its Hindu Vaishnavism themes, exquisite performances of love-inspired dance drama of Radha-Krishna called Raslila. However, the dance is performed to themes related to Shaivism and regional deities such as Umang Lai during Lai Haraoba; the roots of Manipuri dance, as with all classical Indian dances, is the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, with influences and the culture fusion between various local folk dance forms. According to the traditional legend, the indigenous people of the Manipur valley were the dance-experts revered as Gandharvas in the Hindu epics, suggesting a dance tradition has existed in Manipur since antiquity. With evidence of Vishnu temples in the medieval era, the dance arts have been passed down verbally from generation to generation as an oral tradition.
The first reliably dated written texts describing the art of Manipuri dance are from the early 18th-century. The Manipuri dance is a team performance, with its own unique costumes, aesthetics and repertoire; the Manipuri dance drama is, for most part, marked by a performance, graceful, sinuous with greater emphasis on hand and upper body gestures. It is accompanied with devotional music created with many instruments, with the beat set by cymbals and double-headed drum of sankirtan. Manipuri dance is a religious art and its aim is the expression of spiritual values. Aspects of this performance art is celebrated during Hindu festivals and major rites of passage such as weddings among the Manipuri people in the ethnic majority of Bishnupriya Manipuri & Meitei people; the dance drama choreography shares the plays and stories of'Vaishnavite Padavalis', that inspired the major Gaudiya Vaishnava-related performance arts found in Assam and West Bengal. According to tradition of the Manipuri people in the Himalayan foothills and valleys connecting India to Burma, they are the Gandharvas in the Vedic texts, historic texts of Manipuri people calls the region as Gandharva-desa.
The Vedic Usha, the goddess of the dawn, is a cultural motif for Manipuri women, in the Indian tradition, it was Usha who created and taught the art of feminine dance to girls. This oral tradition of women's dance is celebrated as Chingkheirol in the Manipuri tradition; the ancient Sanskrit texts such as the Mahabharata epic mentions Manipur, where Arjuna meets and falls in love with Chitragada. Dance is called Jagoi in a major Meitei language of the region and it traces a long tradition in Manipur. Lai Haraoba dance has ancient roots and shares many similarities with dance postures of Nataraja and his legendary disciple called Tandu; as does the dance related to commoner Khamba and princess Thoibi – who perform as pan-Indian Shiva and Parvati, in the legendary tragic love story of Khamba-Thoibi found in the Manipuri epic Moirang Parba. Historical texts of Manipur have not survived into the modern era, reliable records trace to early 18th century. Theories about the antiquity of Manipuri rely on the oral tradition, archaeological discoveries and references about Manipur in Asian manuscripts whose date can be better established.
The text Bamon Khunthok, which means "Brahmin migration", states Panniker, states that Vaishnavism practices were adopted by the king of Manipur in the 15th century CE, arriving from Shan kingdom of Pong. Further waves of Buddhists and Hindus arrived from Assam and Bengal, after mid 16th-century during Hindu-Muslim wars of Bengal Sultanate, were welcomed in Manipur. In 1704, the King Charai Rongba adopted Vaishnavism, declared it to be the state religion. In 1717, the King Gareeb Niwaz converted to Chaitanya style devotional Vaishnavism, which emphasized singing and religious performance arts centered around Hindu god Krishna. In 1734, devotional dance drama centered around Hindu god Rama expanded Manipuri dance tradition. Maharaja Bhagyachandra of Manipur State adopted Gaudiya Vaishnavism and codified the Manipuri dance style, launching the golden era of its development and refinement, he composed three of the five types of Ras Lilas, the Maha Ras, the Basanta Ras and the Kunja Ras, performed at the Sri Sri Govindaji temple in Imphal during his reign and the Achouba Bhangi Pareng dance.
He designed an elaborate costume known as Kumil. The Govinda Sangeet Lila Vilasa, an important text detailing the fundamentals of the dance, is attributed to him. King Bhagyachandra is credited with starting public performances of Raas Lila and Manipuri dances in Hindu temples. Maharaja Gambhir Singh composed two parengs of the tandava type, the Goshtha Bhangi Pareng and the Goshtha Vrindaban Pareng. Maharaja Chandra Kirti Singh, a gifted drummer, composed at least 64 Pung choloms and two parengs of the Lasya type, the Vrindaban Bhangi Pareng and Khrumba Bhangi Pareng; the composition of the Nitya Ras is attributed to these kings. In 1891, the British colonial government annexed Manipur into its Empire, marking an end to its golden era of creative systematization and expansion of Manipuri dance; the Manipuri dance was thereafter ridiculed as immoral and old-fashioned, like all other classical Hindu performance arts. The dance and artists survived only such as in Imphal's Govindji temple. The
Koothu or Therukoothu, is an ancient art, where artists play songs with dance and music in storytelling the epics, performed in Tamil. But more Koothu refers to either Terukuttu or Kattaikkuttu; the terms Terukkuttu and Kattaikkuttu are used interchangeably in modern times. Koothu as a form of entertainment reached its peak hundreds of years ago in Tamil Nadu, as mentioned in the Sangam texts about the development of iyal and natagam. Going beyond just a means of entertainment, koothu educates the rural people about religion and their history. Koothu is an informal dance structure, the performances depict scenes from ancient epics like Ramayana and Tamil other classical epics. There are traditionally no dialogues, only songs instead. Artists are trained to sing in their own voice and in a high pitch to reach the entire crowd, since no amplification technology is used; the artists are dressed up with complex heavy costumes and have a bright elaborated makeup. They put on sparkling shoulder plates and wide colorful skirts.
Traditionally this theatre form has been predominately male, though in modern times more females have been included. Types of koothu includes Nattu Koothu, Kuravai Koothu, Valli Koorhu, which are about the state and culture of different peoples in Tamil country. Another important art form viz, Chakyar koothu is popular in Kerala. There is mention of this koothu in Silappatikaram. In years past there were no formal training schools or nattuvanar for koothu. Now to encourage the dying art there are some workshops for koothu called koothu pattarai, some dedicated schools, it is popular among the rural areas and has remained unchanged in modern times. Koothu spread out from Tamil Nadu into most of south India Karnataka and Kerala; the deity at the Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram is known from the Sangam period as "Thillai Koothan", the cosmic dancer of Thillai. As the Tamils diaspora migrated abroad to different areas such as Mauritius, Réunion, Malaya, South Africa, Mauritius and Tobago, Suriname, French Guiana and Martinique, they took this kuthu dance form to their new settlements, thereby promoting its growth universally.
In Fiji, this Therukootu is known as Tirikutu. Dance forms of Tamil Nadu Dappan koothu Bhargava, Gopal K.. Bhatt. Land and people of Indian states and union territories. 25. Tamil Nadu. Delhi: Kalpaz Publications. ISBN 81-7835-381-4. Watch therukoothu videos - https://www.youtube.com/user/manalveedu watch all thenmodi koothu online - http://kalaikurusil.com watch all about theru koothu online - http://www.therukoothu.org TheruKoothu Documentary Anlother sample of TheruKootu A National Award Winning Short film Theru Koothu Another sample
Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The state covers an area of 342,239 square kilometres or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north. Major features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Balathal. Rajasthan is home to three national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve in Kota; the state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana – the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region – was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur. Other important cities are Jodhpur, Bikaner and Udaipur.
Rajasthan means "Land of Kings" or "King's Abode". The oldest reference to Rajasthan is found in a stone inscription dated back to 625 A. D; the print mention of the name "Rajasthan" appears in the 1829 publication Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, while the earliest known record of "Rajputana" as a name for the region is in George Thomas's 1800 memoir Military Memories. John Keay, in his book India: A History, stated that "Rajputana" was coined by the British in 1829, John Briggs, translating Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, used the phrase "Rajpoot princes" rather than "Indian princes". Parts of what is now Rajasthan were part of the Vedic Civilisation and Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.. Another archeological excavation at Balathal site in Udaipur district shows a settlement contemporary with the Harrapan civilization dating back to 3000 - 1500 BC. Stone Age tools dating from 5,000 to 200,000 years were found in Bundi and Bhilwara districts of the state.
Matsya Kingdom of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to corresponded to the former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan and included the whole of Alwar with portions of Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar, said to have been named after its founder king Virata. Bhargava identifies the two districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar and parts of Jaipur district along with Haryana districts of Mahendragarh and Rewari as part of Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Bhargava locates the present day Sahibi River as the Vedic Drishadwati River, which along with Saraswati River formed the borders of the Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Manu and Bhrigu narrated the Manusmriti to a congregation of seers in this area only. Ashrams of Vedic seers Bhrigu and his son Chayvan Rishi, for whom Chyawanprash was formulated, were near Dhosi Hill part of which lies in Dhosi village of Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan and part lies in Mahendragarh district of Haryana; the Western Kshatrapas, the Saka rulers of the western part of India, were successors to the Indo-Scythians, were contemporaneous with the Kushans, who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era, marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state. Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, the region was known as Gurjaratra. Up to the 10th century AD all of North India acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars, with their seat of power at Kannauj; the Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was acknowledged by the Arab writers, he further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their only conquest for nearly 300 years.
Traditionally the Rajputs, Jats, Bhils, Charans, Bishnois, Sermals, PhulMali and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi and the Dhundhar region. Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501, he won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal including states of Ajmer and Alwar in Rajasthan, defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra and Delhi in 1556 at Battle of Delhi before acceding to the throne of Delhi and establishing the "Hindu Raj" in North India, albeit for
Bharatanatyam known as Sathiraattam, is a major genre of Indian classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, Bharatanatyam has been a solo dance performed by women, it expressed South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas of Shaivism and Shaktism. Bharatanatyam's theoretical foundations trace to the ancient Sanskrit text by Bharata Muni, Natya Shastra, its existence by 2nd century CE is noted in the ancient Tamil epic Silappatikaram, while temple sculptures of 6th to 9th century CE suggest it was a well refined performance art by the mid 1st millennium CE. Bharatanatyam may be the oldest classical dance tradition of India. Bharatanatyam style is noted for its fixed upper torso, legs bent or knees flexed out combined with spectacular footwork, a sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands and face muscles; the dance is accompanied by music and a singer, her guru is present as the director and conductor of the performance and art. The dance has traditionally been a form of an interpretive narration of mythical legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu texts.
The performance repertoire of Bharatanatyam, like other classical dances, includes nrita and natya. Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, it was banned by the colonial British government in 1910, but the Indian community protested against the ban and expanded it outside the temples in the 20th century. Modern stage productions of Bharatanatyam have incorporated technical performances, pure dance based on non-religious ideas and fusion themes; the term Bharatanatyam is a compound of two words and Natyam. The term Bharata is believed to be named after the famous performance art sage to whom the ancient Natya Shastra is attributed. There is an alternative belief that the word Bharata is a mnemonic, consisting of "bha"–"ra"–"ta". According to this belief, bha stands for bhava, ra stands for raga, ta stands for tala; the term Natya is a Sanskrit word for "dance". The compound word Bharatanatyam thus connotes a dance that harmoniously expresses bhava and tala. Bharatanatyam was once called Sadir.
The theoretical foundations of Bharatanatyam are found in Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu text of performance arts. Natya Shastra is attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni, its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE; the most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters. The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tāṇḍava dance, the theory of rasa, of bhāva, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures—all of which are part of Indian classical dances. Dance and performance arts, states this ancient text, are a form of expression of spiritual ideas and the essence of scriptures. More direct historical references to Bharatnatyam is found in the Tamil epics Silappatikaram and Manimegalai; the ancient text Silappatikaram, includes a story of a dancing girl named Madhavi. The carvings in Kanchipuram's Shiva temple that have been dated to 6th to 9th century CE suggest Bharatanatyam was a well developed performance art by about the mid 1st millennium CE.
A famous example of illustrative sculpture is in the southern gateway of the Chidambaram temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, where 108 poses of the Bharatnatyam, that are described as karanas in the Natya Shastra, are carved in stone. Many of the ancient Shiva sculptures in Hindu temples are same. For example, the Cave 1 of Badami cave temples, dated to 7th-century, portrays the Tandava-dancing Shiva as Nataraja; the image, 5 feet tall, has 18 arms in a form that expresses the dance positions arranged in a geometric pattern. The arms of Shiva express mudras; some colonial Indologists and modern authors have argued that Bharatanatyam is a descendant of an ancient Devadasi culture, suggesting a historical origin back to between 300 BCE and 300 CE. Modern scholarship has questioned this theory for lack of any direct textual or archeological evidence. Historic sculpture and texts do describe and project dancing girls, as well as temple quarters dedicated to women, but they do not state them to be courtesans and prostitutes as alleged by early colonial Indologists.
According to Davesh Soneji, a critical examination of evidence suggests that courtesan dancing is a phenomenon of the modern era, beginning in the late 16th or the 17th century of the Nayaka period of Tamil Nadu. According to James Lochtefeld, Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century, only in the 20th century appearing on stage outside the temples. Further, the Maratha rulers of Tanjore contributed towards Bharatanatyam. With the arrival of the East India Company in the 18th century, British colonial rule in the 19th, many classical Indian dance forms were ridiculed and discouraged, these performance arts declined. Christian missionaries and British officials presented "nautch girls" of north India and "devadasis" of south India as evidence of "harlots, debased erotic culture, slavery to idols and priests" tradition, Christian missionaries demanded that this must be stopped, launching the "anti-dance movement" in 1892; the anti-dance