Gati in Theory and Practice

by Dr. Sujatha Mohan | 2015 | 88,445 words

This page relates ‘Secondary sources on Natya’ of the study on the Theory and Practice of Gati (“gait”) which refers to the “movement of a character on the stage”, commonly employed (as a Sanskrit technical term) in ancient Indian Theatrics and the Dramatic arts, also known as Natya-shastra. This thesis explores the history and evolution of Gati and also investigates how the various Gatis are employed in regional performance traditions.

Secondary sources on Nāṭya

Secondary sources in which the theory and practice of drama has been referred to are taken for explaining the concept. Scholars like Ananda Comaraswamy, V. Raghavan, K.M. Varma, Daśarūpaka Mankad, P.V. Kane, S.N. Sastri, Saṅgīta-sārāmṛta Janaki, K.K. Raja, N.P. Unni, K.D. Tripathi, Govardhan Panchal, Kapila Vatsyayan, Padma Subrahmanyam, G.H. Tarlekar, G.S. Hegde, Radhavallabh Tripathi, C. Rajendran, Mandakranta Bose and many others have worked on the Nāṭyaśāstra and allied topics on theatre as a holistic art. Western scholars like Sylvain Levi, H.H. Wilson, Kay Ambrose, Mac Donnell, A.B. Keith, H.W. Wells, Faubion Bowers, R.V.M. Baumer, J. R. Bradson, Beryl de Zoete and many more have also written works on ancient theatre forms. They were the source of inspiration for this research. Many works on dance has elaborated on āṅgika abhinaya and works on drama have elaborated on the origin, theory and practice of drama. Other than these commentaries on the dramas of Bhāsa and Kālidāsa has also been taken for explaining the concept of gati in dramas.

Previous works and researchers in topics related to Nāṭya

Some of the previous works and researches done in the field of theatre has been taken for references. The technical details connected with nāṭya, gati, karaṇa, etc. are noted and analysed based on these works.

1.1. Dance of Shiva -By Ananda Comaraswamy

This work contains valuable essays based on Indian art. Some topics related to art are Hindu view of art: Historical and Theory of beauty, The Dance of Shiva, Indian images with many arms, Indian music and so on. This gives an insight into the field of dance, music and drama.

2.2. The Sanskrit Drama in its Origin, Development, Theory and Practice -By A.B. Keith.

The author of this work has dealt elaborately about the origin, development, decline and theory of drama. Regarding the practice of drama, the author has outlined about the playhouse, make-up, actors, histrionic representation and the audience. The information regarding āṅgika abhinaya and its practice and performance is explained briefly.

2.3. Sanskrit Drama -Its aesthetics and production -By Dr. V. Raghavan

The author has researched extensively in the field of Sanskrit Drama. This work is a compilation of his valuable writings on this subject. In this work, he discusses about the history, aesthetics, music, architecture, production and performance of Sanskrit drama. He gives a detailed description of the important aspects of nāṭya such as daśarūpaka, uparūpaka, dharmī and vṛtti. He explains the facets of classical nāṭya forms such as kūḍiāṭṭam, kathakali, yakṣagānam and so on, and their relevance to the elements of the Nāṭyaśāstra. He also adds a chapter on the evidence of tamil literature in relation to the Nāṭyaśāstra.

2.4. Sanskrit Drama on the Stage -By Dr. K. Kunjunni Raja.

The author writes about the importance of the pūrvaraṅga in Sanskrit drama and kūdiāṭṭam. He also adds about the theatre of the Nāṭyaśāstra and Kerala kūttambalam. He has given an outline of some cāri movements in āṅgika abhinaya and its relation in kūdiāṭṭam.

2.5. Sanskrit Drama in Theory and Practice -By Dr. Saṅgīta-sārāmṛta Janaki.

The author has given the early literary evidences and highlighted the elements of Sanskrit drama in Nāṭyaśāstra. She has elaborated on the theoretical aspects of daśarūpakas. From the practice point of view, she has given the performance of Sanskrit drama on stage dealing with āṅgika abhinaya such as abhinaya hastas, pādas and the like mentioned in commentaries of dramas.

2.6. Lectures on Nāṭyaśāstra -By Dr. Radha Vallabh Tripathi

Various lectures on Nāṭyaśāstra such as nāṭyaveda–the cosmic view of theatre, nāṭya yajña-rituals of theatre, etc. are compiled by Dr. Radha Vallabh Tripathi. The author analyses the sub-headings under nāṭya saṅgraha, the ritualistic worship followed in Vedic age and the relation between itihāsas and Nāṭyaśāstra in a systematic manner. He has explained the approach of playwrights such as Bhāsa and Kālidāsa towards the Nāṭyaśāstra and topics related to uparūpakas.

2.7. Studies in the Nāṭyaśāstra–With special reference to the Sanskrit drama in performance -By Dr. G.H.Tarlekar.

Dr. Tarlekar has done a thorough study of all the details given in the chapters of the Nāṭyaśāstra. In this work, he has brilliantly explained the aspects of abhinaya and has given the stage direction of how the dramas should be presented, based on the Nāṭyaśāstra.

2.8. Classical Indian dance in literature and the arts -By Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan

This work is the result of the author’s doctoral thesis on Indian classical dance in relation to the literature. It includes chapters on Indian aesthetics, theory and techniques of classical dances of India, dance in relation to literature, sculpture and music.

2.9. Karaṇas—Common dance codes of India and Indonesia -By Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam

Dr. Padma who is a performer of classical dance has done her doctoral research on ‘Karaṇas in Indian Dance and Sculpture’. In this work, she has brought out the elements of āṅgika abhinaya in detail and dealt with the chapters on dance such as āṅga, upāṅga, sthāna, cāri, maṇḍala, karaṇa and aṅgahāra of the Nāṭyaśāstra. She has re-constructed the karaṇas based on the Nāṭyaśāstra and Abhinavabhāratī, along with the karaṇa sculptures found in the temples of Taṃjāvūr, Kumbakonam, Cidambaram, Tiruvaṇṇāmalai and Vriddhācalam. After completing the research, she has found some karaṇa sculptures in Prāmbaṇan temple, South Java, built in the 9th century, which resembled her karaṇa re-construction. Karaṇas were translated as ‘poses’ by previous scholars but the author has explained all the karaṇas based on ślokas of Nāṭyaśāstra and Abhinavabhāratī, and proved that they are ‘movements’.

2.10. A study of the technique of Abhinaya in relation to Sanskrit drama -By Dr. Shiveni P. Pandya

The author has given a detailed description of the techniques of abhinaya as in the Nāṭyaśāstra and a comparative study with other works such as Abhinayadarpaṇa, Saṃgītaratnākara, Nṛtyaratnakośa and so on along with illustrations from Sanskrit dramas. He explains where to make use of the āṅgika, vācika, āhārya and sāttvika elements in dramas. In āṅgika abhinaya, the author has dealt with the aspects of aṅgas, upāṅgas, hasta, cāri, maṇḍala and gati. The concept and usage of gati is briefly described in this work.

2.11. The concept of Dance in Classical Sanskrit Literature -By Dr. G.S. Hegde

The terms connected with drama and dance is explained based on its varieties in available texts. The elements of dance occurring in poetry, dramas and prose in Sanskrit literature along with citations from them are discussed in this work by the author in detail. This is a general study and it does not refer to any particular aspect of of abhinaya.

2.12. Movement and Mimesis -By Mandakranta Bose

The author has given an elaborate account of the dance works in Sanskrit literature and their contents followed by the aspects of dance such as lāsya, nṛtya and uparūpakas, bandha and anibandha nṛtyas, and the deśi traditions. She has referred to gatis without elaborating its technical aspects.

2.13. Sanskrit play production in Ancient India-By Tarla Mehta

This work deals with the entire elements of play production starting from the audience side i.e. siddhi, raṅga, rasa, bhāva, vṛtti, pravṛtti and then comes to the performance side i.e. abhinaya, dharmī, gāna and ātodya. Evidence of the survival of play in India, South East Asia and other countries are discussed. Then the scenes from various dramas of Bhāsa, Kālidāsa and others are explained based on its performance of abhinaya.

2.14. Movements (Gatis) in Nāṭya according to Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra

[Dissertation for M.Phil. and Nāṭya abhinaya-Ph.D. Thesis by Dr. Ambika Kameswar]

The author has enlisted the theoretical aspects of gati as in the Nāṭyaśāstra with a critical introduction and concluding remarks. The author’s Ph.D. research on nātya abhinaya includes a detailed study on Sanskrit dramas and abhinaya aspects related to them but here the aspect of gati is not given primary importance. Performance of abhinaya in Abhijñāna Śākuntalam and Ratnāvali are elucidated.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: