The final intention of Indian artwork is “rasa aswadana”, tasting of aesthetic delight. Any facet of it coping with human feelings would discover itself on the periphery of “rasa”. The classical treatise, Natyashastra, describes eight rasa. These are, particularly, shringar rasa for erotic feelings, hasya for levity, karun for bathos, raudra for fury, veera for heroism, bhayanak for fearsomeness, bibhatsa for the macabre and adbhut for shock. Later students have added a ninth one for serenity, often known as the shanta rasa.

Bharata gives a transparent definition of rasa nishpatti or the expertise of rasa — “Vibhaavanubhava sanchaari sanyogat rasa-nishpattih” — the rasa arises from an interplay of vibhava (determinant), anubhava (influence) and vyabhichari bhava (transitory emotions) atop the sthayee bhava (the essential psychological state).


Shringar is extensively accepted as “rasaraj”, or the king of the 9 rasa. Bharata states “no matter is pure, brilliant or stunning on the earth is in contrast with shingar”. Ordinarily taken to imply desire, shringar in Indian classical dances represents love in its myriad hues — in union (sambhog) or separation (viraha). The Natya Shastra has set out an in depth classification of the completely different levels of romantic love, giving rise to a fragile vocabulary to be rendered by abhinaya (expression) and dance.

Edited by famend Odissi exponent and instructor Sharon Lowen, Shringar in Classical Indian Dance is a group of articles focussed on shringar and its varied interpretations. Lowen, who’s a disciple of Kelucharan Mohapatra, was entrusted to conceive the format, and invite articles from considering exponents of the assorted Indian classical dance types.


American by delivery but Indian at coronary heart, Lowen has mastered not simply Odissi but in addition Manipuri and the Mayurbhanj and Saraikela faculties of Chhau, too. She has revealed articles and authored books alongside her good efficiency profession.

Shringar has developed traditionally. In this e book, it has been interpreted by Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Vilasini Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Sattriya, Kathak and Odissi, respectively, by Kamalini Dutt, Anuradha Jonalgadda, Anupama Kylas, Bharati Shivaji, Anwesha Mohanta, Shovana Narayan and Lowen herself. An introductory overview of shringara in natya (communicative dance) by Nritya Kalanidhi Guru Lakshmi Viswanathan with a purpose to contextualise the deal with particular classical genres is a considerate contribution.


In her article, Lowen covers the huge canvas of her topic by taking the reader from the second century BC by the completely different dynasties that dominated Utkal. She takes her perspective not solely from Abhinaya Chandrika and Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda however can also be knowledgeable by Odia composer-poets Kavisurya Baldev Rath, Gopal Krishna Patnaik and Banmali Dasa and the Mahari and Gotipua folks traditions.

Captivating images add worth to this quantity. Shringar being common, its enchantment will not be restricted to the scholar and practitioner of dance.


The author is a musicologist

Shringara in Classical Indian Dance

Edited by Sharon Lowen

Shubhi Publications


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