Swinging Syallables : Aesthetics of Kathak Dance (reprint) : Sushil Kumar Saxena

This is a pioneering study of classical Indian dance in the way of contemporary philosophical aesthetics. Concentrating on Kathak, it seeks, on the one hand, to determine the nature of such set numbers as thata, amad, tatkar, and, on the other hand, to illumine our experience of watching a good Kathak recital. Care has also been taken to bring out the meaning of aesthetic predicates, and of many other terms, such as mukhvilas, layakari, bol, bol ka dharma or mijaz, and bamani collocations of rhythmic syllables, which freely occur in our talk about Kathak. The more serious students of this dance form should find valuable suggestions in what this book has to say on the laws of syllabic integration and on creative devices, such as regulating changes of music between adjacent numbers by availing of laya which inheres in bols, as distinguished from the basic pace which only underruns them, and fuller utilization of the dhruvapada-dhamar forms of vocal music for evocation of deeper effects in Kathak. The two appendices — ‘Art as Expression’ and ‘The Rasa Theory’ — should be of help to all those who may like to study our dances and music from an expressly aesthetical angle. The book may be said to meet our long-standing need for a full-length analytical study of Kathak as art, and to indicate the lines on which similar works could be attempted on our other forms of classical dance. 185 x 250 mm / 196 pages Reprint 2006 / Rs 475