Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction-desideratum. 1. The dance in ancient India. 2. Tandava-the classical dance form 3. Symbolism and gesture. 4. The Devadasis of South India. 5. Bharata Natya -the dance of the Devadasis. 6. Poetry of the hands. 7. Dance-drama-Andhra and Tamilnad. 8. The theatre in the temple. 9. The Kathakali theatre. 10. Kathakali dance and mime. 11. Krishnanattam dance-drama. 12. The dance of Mohini. 13. Festivals of the Goddess Bhagavati. 14. The holy diagrams. 15. The Yakshagana drama of Karnataka. 16. The dance in ancient Orissa. 17. Orissi dance-plastic movements and repertoire. 18. The Chhau dance of Seraikella. 19. Kathak dance. 20. The dances of Manipur. 21. Folk Rhythms and plays. Conclusion-fruitage. Appendices I, II, III. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
"Shrimati Ragini Devi was an accomplished exponent of the Indian classical dance and an authority on the living forms of the art and its traditions. She presented a comprehensive, revealing and enlightening account of the classical Indian dance in this fascinating and eminently readable book.
Dance Dialects of India aims at creating a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Indian dance and its cultural environment in India. The book is addressed to the general reader, dancer, and connoisseur, interested in the arts and traditions of India, where regional forms of dance rituals, dance-drama, folk dance, and classical dance forms have existed for centuries as an essential part of sacred rites and festivals, and as a classical art patronised and practised by the royalty.
The book is profusely and exquisitely illustrated with more than two hundred photographs.
Shrimati Ragini Devi devoted her life to the classical dance of India, and achieved wide recognition in India and the west. She took it upon herself to interpret Indian dance and song to the west and made her debut in New York, accompanied by Hindu musicians. Not satisfied with mere success in the USA and imbued with a spirit of creative activity Ragini Devi returned to India and studied traditional dance and dance-drama which were fast becoming a lost art.
Ragini Devi's career in India was unique in the annals of art. She was the first to rediscover Kathakali dance-drama hidden in obscurity, and presented this art and other classical and provincial dances in her performances throughout India, evoking national interest in a declining art." (jacket)