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Nartananirnaya of Pandarika Vitthala : Vol: III (Kalamulasastra Series)

Edited by R Sathyanarayana, IGNCA for Motilal, 1998, Kalamulasastra series 19, xii, 558 p, ISBN : 8120812190, $60.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface. Text and translation: 1. Nartanadhikaranam. 2. Nrttadhikaranam. Patha-Vimarsa: 1. Nartanadhikaranam. 2. Nrttadhikaranam. Commentary on the text: 1. Nartanadhikaranam. 2. Nrttadhikaranam. Text critique: 1. Introduction. 2. Text and translation. 3. Commentary on the text. 4. Comparison of readings notes. 5. Comparison of textual variants. Bibliography. Indexes: 1. Slokardhanukramani. 2. Visesapadanukramani. 3. Index to names, composers. 4. Index to works cited. 5. Index to place names. 6. Manuscript copies consulted. 7. Index to words.

"Nartananirnaya (late sixteenth cent A.D.) is perhaps the most significant and influential treatise on music and dance after the Samgitaratnakara in theory and practice, in range and depth, in authentic tradition and epoch-making new trends. Flashes of primary originality and a deep concern for conservation are clearly visible in all its four chapters, viz. I. Taladhartr, II. Mrdangi (Vol. I), III. Gayaka: 1. Ragadhikaranam, 2. Prabandhadhikaranam (Vol.II), IV. Nartaka: 1. Nartanadhikaranam, 2. Nrttadhikaranam (Vol. III). Its author Pandarika Vitthala has composed five more treatises. He is a versatile expert in multiple, cognate art disciplines with an eye for intradisciplinal detail and a vision of interdisciplinal perspective. He is an outstanding symbol of integration in art and culture.

This third and final volume of Nartana-nirnaya presents the fourth and final chapter which deals with nartaka (dancer); this is divided into two subchapters which delineate (a) aesthetic representation of affect (bhava and rasa in nrtya), (b) autonomous meaning in dance (nrtta). Among the unique and major contributions of this chapter of Nartananirnaya may be mentioned: i. classification of all dance into bandha (rigorously structured with prescribed items) and anibandha (which leaves scope for the dancer's individualistic contributions in a given or inherited frame), ii. revelation of a parallel corpus of professional terminology, iii. analytic description of numerous unitary and segmentary dance forms of which all extant dance compositions--both bandha and anibandha--were composed, iv. refocusing of a north-south axial polarisation of art forms and trends on a national canvas, v. indication of aesthetic tensions which were later resowed into new identities in dance, viz. Bharatanatya, Kathak and Odissi, vi. choreographed descriptions of actual, contemporary dance compositions.

The present volume contains two special editorial contributions: i. a new method of indicating availability of text-critical notes and commentary on the text to facilitate ready reference, ii. text critique in which an attempt is made to render the present edition uptodate, more comprehensive and inclusive of the earlier Calcutta edition.

The present edition of Nartananirnaya in based on adequate critical apparatus. It provides detailed and exegetical text-critical comments; a readable English translation rendered self-contained in a new way, a comprehensive bibliography and numerous indexes for both text and commentary, self-sufficient for each volume. The work is supported by a detailed and probing commentary with fluent extrapolations from cognate, art interdisciplines." (jacket)

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