About the Book
Tandava Laksanam or The Fundamentals of Ancient Hindu Dancing being a translation into English of the fourth chapter of Natyasastra of Bharata, with a glossary of the technical dance terms compiled from the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of the same work, illustrated with original photographs of the sculptured dance poses in the Great Temple of Siva Nataraja at Cidambaram, and containing special appendices of aesthetic and archaeological interest.
About the Author
Bijayeti Venkata Narayanaswami Naidu was Dean of Faculty of Art, Professor of Economics, Annamalai University Annamalainagar.
Pasupuleti Srinivasulu Naidu was lecturer in Philosophy, Annamali University Annamalainagar.
Venkata Rangayya Pantulu, Nellore was an ardent exponent of Bharatanatyam.
In introducing Tandava Laksanam to the 'lovers of all that is beautiful,' we wish to say a word about the origin and development of the idea that has led to the publication of the book. During a casual visit to the Creat Temple of Siva Nataraja at Cidambaram we were impressed with the wealth of unexplored archaeological material in the renowned fane. The sculptured dance poses attracted our attention. When we realised that these poses were intended by the builders of the massive Gopurams (gate-ways) to be systematic illustrations of the Karanas described in the Natya sastra of Bharata, we desired to give publicity to them.
An attempt to focus the attention of all lovers or art on the dance sculptures in the Temple appears to have been made by the authors of the Madras Epigraphical Report for 1914. But the Report does not go far enough. It contains only wood-cut illustrations of 93 out of the total of 108 poses carved in the gate-ways. We, therefore, decided to photograph the Karanas and publish the photographs with an English translation of the inscriptions carved above them. While the English translation was in progress, we realised that the definitions of the poses would be unintelligible without a glossary explaining the highly technical terms used in profusion by Bharata Muni. Hence the preparation of an exhaustive glossary was undertaken. These attempts have led to the publication of Tandava Laksanam.
It should be noted that the book sets forth only the English equivalents of the definitions of the fundamental poses contained in the Fourth Chapter of Bharata Muni's great work. No attempt has been made to deal with the various aspects of dramaturgy discussed in that inexhaustible mine of information on dancing.
We deem it a privilege to acknowledge our obligations to those who have helped us in various ways. We are indebted to the Director of the Oriental Institute, Baroda, for his permission to reproduce the Samskrt verses in the Fourth Chapter of the Natya Sastra (Gaekwad's Oriental Series), to translate these verses into English and to compile the Glossary from the Second Volume of the book; to the Director- General of Archaeological Survey of India for his kindness in lending us the wood-cut blocks and permitting us to reproduce the matter con- tamed in Appendix B from the Madras Epigraphical Report for 1914 ;
The Samskrt Text of Tandava Laksanam
The Madras Epigraphical Report, 1914
The Pictorial Appendix
The Fundamental Actions
Notes on Jarjara and Pindi Bandha
Contents of the Natya Sastra
Some Ancient Authors and Treatises on Dancing
Index of Karanas and Angaharas
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