Either at the time of the Natya Sastra or sometime after, another tradition seems to have emerged. This tradition of 'Desi' or 'Sangita' is described in texts like the Brihadesi, Manasollasa and, finally, in the Sangita Ratnakara authored by Sarangadeva in the 12th/ 13th century. Between the days of the Natya Sastra and the Ratnakara are about 1000-1200 years.
Desi Sangita is the form of presentation like Natya was in the older Natya Sastra tradition. Bharata's Natya is referred to in these texts as Marga Sangita. Though Desi Sangita and Natya seem similar - as both have the three elements of Drama / Dance, Music and percussion - there are some very important differences.
The Marga Sangita refers to Natya, Gana and Vadya, the Desi Sangita refers to its components as Gita, Vadya and Nritta. The important change here is the use of Nritta instead of Natya. In its purest form, Nritta is considered an aesthetic expression that has limb movements where the actor is not being identified with the character and is not emoting a dramatic emotion. The use of his limbs and even some abhinaya are purely for the audience's aesthetic pleasure. It does seem that drama never had any role in Sangita.
(TM Krishna in 'Emergence of the Desi tradition,' The Hindu Magazine, Dec 19, 2010)
A clear cut definition of bandha nritya is found in an important dance treatise of Orissa, the Abhinayadarshana Prakasha of Yadunatha Simha, who was a ruler of Dharakote. Bandha nritta is here classified under tandava. It is performed with contortions of hands, feet and neck while standing in nagapasha etc formations of the body. Men perform the acts of women and vice versa. These acrobatic dances are also called chitra natya.
(Nartanam, Vol II #3, July Sept 2002, 'The Bandha Dance' by Dr. R Satyanarayana)
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