scenes of dance fill the pillars and toranas of stupas, the walls of medieval
temples ranging from Rajasthan and Saurashtra to Orissa, from Kashmir to
Karnataka and Kerala, and the large gopurams of South Indian temples, the
platforms of the monuments at Vijayanagaram, Hampi and of the Hazararam
(Kapila Vatsyayan – Indian Classical Dance)
to Dr. V Raghavan, an outstanding scholar of the 20th century, idealism
(Natyadharmi) and realism (Lokadharmi) of Bharata's stage should be taken
as the basic theory of Indian dance. The ancient Indian drama was of an
operatic nature, produced with dance and music. There were shows in which
music and dance were predominant and those which were pure dances. A solo
dance by a danseuse was Lasya which depicted 10 to 12 emotional items.
Hastabhinaya came to be used as a means of interpretation in Natyadharmi.
All Indian dance had Nritta and Nritya as components.
('Remembering Dr. V Raghavan' by TK Venkatasubramanian, Nartanam, May – Aug 2008)
text or literary composition, which is the basis of Kathakali is called
attakkatha. The first attakkatha was written by the Raja of Kottarakara
who invented this art form. He was followed by Kottayam Raja and several
other poets who enriched and developed the attakkatha literature
by their contribution. Attakkatha-s are written in verse, never
in prose, and as the passages have to be sung they are set to different
ragas of music. The total number of attakkathas written so far,
it is believed, will come to about 400.
(G Venu, "Abhinaya in Kathakali," Nartanam -Vol 1, #3, July – Sept 2001)