idea of a sacred space in India is not relegated to the formal auditorium
or proscenium stage. Any space becomes sacred once the performer steps
into it, bringing his or her expression of movement, mime and song into
the ambience. From the shades of a banyan tree to the traditional ‘koothambalam'
of temple dance halls and today's formal grandeur of a city auditorium,
dances are being performed in many different
surroundings. However, it is the mediation of the proscenium stage or the
formal opera house that is looked at increasingly for the validation of
dance, both classical and especially folk.
the past twenty years, numerous halls have been built for audiences of
200 to 2000. The mounting grandeur of dance festivals and the growing awareness
that the classical arts are the most effective cultural emblem of our ancient
heritage has made the Indian public flock to dance and music events, some
of which stretch over several hours and through the night. These are conducted
in ‘maidans' and large open areas where a temporary stage and seating arrangements
following chapter gives an overview of some of the main dance spaces in
several Indian cities. The seating capacity and booking information should
help performers and impressarios in their plans. The rates quoted are subject
to change and should be only taken as a guideline. Also while some auditoriums
are equipped with a complete set of lighting and sound equipment, in most
cases, special arrangements will have to be made to hire exrtra light and
sound which is not part of the basic auditorium rental.