Dance in Polonnaruwa period stone slabs | Daily News


 

Dance in Polonnaruwa period stone slabs

Dance is a human activity which is deeply imbibed with numerous other aspects and factors of culture. No doubt that the living dance tradition is depicted in various other fine art forms, especially in the other visual arts of paintings and sculptures. Dance is a human activity which is deeply imbibed with numerous other aspects and factors of culture. No doubt that the living dance tradition is depicted in various other fine art forms, especially in the other visual arts of paintings and sculptures.

The historical approach of dance mentions that dance originated before the origin of any other art forms. The dance sculptures are embodied in the form of living human bodies. In other words, it could be explained that the impact of dance embodies in the sculptural assemblages. Dance became a sculpture and also a form of the visual image. For the dance sculptural research, the body becomes an objective and sculpture becomes subjective.

Dance poses

At the Sri Lankan archaeological sites, some of the beautiful slabs have been excavated. On these stone slabs, dance figures have been excellently carved. The dance poses beautifully resemble the typical Thandava Karana poses of the dance. According to Hindu mythology, dance was created by Lord Siva. Yet each Thandava Karana of the Lord is associated with certain dance poses which have certain philosophical meanings behind them. Many of the Thandava Karana poses resemble the excellent gymnastic and acrobatic body positions.

All the carved sculptures might have been done by ancient sculptors of Sri Lanka. The carved dance figures reveal the typical Indian influence. Especially the decorations of the carved dance figures reveal the Indian culture, traditional and customary impact on the local sculptors while carving the sculptor should take meticulous care to avoid the cracks on the slabs. These excellent carved dance figure slabs were excavated near Polonnaruwa area, belonged to the Polonnaruwa period.

According to Indian traditional dance history, a mystic figure named Bharatha Muni, who wrote the Natya Sastra. It consists of 36-chapters dealing with important aspects and technique of dance and drama. The fourth chapter is allocated for ThandavaLakshana. According to Bharatha Muni, 'Karana' means a body position which coordinates with one hand and one leg position called Shari. Each Thandava Karana of Lord Siva has its deep meaning.

Stone carvings

In dance, 108 ThandavaKaranas are fundamental dance poses to depict Lord Siva. All the Karanas are well preserved in the stone carvings and temple pillars in South India. In the Chidambaram temple, all the 108 ThandavaKaranas are depicted well. The Chidambaram temple has four Gopuras or four temple towers. Four Gopuras are facing four different directions. Each Gopura was built during different periods. In the tower pillars, 108 Thandava of Lord Siva is depicted well.

In Chidambaram temple, The Karanas were arranged one below another. Each Karana figure is depicted with musicians, mainly women singers and women drummers and women striking the cymbals. On the entire temple tower wall pillars, the Karanas are depicted, but these do not seem to follow any sequence or order. As compared to northern and southern towers, western and eastern towers, the builders paid special attention to arrange the Karanas according to Bharaha’sNatya Sastra order. Under each Karana, Sanskrit verses of Natya Sastra related to such Karanas were embossed.

In the Bragatheeswarar temple of Thanjavur, one could see 81 ThandavaKaranas. Here, in these Karanas depict Lord Shiva performing.

The sculptural Karanas have four arms at least and two hands with weapons. Even the size of the figure is bigger than that of the Chidambaram temple.

Fortunately, Chidambaram Temple is the only temple where the 108 ThandavaKaranas with appropriate slokams from Natya Sastra are seen. Even now, we can see the Karanas in various temples such as Kumbakonam, Kanchipuram, Maduri, Perur and Virdachalam.

 


Visit Kapruka.com Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.