Similar to males doing female roles in Kuchipudi Bagavatamelas in Andhra Pradesh, boys used to do the female roles in village performances of 'bhaona' (dramas) since women were not allowed into satra style schools.
Maya Rao's institute Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography is the first of its kind to offer a regular Bachelor's course in Kathak and Choreography with affiliation to the University of Bangalore.
As early as 1949, Kathak exponent Maya Rao had choreographed a thematic presentation focusing on 'Grow more food' and environmental forces.
In 'Silappadikaram' it is mentioned that ancient dancers were well versed in all the 64 art forms. Dances meant exclusively for kings was called “Vethial”.
Satriya dance form and songs were confined within the ambit of prayer houses called namghar and women were denied any role for centuries because of the absence of the order of nuns in satras.
Gormuria satradhikar Pitamber Deva Goswami was the first satriya personality who struggled to give a place to women in Satriya performances.
In order to help place Satriya dance in the classical dance category, the late Maheshwar Neog was assisted by artistes Keshab Changkakoti, Moniram Dutta Muktiyar and Rasheshwar Saikia Borbayan to compose and edit SATRIYA NITRYAR TAAL, which was published by the State Publication Board.
The popular king Rajeshwar Singha worked hard to bring the word Satriya into the limelight by reorganizing the Satriya culture and developing it by assimilating different trends of neighbouring countries like Thailand, Myanmar and Manipur.
There are nearly as many variations of the Satriya style of music and dance as there are satras. But the most popular style originates from the Kamalabari Satra and the Mahapurushia Satra. The latter is the original style developed by Vaishnava saint and reformer Srimanta Sankardeva himself and continues to be popular with the masses.
The 'Satriya sangeet' or music style which was earlier known as 'Sankari sangeet' was developed by Sankardeva.
Satriya music depends mostly upon the khol (or the mridanga in a few satras like Dihing, Dinjoy, Puranimati, Secha and Telpani ) and cymbals ( pati - tal, bhor - tal etc). Daba, kaliya (pipe) are also seen in satra circles.
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