Abhinaya Darpana was written by Nandikeswara around 3rd c AD. It has 324 slokas, all in a single chapter. Since all available manuscripts of Abhinaya Darpana are in Telugu, it is generally believed that its author Nandikeswara (3rd c AD), hailed from Andhra desam.

The acting theory detailed by Nandikeswara in his Abhinaya Darpana is followed in its entirety, in Kathakali acting. (G Venu, "Abhinaya in Kathakali," Nartanam -Vol 1, #3, July - Sept 2001)

There are several references in Kerala literature regarding the Nangyars being great dance experts, one such being in the role of Tapati in the 14th century Malayalam sandesa poem Unninilisandesa. (Kanak Rele, page 103, in chapter "History of Kerala - Its Theatrical Arts and Mohiniattam" in "Mohiniattam: The Lyrical Dance")

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