In 1934, Papanasam Sivan's rendition of the song, "Kaana Kann Kodi" during the Adhikara Nandi festival in Mylapore so moved Rukmini Devi that she made him the music teacher at the Besant Theosophical School. Sivan, however, was to teach at the school only for five years, for in 1939, owing to increasing pressure and demand from the film world, he had to leave the job. He was, however, to remain a close associate of Rukmini Devi and Kalakshetra.
('A purse for Papanasam Sivan' by Sriram Venkatkrishnan, The Hindu, Nov 24, 2006)

In the Nur Ranigumpha, the third compartment of the cave palace is adorned with a sculptured frieze showing a seated king and a dancing girl in a classical pose accompanied by 4 musicians on drum, cymbals, harp and flute. This is additional evidence that classical dance was prevalent from those times.
(Chapter "Dance in Ancient Orissa", Dance Dialects of India by Ragini Devi, p138)

The ancient tradition of using masks in performances in India can be traced to the early centuries BC. There is a reference to the use of masks in the Natya Shastra. The word for mask used in the Natya Shastra is pratishirshak, meaning head-cover, which suggests it was something of the type of a helmet rather than a full face mask. Later, Abhinavagupta, noted eleventh century commentator on the Natya Shastra, also referred to mask, which suggests continuity of its use in dramatic performances.
(Dr. Suresh Awasthi, 'Masks and Masked Dances')

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