From time immemorial, there have been two parallel schools of dance: Nattuva Mela and Natya Mela. The first with a devotional purpose is performed in temples by devadasis and the second intended for special occasions in temples such as festivals, rituals, ceremonies etc. for the benefit of pilgrims. Basically, their root is the same- Bharata's Natya Sastra. Nattuva Mela has developed into Bharatanatyam and Natya Mela into the Kuchipudi dance.
Vempatti Chinna Satyam, "The birth and growth of Kuchipudi dance"
(Nartanam Vol IV #3, p42, July-Sept 2004)

It appears that there were three other works on natya before the Natya Sastra, but these are mere references to the works, which are till date untraceable. This makes the Natya Sastra the earliest extant work on the art and practice of natya. (Kanak Rele, page 34, 'Dance' chapter in "Mohiniattam: The Lyrical Dance")

Sattriya dance and music was originally preserved and pursued as part of Sattra rituals and ceremonies and was the exclusive domain of the Sattras or monasteries. Now, males and females performing this on the stage and the Sattras themselves practice it as a ritual as well as stage art.

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