What are the works on Natya on which Ilankovadikal based his description of the stage? Adiyarkkunallar, in the beginning of his commentary on the poem, gives a list of nine works on dance, drama, and music as authorities for the text of the Silappadikaram. None of these works are available now. Ilankovadikal, in his description of the stage, is very meagre, but still this little section of nineteen lines (95-113) is very valuable as being the only means of our having some clear view of the stage in ancient India.
(‘Theatre-Architecture in Ancient India’ by V. Raghavan)

For reconstructing the history of Kathak, 3 styles of miniature paintings provide valuable evidence. One is the dance illustrations in the Jaina illustrations and manuscripts, specially the Kalpa Sutra and Samghrani Sutra. The second group of paintings is those commissioned by the Mughal courts, like the Akbarnama and Tarrikh-e-Timuria. The third group of paintings belongs to the Rajasthan Pahari style of painting.
(Kapila Vatsyayan, ‘Indian Classical Dance,’ chapter ‘Kathak’)

Ashtapadi means 8 couplets in one song. The first Dasavatara varnana has 11 stanzas. Describing the 10 incarnations of Sri Krishna has become the most popular song for naatya and sung and danced in umpteen ways. Each couplet contains the story and philosophy of the incarnation culminating with a concluding line addressing each avatara. Sri Krishna is not included in the 10 incarnations; instead Jayadeva included Buddha as the ninth avatara. He identifies Krishna and Vishnu as the same, so Jayadeva addresses his oblations to Sri Krishna or Keshava.
(‘Gita Govinda’ by VP Dhananjayan, Nartanam, Aug-Oct 2007)

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