The inscriptions at the Madhikeswar temple give evidence of the practice of the devadasi tradition. According to the inscription, to entertain Lord Trikalinga Deb (Madhukeswar) at the time of bhoga, 3 daughters of one dance guru named Purnakuti were employed. His brothers were employed as the singer and pakhawaj player.
(‘Maharis: the temple dancers of Orissa’ by Aloka Kanungo, Nartanam, Apr-July 2006)

The only records in the Bible of dancing as a social amusement were those of the ungodly families described by Job xxi, 11-13, who spent their time in luxury and gaiety, and who came to a sudden destruction; and the dancing of Herodias, Matt. Xiv, 6, which led to the rash vow of  King Herod Antipas and to the murder of John the Baptist. (Wikipedia)

Vyavaharamala composed by Mayamangalam Narayanan Namboodri in 1709 AD mentions rules to be observed regarding fees of artistes to be shared during a performance. Maharaja Kartika Tirunal Balarama Varma, author of Balaramabharatam (1758-1798) said that the book had been written after a careful study of Lasya Tantra (the style of the lasya dance). Travancore palace records reveal that even as early as 1801, the palace was incurring expenditure on Mohiniattam.
(“The gracefulness of Mohiniattam” by Harsh Verma)

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