Innumerable scenes of dance fill the pillars and toranas of stupas, the walls of medieval temples ranging from Rajasthan and Saurashtra to Orissa, from Kashmir to Karnataka and Kerala, and the large gopurams of South Indian temples, the platforms of the monuments at Vijayanagaram, Hampi and of the Hazararam temple.
(Kapila Vatsyayan Indian Classical Dance)
According to Dr. V Raghavan, an outstanding scholar of the 20th century, idealism (Natyadharmi) and realism (Lokadharmi) of Bharata's stage should be taken as the basic theory of Indian dance. The ancient Indian drama was of an operatic nature, produced with dance and music. There were shows in which music and dance were predominant and those which were pure dances. A solo dance by a danseuse was Lasya which depicted 10 to 12 emotional items. Hastabhinaya came to be used as a means of interpretation in Natyadharmi. All Indian dance had Nritta and Nritya as components.
('Remembering Dr. V Raghavan' by TK Venkatasubramanian, Nartanam, May Aug 2008)
The text or literary composition, which is the basis of Kathakali is called attakkatha. The first attakkatha was written by the Raja of Kottarakara who invented this art form. He was followed by Kottayam Raja and several other poets who enriched and developed the attakkatha literature by their contribution. Attakkatha-s are written in verse, never in prose, and as the passages have to be sung they are set to different ragas of music. The total number of attakkathas written so far, it is believed, will come to about 400.
(G Venu, "Abhinaya in Kathakali," Nartanam -Vol 1, #3, July Sept 2001)

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