Venkatalakshamma, exponent of the Mysore School of Bharatanatyam, served at the Mysore Palace for 30 years from 1939 to 1969. It was Veena Bakshi Subbanna who recognised her merit and commended her as a worthy student of her renowned teacher, Jatti Thayamma (known as Natya Saraswati of Karnataka). Thus Venkatalakshamma had the honour of becoming the asthana narthaki along with four other dancers at the court of Raja Nalvadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar, the then ruler of Mysore. She had the privilege of dancing for both the coronation and wedding ceremonies of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, himself a great connoisseur, composer and patron of Samskrita, Sahitya and Sangita.
(‘Still untouched by time,’ Nandini Ramani, The Hindu, Aug 24, 2001)

During the days of Buddha, dance drama flourished, the greatest dramatist of the time being Aswaghosha, while the dancer Ambapali was also renowned at that time. By the second century AD, natya had a prominent place in the life of the people, despite having like every art, its detractors.  Outstanding among them was Manu, the Law Giver, who advised Brahmins to refrain from practising the art.
(‘Indian dancing’ by Ram Gopal & Serozh Dadachanji)

Through sculptural and epigraphical evidences, literary and textual references, it has been proved that the earliest sculpture of dancing Shiva in India created on the basis of Bharata’s Natyagama was found in the caves of Badami dating back to 570AC, which is very much earlier to Chola Nataraja sculpture which is dated 1020AC created in the times of Rajaraja Chola.
(Thesis ‘Dance and music in temple architecture,’ Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal, 1990)

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