Acrobatic dancing has been part of Indian performing arts for as long as can be remembered, with spectacular examples recorded in almost every region of the subcontinent (for example: dollu kunitha of Karnataka, bandha nrutya and danda nata of Orissa, some of the Manipuri dances and so on). It represents a more popular, village based performance strand, often linked with ritual and/or asceticism, sometimes converging with hatha yoga, sometimes overlapping with circus style practices. The attempt to associate village acrobatics with the karanas of the Natya Sastra points to a valorization strategy aimed at classicizing these more popular forms, reabsorbing them into a pan-Indian reinvented tradition, thus providing them with a higher status. The inclusion of a handful of yogic movements, such as cakramandala, a (back) bend with both legs brought forward over the shoulders to enable rolling over, among the 108 karanas codified by the Natya Sastra was seized upon to support this validation.
(‘Dancing ancient texts and temple sculptures,’ Alessandra Lopez y Royo)

According to musicologist B.M. Sundaram, Gopalakrishna Bharathi was a good friend of Suryamurthy Nattuvanar, who was the father of the legendary Pandanallur Meenakshisundaram Pillai. They used to meet in Mayavaram frequently and enjoyed discussing the nuances of music. Suryamurthy is said to have composed the music for “Natanam Adinar.” No wonder it has stood the test of time in Bharatanatyam performances!
(‘Magic in the air,’ Lakshmi Viswanathan, The Hindu Friday Review, April 24, 2015)

The Kesari dynasty ruled Orissa for 300 years. Though there is no evidence of this in history, tradition has it that one of the kings of this dynasty was known as Nritya Kesari on account of his mastery of dance and another as Gandharva Kesari as he was an expert musician.
(‘Traditions of Indian Classical dance,’ chapter ‘Orissi’, Mohan Khokar, 1979)

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