Types of Abhinaya
are four in number and they are: Angika abhinaya, Vanchika abhinaya, Aharya abhinaya and sattvika abhinaya
This relates to body movement. How the thing is to be expressed is portrayed by movement of the anga or limbs which include facial expressions. Abhinaya has different schools with the expressions ranging from the grotesque to the understated, from the crude to the refined. Angika abhinaya forms either Padartha abhinaya or Vaakyartha abhinaya. Padartha Abhinaya is when the artiste delineates each word of the lyrics with gestures and expressions. Vaakyartha abhinaya is where the dancer acts out an entire stanza or a sentence.
This is regarding how relates to how expression is carried out through speech. It is used more overtly in drama. In music also this is employed. Traces of it are preserved in dance forms of Kuchipudi and Melattur style of Bharatanatyam where the dancers often mouth the words of the songs to support Padartha abhinaya. There are some art forms in Kerala that still has on stage art forms: Koodiyattam, Nangyar Kooothu, Ottan, Seetangan & Parayan.
The costumes and physical decorations of the actors and the theatre are other means of representation of the play. The decoration of the stage theatre which include lights and accessories related to the scene enhances the rasa between the audience and artists comes under this category.
This abhinaya is very prominent in kathakali
where there are different dress and makeup for different characters.
Sattvika Abhinaya is confused with facial expressions that belong to angika Abhinaya. This Abhinaya is the mental message, emotion or image communicated to the spectators through eyes. The dancer has to bring their own authentic experiences that would capture the attention of the audience.
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