(Last Updated on : 27/08/2013)
Dravidian Contribution to Natyashastra
dates back to a long time. There are lots of aspects that have been contributed to various aspects of Natyashastra through the Dravadian culture. Natyashastra of Bharata
is considered the fifth Veda, thereby clearly suggesting that it was not in the original Aryan fold. Bharata and his hundred sons (evidently a clan) who staged the first drama on the occasion of Indra Dhvajotsava did not enjoy the same Vedic status as the pure Aryans
. These hints also strengthen the inference that the Dravidians
might have given their theatrical traditions to the Aryans. Natyasastra itself is said to bear an eloquent testimony to its incorporating Dravidian dramatic methods.
The technique of the Kannada theatre
, the Tamil theatre
, and the Telugu thetre
- Veethi nataka, very closely resemble the modes and technique elaborated by Natyashastra.
Looking at the variety and originality of the Dravidian metres, music and dance, one would feel that they had a richer wealth of the art of dance and drama than the Aryans. In the Aryan and non-Aryan process of mutual exchange, many a non-Aryan God and Rishi found a place in the Aryan hierarchy and so, it is not improbable that the Aryans borrowed the great theatrical traditions of the Dravidians. Once taken, they made it their own by moulding it into a new shape. In other words, the so called marga should have been evolved out of the contact with the desya. Among the significant contributions possibly made by the ancient Dravidian theatre to Sanskrit theatre
or Dramaturgy are perhaps modes of dancing and music, devotional themes and important characters like Sutradhara
and Vidhusaka. South India, and particularly Karnataka
is the home of the Bhakti movement
and the soil always had the seed of this movement centuries before the Dasas came up to preach. It is not improbable that the Aryans inculcated the Bhakti
marga and based their plays on themes of bhakti after their close contact with the Dravidians. The folk theatre of Karnataka
has still preserved some relics of such ancient performances of the Dasas.
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