Governmentt support sought for Temple Dance form

Rajamahendravaram: Temple Dance, an ancient dance form is getting good response and many are showing interest to learn it. Earlier, temple dance was a must in every temple during the rule of kings and emperors. Later, it was diluted due to various reasons.

Speaking to The Hans India, noted dance teacher and a man behind the rejuvenation of temple dance Dr Sappa Durga Prasad said temple dance was in practice even from Tretayuga. Lord Sri Rama, Hanuma, Narada were also good dancers and the emperor of Lanka Ravanasura used to offer prayers to Lord Shiva by performing dance and because of it he went to Lord Shiva.

Temple dance is the mother of Kuchipudi, Bharata Natyam, Andhra Naytam, Kadhakali, Mohini Attam, Odissi etc. In earlier days, temple dance was performed before sanctum sanctorum before opening its gate and at the time of conducting yagnams. Kings and emperors continued the tradition for many years and later it was diluted for various reasons.

After conducting research for three years on temple dance steps were taken to bring past glory to this and so far at about 500 temple dance programmes were performed in the temples along with several of other programmes in the country and also in Srilanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal and Bhutan etc. Temple dance was divided as Saivagama Sastra, Vaikhanasa Agama Sastra and Pancharatra Agama Sastra. Saivagama temple dance was performed in Shivaite temples where as the latter two forms in Vaishnavite temples, he told.

Dr Sappa Durga Prasad further said after conducting research, he visited various temples across the country for the past 36 years performing temple dance programmes and propagating it. Many temple dances such as Siva Panchamukha Linga Nartana, Ahobila Nrusimha Vjjayam, Chidambara Nataraja Koutham, Yagna Nartanas such as Pancha Bhuta Avahana, Astadhikpalaka Awahana etc were performed at the temples.

Every year during auspicious Karthika Masam and Dhanur Masam temple dance programmes are being performed in Shivate and Vaishnavaite temples. Nataraja Nrutya Niketan was established many years ago in this regard he donated his properties and stayed away from marriage for the development of temple dance and other forms of traditional dances.

Durga Prasad demanded the state government to include temple dance in the curriculum, bring a non-detailed for Intermediate students exclusively on temple dance and also underlined the need to allot funds to get past glory to the ancient dance form.

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