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Bharata Muni was an ancient Indian theatrologist and musicologist who wrote the Natya Shastra, a theoretical treatise on ancient Indian dramaturgy and histrionics, especially Sanskrit theatre. Bharata is considered the father of Indian theatrical art forms. The Nattiyam comprises 36 chapters and is possibly the creation of more than one scholar. It dates from the 2nd century BCE.
Ancient Indian dance and music find their root in the Nattiyam. Besides propounding a theory of three types of acting, Bharata discusses in detail the classical Indian vocal/instrumental music and dance integral to Tamil drama. Bharata classified Sanskrit theatrical forms (Natyam/Rupaka) into ten types, of which drama (nataka) is one. Bharata also outlines a set of rasas or moods/emotions that were to be influential in defining the nature of Indian dance, music, and theatre.
The books,"Natyasashtra" by Bharata Muni and "Abinav Darpan" by Nandikeshwar are considered to be the original sources of Bharatnatyam(an indian classical dance form).
- "Natyashastra (Indian drama treatise)". Britannica.com.
- Bharat Muni; tr. by Manomohan Ghosh (1951). "Natya Shastra (with English Translations)". Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta.
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