09 October, 2012

Back to The Roots: Essays on Performing Arts of India

Back to The Roots: Essays on Performing Arts of India

By- Jiwan Pani

Jiwan Pani was born on 13 February 1933 in a Brahmin family from Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of Orissa. From his early years he showed a keen interest in music, dance and theatre. His first poem was published when he was only fourteen years old. Later his lyrics began to be widely sung by the common man and were freely adopted by film makers. His film on the Ravanachhaya, the shadow puppet theatre of Orissa, and his video-films on the Mayurbhanj Chhau have all been widely acclaimed and are expressions of his master craftsmanship. There was no aspect of Indian art and aesthetics that he was not familiar with.

Back to the Roots is a collection of Jiwan Pani’s articles which have been put together themewise. This book reflects his wide-ranging interests: the cult of Jagannatha, an individualistic and an in-depth study of the Geetagovinda, the Oriya systems of music as the third school along with Carnatic and Hindustani, his numerous scripts for dance-dramas, tele-serials and films, his deep study and understanding of Hindu and Buddhist systems of philosophy. These articles only go to prove that Jiwan Pani was a leading scholar of traditional Indian performing arts and Indian aesthetics.

This handsome volume with numerous photographs is a celebration of the true vidwan that Jiwan Pani was.

List of Illustrations; Foreword; Dharma is Not Religoin; Yajna for the Eyes; The Doctrine of Natya Guru-Shishya Parampara; The Rasa Theory; The Six Limbs of Dance; The System and Tradition of Odissi Music; Krishna in Odissi Dance; The Tradition of Mahari Dance; Ballad Singing Traditions of Orissa; Tradition and Innovation in Odissi; Krishna in Indian Dance; Kavitt—The Poetry of Dance; Indian Folk Theatre; The Chhau Dances; Shadow Theatre: The Ancient Movie.

Jiwan Pani joined the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1970. In December 1983 he was appointed the Director of the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, and continued to hold the post until he retired in 1994. The Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi conferred on him an award for his outstanding study of the performing arts of Orissa. His in-depth studies of Chhau and Oddissi dance forms, and puppets and masks of India are truly pioneering works. In 1997 Jiwan Pani received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his Oriya translation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poems. One of the leading poets and lyricists in Oriya, he has published a collection of poems in Oriya, a monograph on the Ravanachhaya, another on the Purulia Chhau dance.

ISBN  978-81-7304-560-8   2004   124p.   Rs.495/Pounds 35

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