Angika abhinaya,

Anga are the parts of the body, and that which pertains to it, is Angika.

That which manifests the inner emotions such that it is visually perceivable is Angika abhinaya.

The body language often communicates more than words.

When we have to study angikaabhinaya we refer to Anga, pratyanga   and Upanga.

Anga—refers head, neck, chest, torso and waist.

Pratyanga – refers to neck, stomach, thighs, knees back and shoulders

Upanga — refers to eyes, brows, nose, lips, chin, cheek, teeth, tongue and shoulder.

Angikaabhinaya can also be classified as

Shaka—handmovements, hand gestures, and mudras

Ankura – of the yes, neck, face and head

Nrtta, just body movement

Dasarupaka a referral text on theatre, explicitly puts, nrtya as pantomime, and Nrtta as dancing to rhythm.

Despite emerging from the same root words, Nrtta would mean body movements, while natya is the drama component, so nrtya would be a drama presented through the medium of movement, dance and mime.

Physical expressions are beautiful forms of expression. It is paradoxical in existenaces as it involves structured learning and practise but when it comes to actual implementation there are lot of interpretations that come to play.

Natyashastra describes the detailing of movement. Most people find it rather confusing when every form of classical dancing claims Natyashastra as its progenitor. How is this feasible when each form is different from the other?

The logic runs Natyashastra is text that provides a definition, for want of better word I shall call it a formula called  Shuddha, and to these local flavours add in, say in Kerala the musical accompaniment and movements would be full grandiose as it needs to stand out in the structure of the vibrancy of nature and fury of sea. While in the Tibetan dances earth colours dominate, with cymbals and wind instruments to carry the sound over the mountains. These musical changes bring out subtle modification in movement creating what is called as the Margi. Finally we have absolute folk, that is constantly re-inventing itself and that is called as the bahuchari. This explanation by the scholar Dr,Chudamani Nandagopal of the Guwhati museum makes a lot of sense.

Though we have fallen to accept the  classification of the forms as Natyadharmi or the structured classical and Lokadharmi as the free flow folk.

In the context of a classical play we accost movement, in the form of Rangakramana or the usage of stage space. There is also the interpersonal spacing of the actors and finally the Angika abhinaya or expression through body movement.

The walk and stance of the actors are also prescribed to create the precise visual of the character presented.

The practise of this form calls for tremendous stamina and skill from a performer.

The guidance for this form of expression is largely drawn from texts like Natyashastra, Dasarupaka, abhinaya darpana, hastamuktavali, Bharatarnava, sahitya ratnakara, lasyaranjana, and others.

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