It all began in the 15th century, when the Brahmachari monks in the sattras, monasteries of Assam, performed Sattriya dance depicting mythological dramas in their silken attires as a daily practice and to mark special occasions.
It was only in the year 2000 that experts gave this dance form its deserved stature, calling it the eighth Indian classical dance form.
And, to shed light on this ‘lesser-known’ dance form, Dr Sunil Kothari will conduct a lecture, taking the audience through the origin of the dance form, as it trickled into the rituals of Guwahati’s urban celibate monks, and how it earned its recognition.
“In the past 10 years, Sattriya dance has become popular, with dancers performing on international stages such as Paris,” says Dr Kothari, who has done his PhD in Indian Classical in Dance Drama Traditions.
“The editor of Marg, Mulk Raj Anand, assigned me to Assam to cover Sattriya dance and its methods in my early days. It was at that time I could study the dance at length and recognise its importance. I will conduct the lecture along with Sattriya dancer Prateesha Suresh,” he adds.
“Five hundred years ago, in 1469, Sankaradev introduced the Sattriya nritya (dance) to bring equality among different religious communities in Assam. The state saw a rise in various beliefs, including tantricism and Buddhism. He wanted people to end the quarrels, and worship the Lord Krishna or Vishu and the Srimad Bhagwad Gita,” explains Dr Kothari, who will also be taking the audience through the steps to write a book on dance.
When: October 28, 6:30 pm
Where: Jnanapravaha, Queens Mansion, 3rd Floor, G Talwatkar Marg, Fort