Revival ceremony of ancient Dance Drama “Ashtapadiyattam”

What: Ashtapadiyattam dance revival

Where: Guruvayur, Keral

Who: Vice President

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu on May 21, 2018 inaugurated the revival ceremony of ancient Dance Drama “Ashtapadiyattam” which is “Gita Govindam” written by 12th century poet Jayadeva, in Guruvayur, Keral.  
  • During the inauguration ceremony, the Vice President said that while the country has preserved and nurtured our illustrious artistic heritage, unfortunately, certain classical Indian art forms remain in a state of neglect and slowly fading.  
  • The Vice President said that reviving “Ashtapadiyattam” is like unearthing the buried treasure and it is like watering a plant that is fast losing its vitality. He hoped that this dance drama is revived in all its pristine glory, as Jayadeva would have wanted it, giving full justice to the costumes, the music and the mudras as used in the original performance, he added.
  • This art form, a poignant rendition of the love between Lord Krishna and Radha, written by 12th century poet Jayadeva is a remarkable piece of literature that has been adapted in various parts of  country and integrated into different dance forms like Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi and Kuchipudi.
  • It became an essential element of Sri Chaitanya’s movement in Bengal, inspired Yakshagana dances and became the genesis of an entire genre of music called “Sopana sangeetham” as Jayadeva’s ashtapadis were sung on temple stairs. Very few compositions have united India so effortlessly as this composition.
  • The performance of the Gita Govinda at Puri Jagannath by the Mahatis and later by the Goutipas was significant in the development of Odissi. The dance form was so well revered at the time that the Mahatis who performed the dance were prohibited to perform any other form of dance. It was believed that Lord Jagannath particularly enjoyed renditions and dance performances of the Gita Govinda that He liked to listen to them before sleep.   

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