Bangalore International Centre in association with Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) had arranged an Illustrated Talk on “SATTRIYA: Classical Dance of Assam” interspersed with screening of excerpts of the dances by Monks of Monasteries at BIC on Tuesday 19th August 2014 at 6.30 PM by Dr. Sunil Kothari who is a renowned Dance Historian, Scholar, Author and Critic. Dr. Maya Rao, Internationally reputed Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Writee, Academician and Dance Curator moderated the event.
Dr. Kothari in his illustrated talk spoke about the Sattriya dance of Assam which received recognition as the 8th classical dance form by SangeetNatak Academy (SNA) only in the year 2000. He narrated the history of Sattriya Dance of Assam elaborately stating that Though performed since 600 years in the monasteries of Assam they were presented in historic All India Dance seminar in April 1958 convened by SNA in New Delhi and were brought to the notice of the world at large. Performed by the celibate monks in the Sattras, it has all the elements of a classical dance form. Its propagator Sankaradeva, a great Vaishnava saint, poet and scholar established the dance-drama form to bring harmony and peace 600 years ago in strife ridden Assam. He and his principle disciple Madhavadeva established the institution of Sattra, where instead of idol worship Sankaradeva placed a manuscript of SrimadBhagavata on a throne and established Neo-vaishnavism. Today from monasteries Sattriya dance has moved to metropolitan proscenium stages and is performed by both male and female exponents.
An appreciative audience actively interacted after the talk was over.