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We at Kalyani Kala Mandir try to stage at least one show or performance every year which is a fusion of dance styles or music or collaboration with artists from other streams of music or styles or dance. As you all know our collaboration with Sumana Banerjee with Rabindra Sangeet was well appreciated. My interest in the fluidity and grace of Latin dance forms led me to an idea of a fusion performance. After toying with many concepts we zeroed on the central piece of all our dance performances the Heronie. At present, I have been working on choreography and music of a new show called ‘Ashtanayika’, based on the eight kinds of Heroines in Bharatnatyam dance, so I thought of sharing the concept. Nayika or the leading lady has been classified in many ways in our dance texts.

The basic eight types or the Ashta Nayikas are-

  1. Vasakasajjita: One who waits for her nayaka’s arrival, ready with all arrangements.
  2. Virahotkanthita: One who is disappointed because her nayaka has not come.
  3. Swadinapatika or Swadinabhartruta: One who is lucky to have a nayaka, who is always by her side and always listens to her.
  4. Vipralabdha: One who has been deceived by her nayaka.
  5. Kandita: One who is angry with her nayaka for having gone to the other woman. There are 3 kinds of kandita nayika:
    • Dhirai: One who coolly punishes her nayaka.
    • Atidhirai: One who cries and pleads with her nayaka.
    • Dhiradhirai: One who fights with her nayaka.
  6. Kalahantarita: One who repents for having fought with her nayaka.
  7. Prositapatika: One who is feeling lonely because her nayaka has gone out on an errand.
  8. Abhisarika: One who stealthily goes out to meet her nayaka.
    Abhisarika Nayika has further two types 

    • Abhisaarati: She is called jyotsni or sukta. She always dresses in white and goes out in bright sunlight to meet her nayaka.
    • Tamasi: She is called Nila. She always covers herself in a black veil and slips off into the darkness of the night.

Abhinaya Darpanam further classifies the the Nayika bheda as follows
The first classification in Shringara is:

  • Mugda: The one who is innocent.
  • Madhya: The one who is with medium intelligence.
  • Prakalpa: The one who is the experienced one, married, a public woman or on who belongs to another man.

There is also another classification,

  • Swiya: One who always thinks only about her own nayak, even enjoying the very thought of him.
  • Parakiya: One who enjoys the company of other men, despite being married and without her husband’s knowledge.
  • Samanya: One who trains herself in music, dance and play to entertain men. She is available to anyone merely for materialistic gain.

Yet another division of the Nayika classification is Kanyaka and Paroda.

  • Kanyaka: Here, the young girl , though beautiful and clever, is obedient to her parents and always obedient to her husband.
  • Paroda: Inspite of being a married woman and running a family with her husband, the nayika very stealthily enjoys the company of other men.

The Abhinaya Sara Samputam gives the Nayika classification as follows:

  • Uttama Nayika: Inspite of knowing that her nayaka has done her wrong, she excuses him and stays with him.
  • Madhyama Nayika: She behaves exactly like the nayak. If he shows his love, she too expresses it. If he gets angry, so does she.
  • Adhama Nayika: She is interested only to have his company, to suit her own likes and convenience. She is not bothered whether he is clever or foolish, young or old, kind hearted or rude. She only cares for his company. Even when he is soft, she is rude to him. Quite unnecessarily, she gets angry with him. Even when he pleads with her, she refuses to calm down.
  • Anya Sambhoga Dukkita Nayika: When the nayika sends her sakhi/friend to pacify the nayak and bring him to her, the sakhi instead enjoys his company and returns with lame excuses. This angry, scornful and abusive one is the anya sambhoga dukkita nayika.

As I mentioned earlier we at Kalyani Kala Mandir are in the planning stages of a very exciting project. We hope to stage is early next year. Based on the very clearly defined texts from our classical dance with the passion and energy of the Latin styles we hope to give you a unique experience!

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