Rasa: Performing the Divine in India by Susan SchwartzRasa: Performing the Divine in India by Susan Schwartz

Rasa: Performing the Divine in India

bySusan Schwartz

Paperback | August 11, 2004

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While many people outside India find the images, sounds, and practices of Indian performing arts compelling and endeavor to incorporate them into the "global" repertoire, few are aware of the central role of religious belief and practice in Indian aesthetics. Completing the trilogy that includes Darsan: Seeing the Divine and Mantra: Hearing the Divine in India and America, this volume focuses on how rasa has been applied in a range of Indian performance traditions.

"Rasa" is taste, essence, flavor. How is it possible that a word used to describe a delicious masala can also be used to critique a Bharata Natyam performance? Rasa expresses the primary goals of performing arts in India in all the major literary, philosophical, and aesthetic texts, and it provides the cornerstone of the oral traditions of transmission. It is also essential to the study and production of sculpture, architecture, and painting. Yet its primary referent is cuisine. This book articulates the religious sensibility underlying the traditional performing arts as well as other applications of rasa and examines the relationships between the arts and religion in India today.

Susan L. Schwartz is associate professor of religion and director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Asian Traditions at Muhlenberg College. She is the coauthor of The Religions of Star Trek.
Title:Rasa: Performing the Divine in IndiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:160 pages, 8.75 × 1 × 0.68 inPublished:August 11, 2004Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231131453

ISBN - 13:9780231131452


Table of Contents

PrefaceTransliteration and RomanizationA Taste of Things to ComeRASA in Theory: Text and ContextA. Etymological IngredientsB. Sources of InspirationC. A Written Recipe for the ArtsD. Influences and ImplicationsRASA in Practice: Drama, Dance, MusicA. All The Stage Is But a WorldB. Dance As MysteryBharata NatyamShringara Rasa: What Love Has to Do With ItKathakaliKathakC. Good Taste In MusicTransformations In Time And SpaceGlossaryBibliography

Editorial Reviews

Recommended to all those needing a sympathetic and intelligent introduction to the Indian performance arts and their appreciation.