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Drama, Sacred

(1,349 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
1. The theatrical production of a mythological story in a ritual connection before a community of believers can be designated as sacred drama. In the Christian tradition, one is familiar today with the manger play at Christmas, for instance, or the Passion of Christ as performed at Easter (recall the Spanish or Italian Good Friday processions). In many threshold rituals ( Rites of Passage) celebrated in ethnic religions, such as the initiation of a youth into the adult world, a vivid presentation of gods, demons, or spirits frequently comes into play. …

Khajurāho

(158 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] (or Kharjūravāhaka) is the name given to the temple complex of the homonymous capital of the Chandela Rajputs (princes) in the Indian federal state of Madhya Pradesh; it consists of approx. 25 Hindu (Hinduism) and Jainist (Jainism) sandstone temples. The originally 85 sacred buildings are thought to have been erected between 950 and 1050/1060. They represent the culmination of the northern Indian śikhara (temple-tower) style: small stepped towers and mock cupolas come together at the convex, upward-vaulted main tower. On the outer façades, i…

Oḍissi

(241 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] is the name of a classical dance style from the northeast Indian state of Orissa. Oḍissi mirrors the dancing figures of the temples of Bhubaneshwar, Puri, and Konarak (10th to 13th cent.) and is based on the praxis of certain (female) temple dancers (Devadāsī/Māhārī) still current, as well as on the “acrobatic” Gotipua tradition of dancing boys wearing women’s clothes. Today Oḍissi ranks almost as high as Bharata Nāṭyam, which originated in South India and was elevated to becom…

Indian Dance

(350 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] A western definition of “dance” can scarcely do justice to the manifold performing arts of India. “Dance-Theater” would be a more suitable description. In India the boundaries between dance and theater are fluid: they both make use of rhythm and stylized body movements. “Theater” involves elements of dance (Kūṭiyāṭṭam), whereas “dance” – as in Oḍissi – often involves sung text with stylized hand gestures and miming. Nāṭakam is the term used for dance-theater forms whose text is re…

Kūṭiyāṭṭam

(268 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] (“playing together”) is the only Sanskrit theater in India with an unbroken performance tradition. The stage reform implemented by King Kulaśehkhara Varman (10th or 12th cent.) is the first reliable attestation of this form of theater, whose home was the federal state of Kerala. Single acts are selected from Sanskrit plays such as Abhiṣekanāṭaka or Nāgānanda and performed by means of stylized hand gestures over several hours for up to 41 days or nights. The text is declaimed by the high-caste actors and actresses in recitative form. D…

Ostasiatischer Tanz/Ostasiatisches Theater

(440 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[English Version] . Die asiatischen Tanz-Theater(T.-Th.)-Formen haben stilisierte, die Figurenrolle definierende (Schmink-) Masken und Kostüme, z.T. mit akrobatischen Elementen versehenen Tanz, Gesang, Musik und die Dramatisierung einer Gesch. gemeinsam (indischer Tanz, Kūṭiyāṭṭam). Eine Verbindung der Bühnenspiele zu den jeweils praktizierten Rel. ist ebenfalls zu beobachten (Animismus, Buddhismus, Konfuzianismus, Schamane/Schamanin/Schamanismus, Shintoismus): Übernatürliche Ursprungsmythen,…

Oḍissi

(206 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[English Version] ist der Name eines im nordostindischen Bundesstaat Orissa beheimateten, klassisch einzustufenden Tanzstils. O. spiegelt die tanzenden Figuren der Tempel von Bhubaneshvar, Puri und Konarak (10. – 13.Jh.) wider und basiert auf der noch vorhandenen Praxis einzelner Tempeltänzerinnen (Devadāsı̄/Māhārı̄) sowie der artistisch anmutenden Gotipua-Tradition tanzender Knaben in Frauenkleidern. Heute ist O. dem in Südindien gewachsenen und zur nationalen klassischen Tanzidentität Indiens…

East Asian Dance and Theater

(521 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] in all its forms shares the use of stylized (painted) mask s and costumes that ¶ define the role of the figure, partly in combination with dance, acrobatic elements, song, music, and the dramatization of a story (Indian dance, Kūṭiyāṭṭam). A connection between stage plays and the practice of the respective religion may also be observed (Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, …

Kṛṣṇa

(714 words)

Author(s): Klostermaier, Klaus | Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Art History I. History of Religion Kṛṣṇa (Krishna) is one of the most venerated deities of Hindu tradition (Hinduism). In general usage, Kṛṣṇa means “dark blue” or “black.” Believers favor the etymology derived from the root kṛṣ-: “he who attracts all.” In their eyes, Kṛṣṇa Puruṣottama (Highest Being) is: lord, redeemer, the one who confers blessedness, who is forever united with his worshipers ( Bhakti ) in the heavenly Goloka. Kṛṣṇa's annually (following the lunar calendar) recomputed birthday (Kṛṣṇa janmāṣṭamī) is an official holi…

Mahāvīra

(502 words)

Author(s): Rospatt, Alexander v. | Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Art History I. History of Religion Mahāvīra (“Great Hero”) is the honorific epithet by which Vardhamāna, the founder of the Jain community, is commonly known. The Jains consider him to be the last in a series of 24 “ford-makers” ( tīrthaṅkara) who appear in different ages in order to proclaim and revive the true doctrine of salvation, namely Jainism. Mahāvīra actually placed himself in the tradition of Pārśva, who lived roughly two and a half centuries earlier and was venerated as the 23rd Tīrth…