the gondali dance (1939)
'The Gondali Dance' (1939) by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri
In the interesting note on the Goṇḍalī Nṛtya (B.I.S.M.Q. June, 1939) it is pointed out that the dance originated in Karnāṭaka and was connected with the Rēṇukā cult. This is supported by some references in the works on Karnāṭaka Music. Jāyaṇa or Jāya Sēnāpati, the commander of the elephants under the King Gaṇapati of Warangal wrote two works Saṅgīta ratnāvaḷi and Nṛtya – ratnāvaḷī in 1240 A. D. In the latter work he says –
कल्याणकटके पूर्वे भूतमात्रमहोत्सवे |
सोमेश: कोतुकी काञ्चित भिल्लवेषमुपेयुषीम् |
नृत्यंतीमथ गायन्ती स्वयं प्रेक्ष्य मनोहरम् |
प्रीतो निर्मितवाश्वित्रगोण्डली बिधिमिन्यम् |
यतो भिल्ली महाराष्ट्रे गोण्डलीत्यभिधीयते ||
From this it is clear that the Bhillī dance used to be held at Kalyāṇa, the capital of the Western Cālukyas, and that Somēśvara III, Bhūlokamalla (who was a recognised authority on Music and is the author of Abhilaṣitārthacintamaṇi or Rāja – mānasollāsa) made an improvement and called it Citra Goṇḍalī, since in Mahārāṣtra it was called Goṇḍalī.
The Saṅgita – samaya – sāra of Pārśvadēva (C. 1200 A. D.) also defines Goṇḍalī dance thus –
सामान्यं नर्थनं यत्र सम्यमगीतम् प्रवर्तते |
मध्यमा कथिता तेषा गुण्ड्लीति मनीषिभि: ||
(Tr. S. S. Ch. 8. V. 183.)
A manuscript in the Mysore Oriental Library (No. 4798) mentions the following authorities:
आदिनन्दिउमाप्रोक्तं मोहनं नाट्यदर्पणम् |
संगीतकल्पवृक्षं च संगीतमणिदर्पणं |
कुण्डलीदर्पणं चोच कुण्डलीमणिदर्पणम् ||
It is probable that Kuṇḍalī – darpaṇa and Kuṇḍalī – maṇidarpaṇa also deal with this Goṇḍalī dance.
A monograph on 'The Gondali Dance' written in 1939 by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri where he traces the dance forms' early origins to Karnataka.
Gondali Dance Form (archival image)
Page 1 of 1