Some of the well-known interpretations of karanas are by Padma Subrahmanyam that were based on 108 brief movement phrases describing specific leg, hip, body, and arm movements accompanied by hasta mudras described in the Natya shastra and other scriptures, and from depictions of the movements in sculpture in five South Indian temples, notably the Chidambaram temple which contains depictions of the full set. Some other Bharatanatyam gurus, such as Adyar Lakshman (Kalakshetra school) and Sheela Unnikrishnan (Mangudi school), as well as the Kuchipudi guru C.R.Acharya have also attempted to reconstruct all the 108 karanas, which were often significantly different from Padma Subrahmanyam's interpretations.
Due to the significant variations in the depictions, and due to the vague textual descriptions, most traditional Bharatanatyam schools considered Padma Subrahmanyam's interpretations as incorrect, which forced her to name her own style as Bharatanrityam rather than Bharatanatyam.
Apart from that, performing of the same karana differ greatly across different classical Indian styles. Currently, as regards the exact technique, there are no established standards and no universally agreed upon interpretations of the texts and sculptures.
- ↑ "108 Karanas: The Karanas are synchronized movement of hands and feet"
- ↑ Natya Shastra translated by Manomohan Ghosh 2002 Chowkhamba Press, Varanasi ISBN 817080079X - Page 75.
- Padma Subrahmanyam, "Bharatha Natyam - Classical Dance of the Ancient Tamils. The Role of Dance Sculptures in Tamilnad (1968) P. Subrahmanyam's introduction, with pictures illustrating 108 karanas.
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