**Abhinaya in Sattriya - Dr. Mallika Kandali**

**Dr. MALLIKA KANDALI** **Dr. MALLIKA KANDALI** is a trained Sattriya dancer and a teacher of Political Science in a Guwahati College. She takes active interest in the contemporary dance scenario in Assam. Abhinaya, an integral component of Indian classical dance tradition is also a significant part of the Sattriya repertoire in Assam. Like Kuchipudi and Kathakali traditions of the Indian classical dance, Sattriya also originated from the drama tradition. The “*ankiya nat*”, also known as “*bhaona*”, the traditional Vaishnava theatre of Assam is the foundation of Sattriya dance. This ‘*ankiya nat* or *bhaona* tradition was introduced by saint-poet Srimanta Shankaradeva(1449- 1568) as a means of propagating and popularizing Vaishnavism in the eastern part of India. After Srimanta Shankaradeva, Sri Sri Madhavadeva, his main disciple and the other apostles such as Gopal Ata, Daityari Thakur, Ramcharan Thakur and others also composed several plays in later periods. The *ankiya nat* is a

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