The paper deals with cultural and historical context of sattriya (sattriya), a peculiar dance style of Assam, India. Satriya is only relatively recently appeared on professional stage, and became known for the broad public in India and abroad. This dance style is based on the performing traditions developed in satras (sattras) — monasteries or religious centers of Krisna’s bhakti tradition of Assam, introduced in XV–XVI centuries by the religious reform of Srimanta Sankardeva. Traditionally performed by men, monks, now their dancing and enacting practice is moved to professional stage, is studied and propagated by girls and women. The transformation of performance in sattras and in frame of ritual into secular dance style faces various contradictions.
Keywords: Satriya, Indian performing art, history and culture of Assam, bhaki.