Classical Dance

Topics: Bharatanatyam, Rukmini Devi Arundale, Indian classical dance Pages: 3 (798 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Classical Dances of India
Rewati Limaye

Dance in India, is rooted in longstanding tradition. This vast Indian sub-continent has given birth to varied forms of dancing. Each of them is shaped by the influences of a particular period and environment. These pristine forms have been preserved through the centuries, to become a part of our present culture, a living legacy which is both our pride and delight. Some of the world-famous dance forms that originated and evolved in India are Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam ,Odissi and Sattriya. All these dance forms use basically the same 'mudras' or signs of hand as a common language of expression and were originally performed in the temples to entertain various Gods and Goddesses. Various mythological tales have effectively trickled down to the present day through these art forms. 'Natya Shashtra', was propounded by Sage Bharata to assemble and forge some rules and regulations of performing arts. Bharata Muni’s Natya Shastra (400 B.C.) ii rightly the Bible of all Indian classical dance forms. Though the basic elements of Nritta and Nritya are fairly common in all the dance forms, the influence of history, region, culture and society over a long period on each dance is very predominant.

History: Bharatanatyam is the most popular of Indian dances and belongs to the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. In the past it was practiced and performed in the temples by a division of dancers known as the Devadasis and is almost 2000 years old. The kings and the princely courts patronized the temples, as well as the various traditions sustaining the dance form.

The salient features of Bharatanatyam are movements conceived in space mostly either along straight lines or triangles. In terms of geometrical designs, the dancer appears to weave a series of triangles besides several geometrical patterns.

In nritta (pure dance) to the chosen time cycle and a raga...
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