Bharatanatyam: Classical Indian Dance Form

Pages: 1 (309 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[1][2][3][4][5] This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers. Sadir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms that includes some acrobatic karanas. Bharatnatyam is usually accompanied by Carnatic music. It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of: 'Bha' - Bhavam (means expression), 'Ra' - Ragam (means music), 'Ta - Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil. A possible origin of the name is from Bharata Muni, who wrote the Natya Shastra to which Bharathanatyam owes many of its ideas. This etymology also holds up to scrutiny better since Bharathanatyam is pronounced with short (kuril) forms of "bha", "ra" and "tha" whereas each of "bhavam", "ragam" and "talam" contain the long (nedil) forms. Bharatnatyam proper is a solo dance, with two aspects, lasya, the graceful feminine lines and movements, and tandava Ananda Thandavam (Tamil) (the dance of Shiva), masculine aspect, which is identical to the Yin and Yang in the Chinese culture At present, Bharatnatyam recitals are usually not performed inside the temple shrine but outside it, and even outside the temple compounds at various festivals. Most contemporary performances are given on the stage with a live ensemble. In popular culture, the adapted, or "semi-classical", Bharatnatyam has been exposed largely through depiction in popular movies and TV programs. Learning Bharatnatyam normally takes many years before the arangetram (debut). There are academic and commercialized dance institutes in many countries. Many people choose to learn Carnatic music along with Bharatanatyam as they go together. At present, not only the Hindus but many Christians and Muslims learn it, bringing it beyond the rigid forms of religious boundaries
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