Indian Dance

An orientation ver α For Komal Sharma

“Aangikam Bhuvanamyasya Vaachikam Sarva Vaangmayam Aahaaaryam Chadrataaraadi Tam Numaha Saattvikam Shivam”
We bow to shiva whose body is the universe, whose speech is the universal language & whose ornaments are moon & stars

Being three dimensional, dance is perhaps the only art, which has the capacity to incorporate the essential elements of all the other sister arts and to become a complete,

The integration of indian culture with dance can be gauged by the fact that many avatars or depictions of popular deities like shiva, vishnu, Durga(kali) and

In "the lord of dance" are revealed both faces of dance 'lasya' and 'tandava', of which all subsequent dance forms are offshoots. 'Lasya', the dance of aesthetic delight revealed beauty, grace, love and all tender aspects of existence. 'Lasya' is the mode that defined many of Shiva's iconographic forms - KalyanaSundara, Vrashavahana, Yogeshvara, Katyavalambita, Sukhasanamurti,

The term lasya, in the context of Hindu mythology, describes an extremely feminine, graceful and fluid type of dance that the goddess Parvati performed. It was as a response to the male energy of the cosmic dance of Tandava performed by Shiva, and was performed

Tāndava or Tāndava nṛtya, the divine art form, is a dance performed by the Hindu god Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva’s Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. While the Rudra Tandava depicts his violent nature, first as the creator and later as the destroyer of the universe, even of death itself; the Ananda Tandava depicts him as the enjoyer of his creation - the universe. In Indian tradition, Lord Shiva as Nataraja (lit. "Lord of dance") is the supreme lord of dance. The Tandava takes its name from Tandu, the attendant of Shiva, who instructed Bharata (author of the Natya Shastra) in the use of Angaharas and Karanas, modes of the Tandava at Shiva's order. Some scholars consider that Tandu himself must have been the author of an earlier work on the dramatic arts, which was incorporated into the Natya Shastra. Indeed, the classical arts of dance, music and song

A cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, and the crescent moon and a skull are on his crest. He dances within an arch of flames. This dance is called the Dance of Bliss, ananda tandava. The upper right hand holds a small drum shaped like an hourglass that is called a ḍamaru in Sanskrit. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called ḍamaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "ḍamaru-hand") is used to hold the symbolizes sound originating creation. The upper left hand contains Agni or fire, which signifies destruction. The opposing concepts in the upper hands show the counterpoise of creation and destruction. The second right hand shows the Abhaya mudra (meaning fearlessness in Sanskrit), bestowing protection from both evil and ignorance to those who follow the righteousness of dharma. The second left hand points towards the raised foot which signifies upliftment and liberation. The dwarf on which Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara, which symbolises Shiva's victory over ignorance. As the Lord of Dance, Nataraja, Shiva performs the tandava, the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and resolved. Shiva's long, matted tresses, usually piled up in a knot, loosen during the dance and crash into the heavenly bodies, knocking them off course or destroying them utterly. The surrounding flames represent the

The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principal manifestations of eternal energy:

evolution support

- creation,


- preservation,


– destruction,evolution

'Tirobhava' - illusion 'Anugraha' - release,
emancipation, grace

The dance performed by Goddess Parvati in response to Shiva's Tandava is known as Lasya, in which the movements are gentle, graceful and sometimes erotic. Some scholars consider Lasya to be the feminine version of Tandava. Lasya has 2 kinds, Jarita Lasya and Yauvaka Lasya.

Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people. The criteria for being considered as classical is the style's adherence to the guidelines laid down in Natyashastra by the sage Bharata Muni, which explains the Indian art of acting. Acting or natya is a broad concept which encompasses both drama and dance.

Indian classical dance is a relatively new umbrella term for various codified art forms rooted in Natya, the sacred Hindu musical theatre styles, whose theory can be traced back to the Natya

• Dances performed inside the sanctum of the temple according to the rituals were called Agama Nartanam. This was a spiritual dance form. • Dances performed in royal courts to the accompaniment of classical music were called Carnatakam. This was an intellectual art form. • Darbari Aattam form of dance appealed more to the commoners and it educated them about their religion, culture and social life. These dances were performed outside

• For lack of any better equivalents in the European culture, the British colonial authorities called any performing art forms found in India as "Indian dance". Even though the art of Natya includes nritta, or dance proper, Natya has never been limited to dancing and includes singing, abhinaya (mime acting). These features are common to all the Indian classical styles. • A very important feature of Indian classical dances is the use of the mudra or hand gestures by the artists as a short-hand sign language to narrate a story and to demonstrate certain concepts such as

Classical Classification
• Bharatanatyam - Tamil Classical Dance • Odissi - Orissa Classical dance • Kuchipudi - Telugu Classical dance • Manipuri - Manipur Classical Dance • Mohiniaattam - Kerala Classical Dance • Sattriya - Asamese Classical Dance • Kathakali - Malayalam Classical

• Out of the 8 styles, the most ancient ones and the ones that have their origin in Agama Nartanam are Bharatanatyam and Odissi. These two most faithfully adhere to the Natya Shastra but do not include Vaachikaabhinaya (dialog acts). • Kuchipudi and Mohiniaattam are relatively recent Darbari Aatam forms, just as Kathakali, and two eastern Indian styles, Manipuri and Sattriya, that are quite similar. Kathak was influenced in the Mughal period by various other dance forms, including

• Karanas are the 108 key transitions in the classical Indian dance described in Natya Shastra. Karana is a Sanskrit verbal noun, meaning "doing". Natya Shastra states that Karanas are the framework for the "margi" (pan-Indian classical) productions which are supposed to spiritually enlighten the spectators, as opposed to the "desi" (regional folk or pop dance) productions which

• 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 gurus C.R.Acharya and Vempati Chinna Satyam have also attempted to reconstruct all the 108 karanas, which were often significantly different from Padma Subrahmanyam's interpretations.

• While there are still some elderly devadasis who perform all the 108 karanas, in most contemporary Bharatanatyam or Odissi schools only 50-60 karanas have been transmitted by parampara up to date. • 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

Bharatanatyam is a classic dance form originating in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India and is also the National Dance of India. This dance form is a 20th century reconstruction of Cathir, the art of temple dancers. Cathir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms. Bharatanatyam is usually accompanied

• It is believed to be India's oldest form of classical dance. This dance form, which is called poetry in motion, has its hoary origins in the natya sastra written about 4000 BC by sage Bharatha. This art form grossly disallows new fangled innovations or gimmicks except in repertoire and forms of presentation. It was originally called as 'dasi attam,' a temple art performed by young women named 'Devadasies.' Bharathanatyam is commonly performed by women, but sometimes by men also. There are strict guidelines laid down regarding every single aspect of the art including the attributes

BHAva (expression) RAga (musical mode) + TAla (rhythm) NATYAM (dance) = BHARATANATYAM

• Bharatanatyam, in Balasaraswati's words, is an artistic yoga for revealing the spiritual through the corporeal. It is the most popular Indian classical dance in South India, and the most ancient of all the classical dance forms. The term "Bharatanatyam" was used by Purandara Dasa (1484-1564). Later, Ghanam Krishnayyar's songs speak about a devadasi as an expert at Bharatanatyam. Subramania Bharathi also mentions Bharatanatyam. Some believe the term "Bharatanatyam" partly owes its name to sage Bharata who wrote the fundamental text on the technique of Natya, classical Indian dance theatre, traces of which persist in Bharata natyam, Odissi, Mohiniattam and Kuchipudi, and, so some extent, Kathak.  In Tamil Nadu, Natya was called Koothu, Aadal, Nrittam, Layam, Nartanam, Natam and by other names.

• According to Natya Shastra, Brahma created the Panchamaveda, the Fifth Veda (NatyaVeda), a quintessence of the main four Vedas, and gave it to Indra to have the gods (devas) to perform natya, but Indra stated, "They are neither able to receive it and to maintain it, nor they are fit to understand it and make use of it... The sages who know the mystery of the 4 Vedas and have fulfilled their vows are capable of maintaining NatyaVeda and putting it into practice". Obeying the fiat of Lord Brahma, sage Bharata wrote down Natyashastra. Bharata together with his 100 disciples and

In ancient times it was performed as dasiattam by temple Devadasis in various parts of Tamil Nadu. Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharata Natyam dance postures karanas. In fact, it is the celestial dancers, apsaras, who are depicted in many scriptures dancing the heavenly version of what is known on earth as Bharatanatyam. In the most essential sense, a Hindu deity is a revered royal guest in his temple/abode, to be offered a standard set of religious services called Sodasa Upacharas ("sixteen hospitalities") among which are music and dance, pleasing to the senses. Thus, many Hindu temples traditionally maintained complements of trained musicians and dancers, as did Indian rulers. A few believe Bharatanatyam traces its origins to the Natya Shastra written by Bharata Muni (c. 400 BCE - 200 BCE), a Hindu sage. Bharatanatyam as a dance form and carnatic music set to it are deeply grounded in Bhakti. The word 'Bharat' is made up of three Sanskrit terms: Bhaav meaning emotion, Raag meaning music, and Taal meaning rhythm. The word Natyam means drama. The two words together describe this dance form. Bharatanatyam, it is said, is the embodiment of music in visual form, a ceremony, and an act of devotion. Dance and music are inseparable forms; only with Sangeetam (words or syllables set to raga or melody) can dance be conceptualized..

• Bharatanatyam is considered to be a fire-dance — the mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human body. It is one of the five major styles (one for each element) that include Odissi (element of water), and Mohiniattam (element of air). The movements of an authentic Bharatanatyam dancer resemble the movements of a dancing flame. Contemporary Bharatanatyam is rarely practiced as Natya Yoga, a sacred meditational tradition, except by a few

Bharatanatyam is the manifestation of the ancient idea of the celebration of the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the material body. Some Bharatanatyam techniques can be traced back to the Kaisiki style. Natya Shastra (I.44) reads, "... I have seen the Kaisiki style during the dance of the blue-throated lord (Shiva). It consists of elaborate gestures (Mridu Angaharas, movements of limbs), sentiments (Rasas), emotional states (Bhavas). Actions (Kriyas) are its soul. The costume should be charmingly beautiful and love (Sringara) is its foundation. It cannot be

Apart from the Kaisiki style, Bharatanatyam imbibed some others. These reflect other yogis spiritual revelations, such as the vision of two sages, Vyagrapada and Pathanjali in Chidambaram. In Hindu mythology the whole universe is the dance of the Supreme Dancer, Nataraja, a name for Lord Shiva, the Hindu ascetic yogi and divine purveyor of destruction of evil. The symbolism of the dance of Shiva (in the form of Nataraja) is represented by the attitude called "Ananda Tandavam". Also known as the cosmic dancer, he is here the embodiment and manifestation of the eternal energy in five activities (panca-kriya): creation, pouring forth, unfolding; maintenance or duration (sthiti); destruction or taking back (smhara); concealing, veiling, hiding the transcendental essence behind the garb of apparations (tirobhava); and favoring, bestowing grace through a manifestation that accepts the devotee (anugraha). Shiva is depicted dancing on the dwarfish body of the demon Apasmara purusa, "forgetfulness, loss of memory" called in Tamil Muyalaka ( ) -- who represents ignorance, the destruction of which brings enlightenment, true wisdom, and release from the bondage of existences.


the decline of dance
• Local kings often invited temple dancers (devadasi) to dance in their courts, the occurrence of which created a new category of dancers -- rajanarthakis -- and modified the technique and themes of the recitals. A devadasi had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and offered herself (surrendered) to the Lord, but the rajanarthaki's dance was meant to be an entertainment. • Although most of the Tamil contemporary Bharatanatyam ballets are popularly viewed as a form of entertainment, the Natya Shastra-based dance styles were sacred Hindu ceremonies originally conceived in order to spiritually elevate the spectators. Bharatanatyam proper is a solo dance, with two aspects, lasya, the graceful feminine lines and movements, and tandava(Sanskrit) Ananda Thandavam (Tamil) (the dance of Shiva), masculine

• the Tanjore Court, during the rule of Maratha King Saraboji II (17981832), made a rich contribution to music and Bharatanatyam and also completed the process of re-editing the Bharathanatyam programme into its present shape with its various items. The descendants of these four brothers formed the original stock of Nattuvanars or dance teachers of Bharatanatyam in Tanjore. Originally, they formed a community by themselves and most of them were Shaivite nonbrahmins. The fall of the Hindu kingdoms in the South marked the eventual decline of Natya, as the Muslum invasion in the North has completely wiped out Natya there. The sacred dance, one of the constituents of the Sodasa

Rebirth baby I don’t know
E.Krishna Iyer was one of those who raised the social status of Bharatanatyam and greatly popularized it. Rukmini Devi Arundale was also instrumental in modifying mainly the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam and bringing it to the attention of the West. She introduced group performances and staged various Bharatanatyam-based ballets. According to Shri Sankara Menon, Rukmini Devi raised Bharatanatyam to a puritan art form, divorced from its recently controversial past by "removing objectionable elements" (mostly, the Sringara, certain emotional elements evocative of the erotic, such as hip and chest movements) from the Pandanallur style, which was publicly criticized by Balasaraswati and other representatives of the traditional devadasi culture. Not all love was portrayed, at least outside parameters considered "chaste". Balasaraswati said that "the

• While the Pandanallur style, Tanjore or Thanjavur, Vazhuvoor, Mysore, Kancheepuram were based on the art of rajadasis and are exoteric in nature, some others, like the Melattur style and Balasaraswati's style grew out of the devadasis' distinctly different esoteric art.

It is worth noting that most of the contemporary Bharatanatyam dancers do not satisfy the criteria for a professional dancers stated in the scriptures.

A class case study
Classical Technique Abhinaya or Natya - dramatic art of story-telling in Bharatanatyam Nritta - pure dance movements, as a medium of visual depiction of rhythms Nritya combination of abhinaya and nritta

• Karanas are the 108 key transitional movements that punctuate Bharatanatyam and other classical Indian dances. Most of these 108 Karanas have a central, static pose as a base, i.e. the dancer is usually supposed to stop and maintain it for a very brief

Sophisticated hell yeah
A distinctive feature of Bharata Natyam Dance is the use of expressive hand gestures as a way of communication. Hastas refers to the varieties of hand symbols that a dancer can use. Many of these hand gestures are well known. For example, Anjali is often used as a salutation when a person greets another person. There are two types of Hastas : Asamyukta and Samyukta (single and combined, respectively). Abhinayadarpanam describes 28 Asamyukta Hastas(Pataka, Tripataka, Ardhapataka, Karktarimukha, Mayuryakyo, Ardhachandrashya, Arala, Shukatundako, Mhushtishya, Shikharakhachya,Khapitya, Khatakamukhyo, Suchi, Chandrakala, Padmakosha, Sarpashiras,etc) and 24 Samyukta Hastas and their usage viniyoga, although Natya Shastra mentions many more, and the usages stated in Abhinavabharati differ considerably from

• A series of steps, adavus, and their execution vary greatly from style to style. Most schools recognize 108 principal adavus, while some styles include over 150 adavus. Few professional dancers use more than 60. A combination of adavus is called jathis, which make up the Nritta passages in a Bharatanatyam performance.

• Bharatanatyam technique includes many other elements, such as elaborate neck and eye movements. While Natya Shastra contains the largest number of the movements, and the most detailed descriptions, Abhinaya Darpanam, for instance, has defined only 9 head movements, 4 neck movement and 8 eye movements (compared with 36 of Natya Shastra) which are used extensively throughout the dance. • Head Movements (Shiro bhedas): Sama, Udhvahita, Adhomukha, Alolita,Dhutam, Kampitam, Paravruttam, Utkshiptam and Parivahitam. • Neck Movements (Griva bhedas): Sundari, Tirashchina, Parivartita, Prakampita • Eye Movements (Drishti bhedas): Sama, Alolita, Sachi, Pralokita, Nimilite, Ullokita,Anuvritta, Avalokita

The AbhinayaDarpana has a sloka that describes Patra Prana Dasha Smrutaha - the ten essentials of the dancer: Javaha (Agility), Sthirathvam (Steadiness), Rekha (graceful lines), Bhramari(balance in pirouettes), Drishti (glance), Shramaha (hard work), Medha (intelligence), Shraddha(devotion), Vacho (good speech), and Geetam (singing ability). A professional danseuse (patra), according to Abhinayadarpanam (one of the two most authoritative texts on Bharatanatyam), must possess the following qualities. She has to be youthful, slender, beautiful, with large eyes, with well-rounded breasts, selfconfident, witty, pleasing, well aware of when to dance and when to stop, able to follow the flow of songs and music, and to dance to the time (thalam), with splendid costumes, and of a happy disposition

Odissi is one of the classical dance forms of India. It is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms, and originates from the state of Orissa, in eastern India. The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra, refers to it as Odra-Magadhi. First century BCE bas-reliefs in the hills of Udaygiri (near Bhubaneshwar) testify to its antiquity. It was suppressed under the British raj but has been reconstructed since India gained independence. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of

• The Odissi tradition existed in three schools; Mahari, Nartaki, and Gotipua. Maharis were Orissan devadasis or temple girls (their name deriving from Maha (great) and ‘Nari’ or ‘Mahri’ (chosen)} particularly those at the temple of Jagganath at Puri. Early Maharis performed mainly nritta (pure dance) and abhinaya (interpretation of poetry) based on mantras & slokas, later Maharis, especially, performed dance sequences based on the lyrics of Jayadev's Gita Govinda. Bhitari gauni Maharis, were allowed in the inner temple while bahari gauni Maharis, though in the temples, were

• Mangalacharan: An invocational piece. After paying homage to Lord Jagganath a sloka (hymn) in praise of some God or Goddess is sung, the meaning of which is brought out through dance. Mangalacharan also includes the ‘bhumi pranam’, begging forgiveness of mother earth for stamping on her, and the ‘trikhandi pranam’ or threefold salutation - above the head to the Gods, in front of the face to the gurus and in front of the chest to the audience. Battu Nrutya: A dance piece offered to the Lord of dance - Lord Shiva in his ‘Batuka Bhairava’ form. This piece brings out the essence of Odissi. Pallavi: A pure dance item in which a raga is elaborated through eye movements, body postures & intricate footwork. Abhinaya: A poem telling a story conveyed to the audience through mudra or hand gestures (the language of Indian classical dance), facial expression and body movement. Dashavataar: A dance piece describing the ten incarnations of the Lord Vishnu with verses taken from the Gita Govinda. Moksha: A pure dance item with only the mardal-pakhawaj

• • • • •

• Padma Vibushan, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Pankaj Charan Das and Deba Prasad Das were some of the foremost proponents of the revived Odissi. Sanjukta Panigrahi, the great exponent of Odissi, embodied Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra's endeavour to revive the art form. Guru Surendranath Jena and his disciples, including Usha Chettur and Radhika Jha, have propagated a different style of Odissi in which the poses are moving sequences rather than static poses. The style is slower and requires great balance and

• Nartaki dance took place in the royal courts, where it was much cultivated before the British period. At that time the misuse of devadasis came under strong attack, so that Odissi dance withered in the temples and became unfashionable at court. Only the the remnants of the gotipua school remained, and the reconstruction of the style required an archaeological and anthropological effort that has

Kelucharan Mohapatra, Pankaj Charan Das, Deb Prasad Das, Mayadhar Raut, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Kum Kum Mohanty, Sonal Mansingh, Madhavi Mudgal and Protima Gauri, all contributed notably to the propagation of Odissi. The current crop of dancers includes Gangadhar Pradhan, Durga Charan Ranbir, Madhavi Mudgal, Sonal Mansingh, Ramli Ibrahim, Kiran Segal, Aruna Mohanty, Sujata Mohapatra.

Kuchipudi (

తలగ : కచపడ) (pronounced as

'Koochipoodi') is a Classical Indian dance form from Andhra Pradesh, a state of South India. Kuchipudi is the name of a small village in the Divi Taluq of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practising this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name. With the dance form attaining perfection by the time of Golconda king Abdul Hassan Tanesha, Kuchipudi brahmins are said to have received 600 acres (2.4 km²) of land as an endowment from Tanesha for the great presentation before him. Siddhendra Yogi is said to be the first scholar to give it the current form of dance drama. Bhamakalapam is one of his celebrated compositions. He also reserved the

The Dance of Vishnu

• The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a daru (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a

Kuchipudi style
The movements in Kuchipudi are quicksilver and scintillating, rounded and fleet-footed. Performed to classical Carnatic music, it shares many common elements with Bharatanatyam. In its solo exposition Kuchipudi numbers include 'jatiswaram' and 'tillana' whereas in nritya it has several lyrical compositions reflecting the desire of a devotee to merge with God - symbolically the union of the soul with the super soul. Beyond the stylistic differences of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam steps, there are certain types of dances that are unique to Kuchipudi. Specifically there is the Tarangam of Kuchipudi which is unique in that the dancer must dance upon a brass plate, placing the feet upon the raised edges. The dancer moves the plate with much balance as the indiviudal is traditionally dancing on the plate with two diyas (small oil-burning candles) in his or her hands while balancing a "kundi" (small vessel) containing water on their head. At the end of the dance, typically, the dancer extinguishes the candles and washes his or her

• Some of the well known people in this tradition are Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam,Guru Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao Vedantam Lakshminarayana, Dr. Uma Rama Rao, Tadepalli Perayya, Chinta Krishna Murthy, Vedantam Sathya Narayana Sarma, Sobha Naidu,

• It is stated that the indigenous people of the valley were the Gandharva's mentions in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dance patterns in Manipur may have a link with the Gandharva's Culture which is mythological believed to excel over all other dance forms...

Manipuri dance is one of the major Indian classical dance forms. It originates from Manipur, a state in north-eastern India on the border with Myanmar (also known as Burma). In Manipur, surrounded by mountains and geographically isolated at the meeting point of the orient and mainland India, the form developed its own

• Manipuri is the classical dance from the north East Indian state of Manipur.  Its themes are devotional and are performed on religious occasions and in temples throughout the area.  It is even often referred to as "sankirtan".  The term Manipuri actually covers a number of dance forms from the region.  The most important being the Ras Lila and the

• Ritualistic and Recreational

• The cult of Radha and Krishna, particularly the raslila, is central to its themes but the dances, unusually, incorporate the characteristic cymbals (kartal or manjira) and double-headed drum (pung or Manipuri mridang) of sankirtan into the visual performance. • Manipuri dancers do not wear ankle bells to accentuate the beats tapped out by the feet, in contrast with other Indian dance forms, and the dancers' feet never strike the ground hard. Movements of the body and feet and facial expressions in Manipuri dance are subtle and aim at devotion and

• The traditional Manipuri dance style embodies delicate, lyrical and graceful movements. The aim is to make rounded movements and avoid any jerks, sharp edges or straight lines. It is this which gives Manipuri dance its undulating and soft appearance. The feet move is viewed as part of a composite movement of the whole body. The dancer puts his or her feet down, even during vigorous steps, with the front part touching the ground first. The ankle and knee joints are effectively used as shock absorbers. The dancer’s feet are neither put down nor lifted up at the precise rhythmic points of the music but rather slightly earlier or later to express the same rhythmic points most

• A copper plate inscription credits King Khuoyi Tompok (c. 2nd century CE) with introducing drums and cymbals into Manipuri dance. However, it is unlikely that the style resembled the form known today before the introduction of Krishna bhakti in the 15th century CCE. Maharaja Bhagyachandra (r. 1759 – 1798 CE) codified the style, composed three of the five types of Ras Lilas, the Maha Ras, the Basanta Ras and the Kunja Ras, performed at the Sri Sri Govindaji temple in Imphal during his reign and also the Achouba Bhangi Pareng dance. He designed an elaborate costume known as Kumil. The Govindasangeet Lila Vilasa, an important text detailing the fundamentals of the dance, is also attributed to him.

• Maharaja Gambhir Singh (r. 1825 – 1834 CE) composed two parengs of the tandava type, the Goshtha Bhangi Pareng and the Goshtha Vrindaban Pareng. Maharaja Chandra Kirti Singh (r. 1849 – 1886 CE), a gifted drummer, composed at least 64 Pung choloms (drum dances) and two parengs of the Lasya type, the Vrindaban Bhangi Pareng

M for modern manipur and mtv
• This genre of dance became better known outside the region through the efforts of Rabindranath Tagore. In 1919, he was so impressed after seeing a dance composition, the Goshtha Lila in Sylhet (in present day Bangladesh) that he invited Guru Budhimantra Singh to Shantiniketan. In 1926, Guru Naba Kumar joined the faculty to teach the Ras Lila. Other celebrated Gurus, Senarik Singh Rajkumar, Nileshwar Mukherji and Atomba Singh were also invited to teach there and assisted

In 1954, the Manipur Dance College of Imphal (renamed Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy in 1957) started with three great exponents of the genre in its faculty; Guru Amubi Singh, the principal, Guru Amudon Sharma and Guru Atomba Singh. Later Guru Bipin Singh became the principal of the Sri Sri Govindaji Nartanalaya (later renamed Manipur State Dance College) in Imphal: Kalavati Devi and

• The musical accompaniment for Manipuri dance comes from a percussion instrument called the Pung, a singer, small cymbals, a stringed instrument called the pena and wind instrument such as a flute. The drummers are always male artistes and, after learning to play the pung, students are trained to dance with it while drumming. This dance is known as Pung cholom. The lyrics used in Manipuri are usually from the classical poetry of Jayadeva, Vidyapati, Chandidas, Govindadas or Gyandas and may be in Sanskrit, Maithili, Brij Bhasha or others.

Mohiniyattam is a traditional South Indian dance form Kerala, India. It is a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress". There are two stories of the Lord Vishnu disguised as a Mohini. In one, he appears as Mohini to lure the asuras (demons) away from the amrita (nectar of immortality) obtained during

• Mohiniyattam is a dance form said to have originated in Kerala. This classical solo dance form combines the graceful elegance of Bharatanatyam with the vigour and dynamism of Kathakali, to create a mood that is predominantly Sringara (erotic). The dance is usually performed on specially put up stages in connection with temple festivals. The hair is gathered and put up at the side of the head and adorned with jasmine,

The dance follows the classical text of Hastha Lakshanadeepik a, which has a very elaborate description of Mudras

The basic dance steps of Mohiniattam are the Adavus - Taganam, Jaganam, Dhaganam and Sammisram. Mohiniattam maintains a realistic makeup and simple dressing. .

• In the second story Vishnu appears as Mohini to save Lord Shiva from the demon Bhasmasura. The name Mohiniyattam may have been coined after Lord Vishnu, and the main theme of the dance is love and devotion to God, with usually Vishnu or Krishna being the hero. Devadasis used to perform this in temples. But it also has elements of Koothu and Kottiyattom in it. it is a drama in dance and verse. The dance which has influences and elements from two South Indian dance forms, the Bharatanatyam and Kathakali, was formulated in the court of king Swati Tirunal by Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur Quartet. The dance involves the swaying of broad hips and the gentle movements of erect posture from side to side. This is reminiscent of the swinging of the palm leaves and the gently flowing rivers which abound Kerala, the land of Mohiniyattam. There are approximately 40 different basic movements, known as 'atavukal', in Mohiniyattam.

• Mohiniyattam (the dance of the enchantress) is the gracefully elegant classical dance from with lasya as the predominant element. The dancer is dressed in white and gold. The hair is gathered and put up at the side of the head and adorned with jasmine, in the traditional style. The entire technique in Mohiniyattam is of a graceful, gliding movement of the body, a circular use of the torso and a revolving in the half-bent position with the toe and heel used in a flowing rhythmic structure.

• Swathithirunal, the king of erstwhile Travancore helped a lot to encourage and stabilize this art form. It was Vallathol, who revived it and gave it a status in modern times, through Kerala Kalamandalam. Kalamandalam Kalyaniyamma was instrumental in resuscitating this ancient art form, which is trying to acquire an identity and classical

It didn't matter that the story had begun, because Kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings

Kathakali (Malayalam: , pronounced [kət̪ʰəkəɭi]) is a highly stylised classical Indian dance-drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country's southern state of Kerala during the 16th century AD, approximately between 1555 and 1605, and has been updated over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing


• This spectacular classical dance drama of kerala based on the guidelines laid by sage bharatha's natya sastra, the ancient treatise on dance and drama, is over 500 years old. This elaborate art form is usually performed in the evenings and continues up to dawn, and is an integral part of all temple and cultural festivals in Kerala. The costumes and makeup are ornamental, elaborate and designed to give a superhuman effect. The actors do not speak or sing but enact the story through mudras (hand gestures), graceful movements and facial expressions. The themes of this awe-inspiring art are taken from India's rich and colorful mythology. Music is an essential feature of

Kathakali originated from a precursor dance-drama form called Ramanattam and owes it share of techniques also to Krishnanattam. The word "attam" means enactment. In short, these two forerunning forms to Kathakali dealt with presentation of the stories of Hindu Gods Rama and Krishna. It was Kottarakara Thampuran (1555-1605) (ruler of the south Kerala province of Kottarakkara) who composed several plays on the Ramayana, which led to the evolution of Kathakali. Today, Ramanattam is extinct, but its storyplays continue to be a part of Kathakali. Kathakali also shares a lot of similarities with Krishnanattam, Koodiyattam (a classical Sanskrit drama existing in Kerala) and Ashtapadiyattam (an adaptation of 12th-century musical called Gitagovindam). It also incorporates several other elements from traditional and ritualistic art forms like Mudiyettu, Thiyyattu, Theyyam and Padayani besides a minor share of folk arts like Porattunatakam. All along, the

Kathakali is the top of fine art
• Expressions (Natyam, the component with emphasis on facial expressions) • Dance (Nritham, the component of dance with emphasis on rhythm and movement of hands, legs and body) • Enactment (Nrithyam, the element of drama with emphasis on "mudras", which are hand gestures) • Song/vocal accompaniment (Geetha) • Instrument accompaniment (Vadyam)

Arts n aesthetic vs lit
Even though the lyrics/literature would qualify as another independent element called Sahithyam, it is considered as a component of Geetha or music, as it plays only a supplementary role to Nritham, Nrithyam and

Traditionally there are 101 classical Kathakali stories, though the commonly staged among them these days total less than onethird that number. Almost all of them were initially composed to last a whole night. Nowadays, there is increasing popularity for concise, or oftener select, versions of stories so as the performance lasts not more than three to four hours from evening. Thus, many stories find stage presentation in parts rather than totality. And the selection is based on criteria like choreographical beauty, thematic relevance/popularity or their melodramatic elements

The most popular stories enacted are Nalacharitam (a story from the Mahabharata), Duryodhana Vadham (focusing on the Mahabharata war after profiling the build-up to it), Kalyanasougandhikam, (the story of Bhima going to get flowers for his wife Panchali), Keechakavadham (another story of Bhima and Panchali, but this time during their stint in disguise), Kiratham (Arjuna and Lord Shiva's fight, from the Mahabharata), Karnashapatham (another story from the Mahabharata), Nizhalkuthu and

• these are leading Kathakali styles that differ from each other in subtleties like choreographic profile, position of hand gestures and stress on dance than drama and vice versa. Some of the major original styles included: • Vettathu Sampradayam • Kalladikkodan Sampradyam • Kaplingadu Sampradayam

• The golden period of Kathakali was from 1665 AD and 1743 AD. • Contributions made by Kaartika Thirunal, the king of Travancore, to Malayalam literature, dance and art is truly admirable. He also took efforts for popularising Kathakali among

The art
Kathakali uses the four types of abhinayas, being: Sattvika, expression of thoughts by the efforts of the mind (Rasa and Bhaava). Aangika, delivery of ideas by the movements of body parts which includes gestures., Vaacika, which represents spoken words, songs, shouts, etc., and Aharya, the dress and the presentation.

Symbols shown by hands , mudras have an important role in Kathakali. With the help of Mudras, a whole literary piece is presented as elementary notions. There are basically sixty-four basic hand poses which represent five hundred words, while the movements of the eyes shows various emotions. The simultaneous use of both of these system can be used to convey any meanings requiring elaboration of the story being enacted According to the mode of the theme, a Kathakali song expresses different Bhaava and Rasa (aesthetic delights) Characterization in Kathakali is achieved by virtue of difference in makeup and presentation. There are good and negative characters, demons and gods, wordly and unwordly role-types according to their castes, quality and nature.

Dance dance dance
A complete Kathakali performance in its true sense has the following elements in it: 1. To'dayam- the basic beginning performance; 2. Purappaadu- Introduction of the main virtuous character; 3. Tirano'kku- 'curtain look' by negative characters and demons; 4. Kummi- intro to the female character's appearance 5. Kathakali- the main play 6. Kalaasham- fast and vigorous dance which connects two pieces of play 7. The concluding dance

Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya, is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Whereas some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the Assamese Vaishnav saint Srimanta Sankardeva, in 15th century Assam. Sankardeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankiya Naat (a form of Assamese oneact plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam's monasteries are called. As the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be called

Sattriya dance has maintained a living tradition of five hundred years from the date of the great saint Sankaradeva (1449-1568), the fountainhead of the Sattriya dance of Assam. He has introduced this dance style by assimilating the classical elements, regional peculiarities and his own creativity. These dances mainly center around the Anka Dramas of Sankaradeva. Later on Sankaradeva and his successors like Madhavadeva and many other preachers of Sattra

The core of Sattriya Nritya has usually been mythological stories. This was an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings to the people in an accessible, immediate, and enjoyable manner. Traditionally, Sattriya was performed only by bhokots (male monks) in monasteries as a part of their daily rituals or to mark special festivals. Today, in addition to this practice, Sattriya is also performed on stage by men and women who are not members of the sattras, on themes not merely

Sattriya Nritya encompasses the principles required of a classical dance form: the treatises of dance and dramaturgy, like Natyashastra, Abhinaya Darpana, and Sangit Ratnakara; a distinct repertoire (marg) and the aspects of nrtta (pure dance), nrtya

Sattriya Nritya is accompanied by musical compositions called borgeets (composed by Sankardeva among others) which are based on classical ragas. The instruments that accompany a traditional performance are khols (drums), taals (cymbals), the flute. Other instruments like the violin and the harmonium have been recent additions. The dresses are usually made of pat, a type of silk produced in Assam, woven with intricate local motifs. The ornaments, too, are based on traditional

The main distinctiveness of this dance form is – dipping and bobbing of the body and the pull of gravitation. Which is called ‘Ulaha’( skt-‘Ullasa’) and this Ulaha has to be maintained in every movement. The formation of the body in basic stance or in movement creates the ‘arch shape’ (semi-circle). In most of the dance movements, the design of floor is also made in arch pattern. There is hardly any strait line in dancer’s body or in the floor

The another noticeable part of this dance is the Tandava and Lasya part. The distinct type of grace(along with costume) are prescribed for male and female characters. Although in Sattriya, Lasya part is more predominant in dance repertoire but there are some dances like Jhumura, Natuwa, etc which symbolizes the male grace (tandava). In this dance style the ‘Tandava’ as is generally understood to be associated with Shiva Tandava, is not fully here. As mentioned earlier, Krishna in the form of ‘Nata-Vara’ has to be dance in male grace. In literature part also in a ‘nandi sloka’, this

The dance follows a distinct type of music consisting raga-s and tala-s. The main instruments are Khol and cymbal although in earlier days stringed instruments like Sarengdar was used. There are above 40 raga-s in Sattriya music and about 80 more raga-s called Bondha raga-s created afterwards are in use. Likewise about 42 tala-s are in use in Sattriya music besides Bhangi Bajana. The structure and the formation of these are not akin to the present day Hindustani or Karnataki music, which suggest a separate school of music of eastern India. Scholars has opined that the style of performing Bargita a distinct type of Devotional songs of Assam is the last

In the second half of the 19th century, Sattriya Nritya emerged from the sanctum of Assam's sattras. It moved from the monastery to the metropolitan stage. The sattras had maintained certain rigid disciplines and austerities within their walls, and until the first half of the 19th century this dance style was performed in a highly ritualistic manner by male dancers alone. The classical rigidity, the strict adherence to certain principles, and the non-engagement of academic research on the dance form all contributed to the delayed recognition and acceptance of Sattriya Nritya as one of the eight classical dance forms of India. On 15 November 2000, the Sangeet Natak Akademi finally gave Sattriya Nritya its due recognition as one of the classical dance forms of India, alongside the other seven forms. However, despite its delayed inclusion within the canon of classical Indian dance, and the accompanying lack of organisational support from the Centre that that entailed, Sattriya Nritya continued through the centuries to maintain within its forms the classical exactitude and intricate detail that mark ancient art forms. One positive outcome of Sattriya Nritya's strict adherence to the principles of the sattras has been this ability to maintain its pure forms, its distinct style. Now that it has made its journey from the sanctified interiors of Assam's sattras to the demotic spaces of the world's stages, it is time for an appraisal of Sattriya Nritya's artistic and aesthetic qualities.

• Kathak is one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from northern India. This dance form traces its origins to the the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or story tellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music

The story of Kathak begins in ancient times with the performances of professional story-tellers called kathakas who recited or sang stories from epics and mythology with some elements of dance. The traditions of the kathakas were hereditary, and dances passed from generation to generation. There are literary references from the third and fourth centuries BC which refer to these kathakas. The two texts are in the archives of Kameshwar Library at Mithila.

Its form today is the product of various influences in the past: mythological tales portrayed by kathakas or ancient itinerant bards, temple and ritual dance, the bhakti movement, and Persian influence of the Mughal courts from the 16th century onwards; and the impact of these elements continues to readily discernible.

The name Kathak is derived from the Sanskrit word katha meaning story, and katthaka in Sanskrit means s/he who tells a story, or to do with stories. The name of the form is properly katthak, with the geminated dental to show a derived form, but this has since simplified to modern-day kathak. kathaa kahe so kathak is a saying many teachers pass on to their pupils, which is generally translated, 's/he who tells a story, is a kathak', but which can also be translated, 'that which tells a story,

There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Jaipur, Lucknow and Banaras (born in the courts of the Kachwaha Rajput kings, the Nawab of Oudh, and Varanasi respectively); there is also a less prominent (and later) Raigarh gharana which amalgamated technique from all three preceding

Pure Dance (Nritta) The structure of a conventional Kathak performance tends to follow a progression in tempo from slow to fast, ending with a dramatic climax. A short danced composition is known as a tukra, a longer one as a toda. There are also compositions consisting solely of footwork. Often the performer will engage in rhythmic 'play' with the time-cycle, splitting it into triplets or quintuplets for example, which will be marked out on the footwork, so that it is in counterpoint to the rhythm on the percussion. All compositions are performed so that the final step and beat of the composition lands on the 'sam' or first beat of the time-cycle. Most compositions also have 'bols' (rhythmic words) which serve both as mnemonics to the composition and whose recitation also forms an integral part of the performance. This recitation is known as padhant. Some compositions are aurally very interesting when presented this way. The bols can be borrowed from tabla (e.g. dha, ge,

Often tukras are composed to highlight specific aspects of the dance, for example gait, or use of corners and diagonals, and so on. A popular tukra type is the chakkarwala tukra, showcasing the signature spins of Kathak. Because they are generally executed on the heel, these differ from ballet's pirouettes (which are properly executed on the toe or ball of the foot). The spins usually manifest themselves at the end of the tukra, often in large numbers: five, nine, fifteen, or more, sequential spins are common. These tukras are popular with audiences because they are visually exciting

• Expressive Dance (Nritya) • Aside from the traditional expressive or abhinaya pieces performed to a bhajan, ghazal or thumri, Kathak also possesses a particular performance style of expressional pieces called bhaav bataanaa (lit. 'to show bhaav or 'feeling'). It is a mode where abhinaya dominates, and arose in the Mughal court. It is more suited to the mehfil or the darbar environment, because of the proximity of the performer to the audience, who can more easily see the nuances of the dancer's facial expression. Consequently, it translates to the modern proscenium stage with difficulty. A thumri is sung, and once the mood is set, a line from the thumri is interpreted with facial abhinaya and hand movements while seated. This continues for an indefinite period, limited only by the dancer's interpretative abilities. Shambhu Maharaj was known

Because of the linear nature of the passing of knowledge from guru to shishya, certain stylistic and technical features began to fossilise and became hallmarks of a particular school, guru or group of teachers. The different styles are known as gharanas, and these are: [edit] Lucknow Gharana The Lucknow Gharana developed in the courts of the Nawab of Oudh in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It particularly emphasises grace, elegance and naturalness in the dance. Abhinaya or expressional acting, especially improvised, plays a very strong role in this style, and Birju Maharaj, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj are or were all famed for the naturalness of and innovativeness of their abhinaya. [edit] Jaipur Gharana The Jaipur Gharana developed in the courts of the Kachchwaha kings of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Importance is placed on the more technical aspects of dance, such as complex and powerful footwork, multiple spins, and complicated compositions in different talas. There is also a greater incorporation of compositions from the pakhawaj, such as parans. [edit] Banaras Gharana The Benaras Gharana was developed by Janakiprasad. It is characterized by the exclusive use of the natwari or dance bols, which are different from the tabla and the pakhawaj bols. There are differences in the thaat and tatkaar, and chakkars are kept at a minimum but are often taken from both the right- and the left-hand sides with equal confidence. There is also a greater use of the floor, for example, in the taking of sam. Though the style developed in Benaras, it flourishes today from Bikaner. [edit] Raigarh Gharana This was established by the Maharaja Chakradhar Singh in the princely state of Raigarh in Chhatisgarh in the early 20th century. The Maharaja invited many luminaries of Kathak (as

the kathak dancer is a story-teller, not a mime. He describes the strut of a peacock, but he neither mimics nor becomes the peacock; he reproduces the essence of the movement of a character or animal, yet he neither mimics nor becomes that character or animal. He takes from each being or situation that which characterizes or symbolizes it, and puts that into dance. Throughout, it is the dancer's intention to suggest rather than to make explicit Ð and there is always room for the active participation of the imagination of the audience. The kathak dance tradition of Lucknow is undoubtedly one of India's finest cultural achievements, and with so many

The audience is equally important in the Indian art experience. The person in the audience is expected to be a rasika i.e. a person well versed in appreciating the arts, and also a 'sahridaya' or a person who has come with an intention of appreciating, learning and savouring the richness of the art..

Ambrose, Kay (1984). Classical Dances and Costumes of India. Palgrave Macmillan Bowers, Faubion(1967). The Dance in India. New York: AMS Press, Inc.. pp. 13 & 15. Nayagam, X.S. Thani (1970). Tamil Culture and Civilization. London: Asia Publishing House. pp. 120–121. Muni, Bharata. Natya Shastra, Vol.II= 2002. Varanasi: Chowkhamba Krishnadas Academy. pp. 206–207 Anand 1959, Banerji 1982 & 1986; Kothari 1989; Misra 1991; Samson 1987; Singha and Massey 1967 Khokar indian dance Manipuri by R K Singhajit Singh, Dances of India series, Wisdom Tree Kothari, Sunil (1989) Kathak: Indian Classical Dance Art, New Delhi. Kippen, James and Bel, Andreine Lucknow Kathak Dance, Bansuri, Volume 13, 1996

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