CLASSICAL DANCE OF INDIA
India offers a number of classical dance forms, each of which can be traced to different parts of the country. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people. The most popular classical styles seen on the Indian stage are Bharatanatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam of Kerala, Odissi of Orissa, Kathak of Uttar Pradesh, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh and Manipuri of Manipur. Besides these, there are several semi-classical dances that contribute to the plethora of Indian dances.
The common root of all classical dance forms can be traced to Natyasastra, ascribed to Sage Bharata who is believed to have lived between the 1st and 2nd Century AD.
Indian dance is divided into nritta - the rhythmic elements, nritya - the combination of rhythm with expression and natya - the dramatic element. Nritya is usually expressed
through the eyes, hands and facial movements. Nritya combined with nritta makes up the usual dance programmes. To appreciate natya or dance drama, one has to understand and appreciate Indian legends. Most Indian dances take their themes from India's rich mythology and folk legends. Each dance form also draws inspiration from stories depicting the life, ethics and beliefs of the Indian people.
- Jan 5, 2003
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