Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Sattriya Classical Dances of India - Hamara Hindustan
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Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Sattriya Classical Dances of India

Indian Classical Dances

Indian has thousands of year old tradition of fine arts and classical and folk music and dances. Some of the world famous dance forms that originated and evolved in India are Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam and Odissi.
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. It eventually became a part of Natyashashtra, as propounded by sage Bharata to compile and forge some rules and regulations of entertaining arts. Lord Shiva is said to be the Natraja, meaning king of all dances. Sangeet Natak Academy has conferred classical status on eight Indian dances. These are follows.

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular classical Indian dances. Bharatanatyam is more popular in South Indian States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The music accompanying this dance is Cernatic music. It evolved out of the Devadasi system of south Indian temples. Two famous styles are Pandanallur and Tanjore. Famous dancers associated with Bharatanatyam are –E Krishna Iyer, Rukmini Devi Arundale and Anna Pavlova.

Kathak

Kathak
Kathak is one of the most important classical dances of India. Kathak is said to be derived from the word Katha, meaning the art of storytelling. The Kathak dance form originated in north India and was very similar to the Bharatanatyam dance form. In ancient India, there were kathakars or bards who used to recite religious and mythological tales to the accompaniment of music, mime and dance.
Rhythmic footwork is the most important part of this dance. It has a secular theme under Muslims and a religious theme under Hindus. Famous centres are Lucknow and Jaipur. Lucknow school depicts Mughal Court etiquette, while the Jaipur School depicts stories of Rajput kings and Gods.
Famous Exponents are Sitara Devi, Sambhu Maharaj, Uma Sharma, Shovana Naryan etc.

Kathakali

Kathakali
Kathakali is the classical dance from of Kerala. The word Kathakali literally means story play. It is known for its heavy, elaborate makeup and costumes Of Kathakali have become the most recognized icon of Kerala.
Kathakali is considered as one of the most magnificent theatres of imagination and creativity. Kathakali dance presents themes derived from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and other Hindu epics, Mythologies and legends. Famous exponents of Kathakali are Vallathol Naryan menon, Kunju Kurup, Guru Gopinath etc.

Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi
Kuchipudi is one of the classical dance forms of the South India. Kuchipudi derives its name from the Kuchipudi village of Andhra Pradesh. It combines Natya, Nritta and Nritya. Kuchipudi exhibits scenes from the Hindu epics legends and mythological tales through a combination of music, dance and acting. Like other classical dances, Kuchipudi also comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics, but it is the use of speech that distinguishes Kuchipudi’s presentation as dance drama. The Themes of Kuchipudi are related to Krishna and Rukmini stories. Famous exponents of Kuchipudi are Lakshmi Narayn Shastri, Raja and Radha Reddy, Swapana Sundari and Yamini Krishnamurti.

Manipuri

Manipuri
It is one of the major classical dances of India. Manipuri dance is indigenous to Manipur, the North-Eastern state of India. The Manipuri dance style is inextricably woven into the life pattern of Manipuri people.
The most striking part of Manipuri dance is its colourful decoration, lightness of dancing foot, delicacy of abhinaya (drama), lilting music and poetic charm. The Manipuri dance form is mostly ritualistic and draws heavily from the rich culture of the state of Manipur. Its origin is related to the Bhakti movement of the 14th and 15th century and popular themes are related to Radha-Krishna stories and love tales of Khamba-Thoibi of Meithei legends. It has become popular these days due to its colourful adornment, lightness of dancing foot, delicacy of abhinaya, lifting music and poetry, famous Exponents are Jeveri sisters, Rita Devi, Nirmala Mehta, and Guru Bipin Singh etc.      

Mohiniattam

Mohiniattam
Mohiniattam from Kerala is a solo female dance and is known for its rhythmic and unbroken flow of the body movements. Mohiniattam is derived from the words- Mohini (meaning beautiful women) and Attam (meaning dance). It developed in the traditions of Devadasi system, which later grew and developed a classical status.
Mohiniattam has the grace and elegance of Bharatanatyam and vigour of Kathakali. Famous exponents of this dance form are Kalyani Amma, Vaijayanthimala, Bharati Shivaji and Hema Malini.               

Odissi

Odissi
Odissi is one of the famous classical Indian dances from Odisha state. The history of Odissi dance is almost 2000 years old. Odissi is a highly inspired, passionate, ecstatic and sensuous form of dance. Like most of the South Indian classical dance of India, Odissi too had its origin in the Devadasi tradition. It is a graceful and sensuous dance style and involves the tribhanga (three bends) posture. Tribhanga (three bends) symbolizes the means to escape the limitations of the body. Famous dancers of Odissi are Indrani Rehman, Sonal Mansingh, Kiran Sengal, Rani Karna, Sharon Lowen and Myrta Barvie.

Sattriya

Sattriya
Sattriya dance in an Indian classical dance that originated from the state of Assam. The word Sattriya is derived from the word Sattra, because till then the dance recitals were exclusively practiced within the compounds of a sattra, a monastery like institution which was the epicenter of the Vaishnative culture. To spread this art form, Sankardev used as a tool the style of story telling through drama called the Ankia Naat, which depicted the life of lord Krishna and Lord Rama and numerous dances were included in those Ankia Naats created by him.
At later stage, his chief disciple Sri Madhavdev and other apostle created some newer numbers. The Sattriya dance can be classified into two styles, namely Paurashik Bhangi i.e. tandav or masculine style and Shtri Bhangi i.e. lasya or feminine style. This dance is governed by very strictly laid down principles in respect of hand gesture, foot works, music etc. Famous Exponents of Sattriya are Moniram Dutta, Muktiar Barbayan, Raseswar, Saikia Borbayan, Indira PP Bora, Pushpa Bhuyan and Anil Bayan.
           

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