of the ways in which people express happiness, any where in the world is
through celebration with song and dances.
dance was first created by Lord Shiva.
Chakiarkoothu Kathak, Kathakali, Krishnanattam, Kuchipudi, Manipuri,
Mohiniattam, Odissi, Ottanthullal and Yakshagana .....What
are the names of some of the popular dance styles in India. Besides these
there are many folk dances like the "Dandia" "Garba"
and "Ras" from Gujarat, "Lavani" from Maharashtra,
"Bhangra" from Punjab, "Chhou" and "Gambhira",
folk dances of West Bengal, "Mando" a folk dance from Goa,
"Rouff"is a folk dance of Kashmir and many more.
forms of Indian dance essentially involve the graceful movement of hands
and feet according to a particular rhythm, known as taal when
music is played. Facial expressions, known as bhavam are more
pronounced in the case of the traditional forms of
One of the forms of Shiva is Nattaraj
who creates and destroys through his cosmic
his art of dancing was passed on to the human world by the yogis, Narad and Bharat
Muni. They wrote the ancient books known as the Rig Vedas. Natya Sastra
means the scicnce of dance.
In these books the authors write about the science behind dance and
dance forms are structured around the nine "rasas" or emotions
dance is divided into Nritta and Natya
is pure dance. The
rhythmic elements of the hand and feet along with the expressions of the
is the dramatic element which tells the story. Most Indian dances
take their themes from India's rich mythology and folk legends.
Thus, Indian dance is both a form of worship and an expression of man's
most profound emotions.
Sangeet Natak Academi
On May 31 1952 the government of India set up the Sangeet Natak Akademi or The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. It is the national level academy for performing arts Prestigious awards and fellowship are awarded by the academy. The functions of the academy include efforts to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in the forms of music, dance and drama.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi currently confers classical status on eight Indian dance forms
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 Dance
are several Indian dance studios in the US. Individual dance maestros
also conduct dance classes. The two most popular dances are Bharat
Natyam and Kathak. Many parents go out of their way to involve their
kids in the classes so that they can enjoy and learn the Indian culture
Indian Dance in Bollywood Movies
Indian Bollywood actresses learn Bharatnatyam, Katkak and more. Legends in
Indian cinema have performed many classical moves on celluloid. Dance in early Bollywood films, was primarily
modeled on classical Indian dance styles and particularly those of historic northern Indian courtesans (tawaif), or folk dances. Modern films often blend this earlier style with Western dance styles.
Watch and bollywood movie and you will see forms of classical dance
blended beautifully and rhythmically with modern dance steps.
number" is a dance performed in a Bollywood movie by an "item
girl" most ly not the main female lead, often completely unrelated to the main cast and plot of the
film. She performs a catchy song and dance number in the film. Helen
became the most famous of them all as an "item girl" In older films, the "item number"
was performed by a courtesan (tawaif) dancing for a rich client or as part of a cabaret show. In modern
Bollywood films, item numbers may be inserted as discotheque sequences, dancing at celebrations, or as stage shows.
are a couple of the popular dances explained briefly.
dance originated in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India.
Traditionally the Bharat Natyam is performed by women. It is mostly
performed by a solo artist. Bharata Natyam has been handed down through
the centuries by dance teachers (or gurus) called nattuwanars
and the temple dancers, called devadasis.
complete performance of this dance involves six stages. They are
Alarippu (invocation), Jathi Swaram (note combinations), Shabdam (notes
and lyrics), Varnam (a combination of pure dance and abhinaya), lighter
items like Padams and Javalis (all erotic) and finally the thillana
(again pure dance).
originated in the State of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It was
originally performed by communities of people called Kathakaras or story
tellers. Kathak is also known as Braj Raas. Both
men and women perform this dance. Music composition is based on lyrics
such as Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal and Kavitas.
contains the following comments: Thata, the opening sequence, Amad,
Paran, and finally the Tarana. A notable feature of Kathak is the
intricate footwork and the highlight of the dance is the Tahai, a
spinning movement in one spot at great speed.