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Indian Classical Dance| static gk|

Indian Classical dance

8 classical dances :-

Governed by rules of Natyashastra

Guru-shishya tradition

Recognized by Sangeet-Natak Akademi

8 classical dances of India :

1. Bharatnatyam

2. Kuchipudi

3. Kathakali

4. Mohiniattam

5. Odissi

6. Manipuri

7. Kathak

8. Sattariya 

Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu)

• Oldest among all classical dance forms, Bharatnatyam derives its name from Bharata Muni.

• The Abhinaya Darpana by Nandikesvarais one of the main sources of study Bharatnatyam.

• Ekaharya, where one dancer takes on many roles in a single performance.

• The efforts of E. Krishna Iyer, a prominent freedom fighter, revived this dance form.

• Rukmini Devi Arundalegave the dance global recognition.

• Theme - Religious and devotional

In this dance form, equal emphasis is given on both the Tandava and Lasya aspects of dance, with major emphasis on ‘mudras’.

• The dance involves transitional movements of leg, hip and arm. Expressive eye movements and hand gestures are used to convey emotions

• Bharatnatyam is often referred to as the ‘fire dance’, as it is the manifestation of the element of fire in the human body.

Famous proponents: Yamini Krishnamurthy, Lakshmi Viswanathan, Padma Subramaniam, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Mallika Sarabhai, etc.

• Costume are made of silk saris with gold embroidery and has a lot of pleats

• Necklace, Bangles and head ornaments are used as jewelry

• Bells mounted on woven pads are worn on the feet

• Knees are bent

• Generally performance completed with chanting of shlokas

• Bharatnatyam poses are depicted on the gopurams of the Chidambaram temple (TamilNadu).

Kathak (North India) :

• It was primarily a temple or village performance wherein the dancers narrated stories from ancient scriptures, it traces its origins from the Ras Leela of Brajbhoomi

• Name is derived from Katha (story) and kathakaar (who tells stories).

• Kathak began evolving into a distinct mode of dance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with the spread of the bhakti movement.

• Under the Mughal emperors and their nobles, Kathak was performed in the court, where it acquired its present features and developed into a form of dance with a distinctive style.

• Under the patronage of Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Awadh, it grew into a major art form.

• The classical style of Kathak was revived by Lady Leela Sokhey in the 20th century.

• Jugalbandi is the main attraction of kathak recital which shows a competitive play between the dancer and the tabla player.

• Theme- Radha krishna

• Dance progresses from slow to fast pieces.

• Has Footwork & spins and includes abhinaya-expression

• Performed on Hindustani music provided by Tabla, Sitar, Santoor

• Female- lehenga choli or chudidaar kameez

• Male-bare chest and dhoti or kurta churidar 

An important feature of Kathak is the development of different gharanas as it is based on Hindustani style of music:

Lucknow: Nawab Wajid Ali Khan

Jaipur: Initiated by Bhanuji

Raigarh: Raja Chakradhar Singh

Banaras: It developed under Janaki prasad

Famous proponents:

• Birju Maharaj

• Lacchu Maharaj

• Sitara Devi

• Shovana Narayan

Kuchipudi – Andhra Pradesh :

• Kuchipudi was originally performed by group of actors going from village to village, known as Kusselavas.

• Kuchipudiderives its name from the Andhra village of Kusselavapurior Kuchelapuram village in the Krishna district

• In 17th century, SiddhendraYogi formalized and systematized the tradition.

• With the advent of Vaishnavism, the dance form became a monopoly of the male Brahmins.

• Stories of Bhagavatpurana became a central theme of the recitals.

• It is performed as dance drama i.e. performance in groups and also as solo items.

• Balasaraswatiand Ragini Devi revived this dance form.

• There is a predominance of Shringaararas.

• Solo elements in Kuchipudiare:

Mandukshabdam – Tells the story of a frog.

Tarangam – The dancer performs with his/ her feet on the edges of a brass plate and balancing a pot of water on the head or a set of diyas.

Jala Chitra Nrityam – In this item, the dancer draws pictures on the floor with his or her toes while dancing.

Famous proponents: Radha Reddy and Raja Reddy, YaminiKrishnamurthy, Indrani Rehmanetc.

Kathakali – Kerala

• Ramanattam, Koodiyattam and Krishnattam – separate dance forms - evolved and became the

source of Kathakali.

• Under the patronage of feudal lords

• Narrating episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata

• With the breakdown of the feudal set up, Kathakali started to decline as an art form. 

• It was revived in the 1930s by the famous Malayali poet V. N. Menon under the patronage of Mukunda Raja.

• Kathakali is essentially an all-male troupe performance.

• There is minimal use of prop in the Kathakali recital.

• The dancers enact the roles (kings, gods, demons etc.) of the stories with particular make-up and costume, the vocalists narrate the legend and the percussionists play the musical instruments. 

Mohiniattam - Kerala :

• Mohiniattam or the Dance of an Enchantress (‘Mohini’ was Incarnation of Lord Vishnu and ‘attam’ means dance), is essentially a solo dance performance by women.

• It was further developed by Vadivelu in 19th century and gained prominence under the rulers of Travancore in the present state of Kerala.

• After it had fallen to obscurity, the famous Malayali poet V. N. Menon revived it along with Kalyani Amma. 

• Generally narrates the story of the feminine dance of Vishnu.

• The Lasya aspect (beauty, grace) of dance is dominant in a Mohiniattam recital.

• The element of Air is symbolisedthrough a Mohiniattam performance.

Famous proponents: Sunanda Nair, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, Madhuri Amma, Jayaprabha Menon 

Odissi - Odisha

• The caves of Udayagiri-Khandagiriprovide some of the earliest examples of Odissidance.

• The dance form derives its name from the ‘Odra nritya’ mentioned in Natya Shastra.

• It was primarily practisedby the ‘maharis’ and patronisedby the Jain king Kharvela.

• Odissigained international acclaim due to the efforts of Charles Fabri and Indrani Rehman. 

• With the advent of Vaishnavism in the region, the Mahari system became defunct.

• Instead, young boys were recruited and dressed as females to continue the art form. They came to be known as ‘Gotipuas’.

Famous proponents: Minati Mishra, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra, Sonal Mansingh, Sharon Lowen(USA), Myrla Barvie (Argentina). 

• The major subjects of performance are related to incarnations of Lord Vishnu and verses of Jayadeva’

s Gita Govinda.

• Termed as ‘mobile sculpture’ it incorporates two major postures - Tribhanga (the body is deflected at the neck, torso and the knees) and Chowk (a position imitating a square). 

Sattriya - Assam :

• Sattriyadance in modern-form was introduced by the Vaishnava saint Shankaradevain the 15th

century A.D in Assam.

•The art form derives its name from the Vaishnava monasteries known as ‘Sattras’, where it was primarily practised.

• It finds mention in the ancient text ‘Natya Shastra’ of sage Bharat Muni. It is inspired from Bhakti


• The dance is generally performed in group by male monks known as ‘Bhokots’.

• In the modern times, Sattriya dance has evolved into two separate streams – the Gayan-Bhayanar

Nach and the Kharmanar Nach.

Manipuri - Manipur

• Manipuri dance form finds its mythological origin to the celestial dance of Shiva and Parvati in the valleys of Manipur.

• The dance gained prominence with the advent of Vaishnavism in 15th century.

• Then, Krishna became the central theme of this dance form. It is performed generally by females.

• RabindranthTagore brought back the dance form into limelight when he introduced it in Santiniketan.

• Manipuri dance is unique in its emphasis on devotion

• The faces are covered with a thin veil and facial expression is of lesser importance, hand gestures and gentle movement of feet are important.

• Naga Bandha mudra, in which the body is connected through curves in the shape of ‘8’ is an important posture in Manipuri dance form.

• Famous proponents:

Jhaverisisters-Nayana, Suverna, Ranjana and Darshana Guru Bipin Singh 

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