Dances Of India
Throughout the world Indian dances are the ways to celebrate and offer prayers to the Gods as thanks giving to Hindu deities, Shiva, Kali and Krishna. Dances of India are well structured with nine forms such as emotions, happiness, sorrow, anger, compassion, disgust, wonder, fear, courage and peacefulness. As Indians are deeply religious, many types of dances are performed even in small happy occasions.
Most of the Indian dances are Classical which are spiritual in content. And also there are many types of Folk dances. Indian classical dances have been developed with set of rules that have to be followed traditionally over the years. The classical dancers must acquire the gracious hand and leg postures, skill of portraying emotions naturally on their face and their whole body conveys some meaning in their graceful motion.
Kathakali is a classical dance of Kerala state in India that has a history of nearly 300-year-old. The word Kathakali means a story-play, depicting with an elaborate dance of victory of truth over falsehood. The prominent features of Kathakali dance are the use of complex make-up with colourful costumes, the Kireetam or huge head gear, the ‘Kanchukam’ or the over sized jacket, and the long skirt worn over a thick padding of cushions that emphasizes the characters are from another world. Their make-up symbolizes the trained eye as godlike, r heroic, and demonic.
The kathakali dance is performed through circular movements with delicate footsteps and subtle expressions. Through slow and medium tempos, the dancer is able to find adequate space for improvisations and suggestive Kathakali classical dance motions.
World famous Bharatnatyam dance is considered as the mother art of other classical dances of India that gives inspiration to many art forms such as sculpture, icon-making and painting. Bharatnatyam dance is one of the most popular classical dances from south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most famous Bharatnatyam dance is almost has the history of 2,000 years old by gurus called nattuwanars and the temple dancers, called devadasis. Bharatnatyam dance as a belief that it was revealed by Lord Brahma to Bharata. The formation of Bharatnatyam dance consists of Jathi Swaram (note combinations), Alarippu (invocation), Shabdam (notes and lyrics), lighter items like Padams and Javalis (all erotic), Varnam (a combination of pure dance and abhinaya) and finally the thillana (again pure dance).
The Bharatanatyam dance is based on the music of Carnatic classical music with classical musical instruments like Mridangam and a pair of cymbals, Veena, Ghatam, Violin and Flute. The Bharatanatyam dancers costumes consists of Paijama or Dhoti and jacket of Kanchipuram silk and Banaras silk. Women wear a tight fitting ‘Choli’ or bodice of the same colour and material as the dhoti.
The present form of Bharatnatyam dance was evolved by Poniah Pillai of Tanjore and his brothers.
The south Indian dance Kuchipudi has its origin from Andhra Pradesh which has many features that are common to other classical dances of India such as sensuousness and fluidity of Odissi. Kuchipudi dance is both interpretive and lyrical, making use of abstract dance sequences.
The Kuchipudi dance with the combination of music, dance and acting exhibits scenes from the Hindu Epics, legends and mythological tales. Kuchipudi dance is not a solo performer, it is dance performed by number of performers where actors sing and dance themselves with the Lyrics used in Telugu. Kuchipudi dance is a blend of folk and classical style.
Because of its preservation of devotional characters with stress on dramatic outlook the Kuchipudi dance has great recognition and enjoys great popularity as one of the leading classical dance styles of India.
Kathak dance is a classical dance from Uttar Pradesh state of north india. The kathak dance is bound with Hindustani music, classical and the rhythmic liveliness of the feet accompanied by the beats of tabla. The kathak dance is performed based on the traditional stories of Radha and Krishna, in the Natwari style. During the Moghul invasion of North India, the kathak dance was developed as a court dance for Muslims. The kathak dance has less religious in content, emphasizing more dance aspect and less on abhinaya. The kathak dance does not require fixed steps to be followed performed by both men and women by changing the sequence according to the he or her aptitude and style of dancing.
Kathak dance has three styles of performing as the Banaras style, the Lucknow style, and the Jaipur style. The Kathak dance is involved with intricate compositions, complex footwork, fast spins and stylized facial expressions along with the knowledge of rhythm.
Odissi is a well established and codified classical dance of India originates from the state of Orissa as it is a great in its cultural history. Odissi is the traditional dance owes its origin to the temple dances of the Devadasis considered as dance of love, intense passion, joy, pure, divine and human. Odissi dance has the history of 11th century.
Odissi dance features Tribhangi notion that divides the body into three parts, head, bust and torso. The postures dealing with these three elements are called Tribhangi. Mudra is also an important component of Odissi dance. Odissi dance themes religious in nature that revolves around lord Krishna.
Odissi dancer wears silk saree draped in a practical and comfortable style with head ornament called the “Mathami”, on ears “Kapa”, on wrists “Kankana”.