Bharatnatyam

Bharatnatyam originated in Tamil Nadu and the word Bharatnatyam is derived from the word "Bharata" and thus associated with the Natyashastra. Though the style of Bharatnatyam is over two thousand years old, the freshness and richness of its essence has been retained even today. The technique of human movement which Bharatnatyam follows can be traced back to the fifth Century A.D. from sculptural evidence. This classical dance has a mesmerizing effect as it uplifts the dancer and the beholder to a higher level of spiritual consciousness. It is a dancing style that comprises of Bhava, Raga, Tala, and Natya which reflect the real meaning of Bharatnatyam.

About Bharatnatyam

The origin and tradition of Bharatnatyam is appealing and enlightening. This dance form was nurtured in the temple by the Devadasis, servants of the God. It was taken to the princely courts and the Chola and the Pallava kings were believed to be the great patrons of this art. The contributions of the South Indian saint-poets and musicians cannot be ignored. Bhakti or devotional cult was infused into the tradition by these poets. The literary content of Bharatnatyam was provided by them and their musical compositions determined the repertoire of this dance form.

History

The theoretical foundations of Bharatanatyam are found in Natya Shastra, the ancient Hindu text of performance arts. Natya Shastra is attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni, and its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE. The most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters. The text, states Natalia Lidova, describes the theory of Tandava dance (Shiva), the theory of rasa, of bhāva, expression, gestures, acting techniques, basic steps, standing postures – all of which are part of Indian classical dances. Dance and performance arts, states this ancient text, are a form of expression of spiritual ideas, virtues and the essence of scriptures.

Symbolism


The solo or the sadir nritya is the direct descendant of this tradition. Besides the rich history of Bharatnatyam, another mythological tale is also attached to the origin of this dance. It is believed that Goddess Parvati taught this dance form to Usha, daughter of Banasura, a demon. Usha taught the same to the Gopikas of the city of Dwaraka, birth place of Lord Krishna. This is how the spiritual dance form Bharatnatyam was introduced to mankind.

Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam is a traditional South Indian dance from Kerala. The credit for reviving the Mohiniyattam dance in the nineteenth century goes to the Tamil nattuvanar (dance master) Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur Quartet and Swathi Thirunal. He was an enlightened ruler of Travancore (Southern Kerala) and promoted the study of Mohiniyattam. Swati Tirunal composed many of the music arrangements and vocal accompaniments that provide musical background for the Mohiniyattam dancers. The noted Malayalam poet Vallathol, who established the Kerala Kalamandalam dance school in 1930, played an important role in reviving the Mohiniyattam dance form.

About Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam is a traditional South Indian dance from Kerala. The credit for reviving the Mohiniyattam dance in the nineteenth century goes to the Tamil nattuvanar (dance master) Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur Quartet and Swathi Thirunal. He was an enlightened ruler of Travancore (Southern Kerala) and promoted the study of Mohiniyattam. Swati Tirunal composed many of the music arrangements and vocal accompaniments that provide musical background for the Mohiniyattam dancers. The noted Malayalam poet Vallathol, who established the Kerala Kalamandalam dance school in 1930, played an important role in reviving the Mohiniyattam dance form.

History

In the second story Vishnu appears as Mohini to save Lord Shiva from the demon Bhasmasura. The name Mohiniyattam may have been coined after Lord Vishnu; the main theme of the dance is love and devotion to God, with usually Vishnu or Krishna being the hero. Devadasis used to perform this in temples. It also has elements of Koothu and Kottiyattom. Mohiniyattam is a drama in dance and verse.The dance involves the swaying of broad hips and the gentle movements of erect posture from side to side. This is reminiscent of the swinging of the palm leaves and the gently flowing rivers which abound Kerala, the land of Mohiniyattam.

Symbolism

It is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms. It is considered a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress". There are two stories of the Lord Vishnu disguised as a Mohini. In one, he appears as Mohini to lure the asuras (demons) away from the amrita (nectar of immortality) obtained during the churning of the palazhi or Ocean of Milk

Kuchipudi

The Kuchipudi performance usually begins with an invocation. Then, each costumed actor is introduced, their role stated, and who then performs a short dance prelim to music (dharavu). Next, the performance presents pure dance (nritta).This is followed with expressive part of the performance (nritya), where rhythmic gestures as a sign language mime the play. Vocalists and musicians accompany the artist, with the song recited in Telugu language, and the tala and raga set to (Carnatic music).The typical musical instruments in Kuchipudi are mridangam, cymbals, veena, flute and the tambura.

About Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi is one of the eight major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village named Krishna district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Kuchipudi is a dance-drama performance art, with its roots in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra. It developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs, like all major classical dances of India.Evidence of Kuchipudi's existence in an older version are found in copper inscriptions of the 10th & 15th century such as the Machupalli Kaifat.

History

Kuchipudi, like other classical dance forms in India, traces its roots to the Natya Shastra, a foundational treatise on the performing arts attributed to the ancient scholar Bharata Muni. Its first complete compilation is dated to between 200 BCE and 200 CE, but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE. The most studied version of the Natya Shastra text consists of about 6000 verses structured into 36 chapters.

Symbolism

Kuchipudi is a team performance, with roots in Hindu religious festivals. The drama-dance involves extensive stage movements and exacting footwork, wherein the underlying drama is mimed by expressive gestures of hand (mudras), eye and face movements.The expressive style is through a sign language that follows the classical pan-Indian Sanskrit texts such as Natya Shastra, Abhinaya Darpana and Nrityararnavali.The dance is accompanied with Carnatic music, while the recital is in Telugu language.Just like the Carnatic music style, Kuchipudi shares many postures and expressive gestures with Bharatanatyam, such as the Ardhamandali (half seating position or a partial squat, legs bent or knees flexed out).

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