Indian Dances have been
function of man's life, even from the primitive to the most cultured community.
Perhaps, before man began to speak and to paint, he began to dance. While the
culured dance for pleasure and for the expression art.
India, with its
vast variety of races and conditions has been a veritable treasure house of
dance forms for untold centuries. Most of the prevailing systems of Indian
classical dancing which are governed by elaborated techniques and shown high
degree of refinement, have had their origin in the dances of the common people,
which still survive in as virile state as ever in tribal hamlets and peasant
Some of the Indian Classical Dances are as follows:
Bharatnatyam : Of the various forms of classical dance
in India, Bharatnatyam is believed to be the oldest, because it is the form
which is based on the largest extent, on encient texts on the dance. For
centuries it was danced by Devadassis in the temples of the south India.
Movement, mime and music contribute in equal measuere to this beautiful dance
form Tamilnadu. It is a solo, feminine dance which is devotional in spirit
Highly stylized and sophisticated in its technique, Bharatnatyam is evenly
divided between nritta, pure dancem, and nritya, expressional
Kathak : A major style of
the north, Kathak, unlike Bharatnatyam, has traditionally been danced both by
men and women. The Katahk we know today is a synthesis of two streams, the
sacred and the secular. It is concended to have evolved from the simple,
devotional mimetic reaction of the Kathakars who were storytellers and
rhapsidists attached to temples in the Braj region of Uttar Pradesh the Mathura
Vrindavan area where Lord Krishna is believed to have been born.
Kathakali : Most important of the Indian dance-drama
styles is Kathakali from Kerala. This is a form of dance-drama, a performance
of which when presented in the traditional manner, lasts all night. The stories
of Kathakali are taken mostly from the celebrated epics, the Ramayana and the
Manipuri : In the north-east
of India, surrounded by undulating hills, is the beautiful valley of Manipur.
The Principal items in the Manipuri repertoire are the Ras dances, of which
there are four main types, all of which pertain to Krishna and are performed
only by womens and girls. Lyrical grace, lightness of tread and delicacy of
hand gestures set Maniouri apart from the geometric structure of Bharatnatyam
and the linear quality of Katahak. The costumes and ornaments in Ras are
colourful and glittering.
Odissi : Orissa,
on the eastern sea coast, is the home of the highly sensous and lyrical form
known as Odissi. Like Bharatnatyam, it was intended to be performed in tempels
as a religious offering. It has an intensive emotional and lyrical structure
and consists of literary compositions of the Krishna theme, the staple being
the 12th century poem Geet Govinda by Jaidev. Nritta, pure dance and nritya,
expressional dance are evenly balanced in a recital. Odissi throbs with motifs
reflecting sculpture design. inspired by temple carvings, its poses are
statuesque yet vibrant, casting an everlasting spell.
Folk Dances : The Indian folk dances is simple without
being naive, for behind its simplicity lie both profoundity conception and a
directness of expression which are of great artistic value.
people nourish a wrong notion as to the word 'FOLK' and mean that folk art is
village art bur folk comprises the common people, both inhabiting in the urban
and the rural areas, and so folk art is a common man's art.
and tribal dances ranges from simple, joyous celeberations of the seasons, of
the harvest, or the birth of a child to ritualistic dances to propitiate demons
and invole spirits. There are dances involving balancing tricks with pitchers
full of water, or jugglery with knives.
There are literally hundreds of
Indian folk and tribal dances as each ethnolinguistic group-and there are
several in every region of India-has its own stock of dances. The dances by
masked lamas in Ladhakh, Sikkim and Darjeeling and slow tempo and simulate
combat between good and eveil spirits. From the picturesque valley of Kashmir
hail Rauf, a seasonal dance in which dancers link their arms and glide forward
and backward. The Kud dance of Jammu exhibits swaying, sinuous movements.