The History of the Dance

bharatanatyam-costumeWhen considering Bharatanatyam – a widely accepted genre of Indian solo dance that is solely performed by women – there are four important aspects to become knowledgeable with. Breaking the word Bharatanatyam up into four sub-categories, following is a breakdown of the four factors:

Bha – a term derived from the word Bhava, which means emotion; temperament; sentimentality and state of body or mind;

Ra – a term derived from the word Raaga, which means music or melody; an arrangement of harmonious assemblies with melodic themes considered by Indian traditionalists as something that “colours the mind” and has an effect on the emotion of the listener;

Ta – a term derived from the word Tala, which means rhythm; clapping or tapping one’s hand as a measure of the beat.

Natyam which means rhythm, and is the Sanskrit word for “dance”.

When all four factors come together, the word Bharatanatyam is articulated throughout Hindu religious themes and spiritual ideas. It is a highly respected form of art, and could perhaps be the oldest Indian classical dance tradition.

The Indian style dance of Bharatanatyam is renowned for its legs bent, fixed torso and flexed out knees combined with remarkable floor work by the feet, accompanies by a cultured vocabulary of hands, eyes and face gestures not unlike sign language. Popular throughout Bollywood culture, Bharatanatyam is accompanied by music and a singer, with the most famous dancers being Mallika Sarabhai, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Alarmel Valli, Padma Subrahmanyam and Rukmini Devi.

Post provided by BC Admin Sharika P.