Showing posts with label Bharatanatyam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bharatanatyam. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Bharatanatyam?

 








Kathak, Orissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Chau, and Manipuri are some of India's traditional dance styles; others include Kathak, Orissi, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Chau, and Manipuri. 




Bharatanatyam originated in the temple towns of Tamil Nadu, especially the Brhadeshvar temple in Tanjore. 


  • The deity Shiva, whose most renowned form is Nataraja, the "Lord of the Dance," is honored at this temple. 

According to legend, the name bharata is derived from an acronym of the dance's three most important elements: "bha" from bhava ("feeling"), "ra" from raga ("melodic mood"), and "ta" from tala ("rhythm"), rather than from the sage Bharata, the reputed author of the text on dance known as the Natyashastra. 

Natyam, the second word in the name, simply means "dancing." The origins of Bharatanatyam are unknown. 


Dance is referenced in two Tamil epic poems, Shilappadigaram and Manimegalai, and may be traced back to the early centuries C.E. 


  • Carvings in the Shiva temple in Kanchipuram show that this dance was highly developed during the Pallava dynasty (6th–9th centuries C.E. ), but strong evidence for organized temple dance, including devadasis (hereditary dancers), did not emerge until the Chola era (9th–14th centuries C.E.). 
  • Bharatanatyam was mainly performed in temples until the twentieth century, when it started to be performed on stage. 
  • Royal sponsorship was an essential element in its survival. 


  • The current method of the dance was established by four brothers in the service of Raja Serfoji II of Tanjore in the early nineteenth century as an aesthetic genre. 



Bharatanatyam follows a strongly geometric line in terms of style. 



  • A rigid upper torso, knees stretched outward in line with the rest of the body, and feet splayed softly outward are the most common postures. 
  • In any performance, this stance is a recurrent theme. 
  • Bharatanatyam, like other Indian dances, has a well-developed language of gestures and expressions that allows the dancer to convey intricate tales. 
  • Bharatanatyam, like most other Indian dance traditions, has been impacted by the transition in main theater from temple to stage. 
  • The shift to the stage has unavoidably disturbed some of these religious ties, despite its origins in prayer and devotion. 



Mohan Khokar's Traditions of Indian Classical Dance, published in 1984, has further information.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.