Indian Classical Dances – Bharatanatyam, Kathakali , Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Sattriya

By | February 5, 2015
Indian classical dance for various codified art forms rooted in sacred Hindu musical theatre styles.
Rig Veda refers to nritya (dances) and dancers. Natyashastra gave complete details about techniques and forms of dances. Indian Classical Dances Recognised by Sangeet Natak Akademi are Bharatanatyam, Kathakali , Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Sattriya, Mohiniattam and Manipuri.

Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu):

  • Bharatanatyam is a classical dance originating from Tamil Nadu. Bharatanaatyam is thought to have been created by Bharata Muni (wrote Natyashastra).
  • In ancient times Bharatanatyam dance was performed as dasiattam by mandir (Hindu temple) devadasis.
  • Bharatanatyam has three distinct elements to it viz. nritti (rhythmic dance movement), natya (mime, or dance with a dramatic aspect) and nritya(combination of nritta and natya).
  • Bharatanatyam is considered to be a fire dance.
  • The music of Bharatanatyam dance is considered to be as fire dance.
  • The music of Bharatanatyam is of carnatic style.

Kathakali (Kerla):

  • Kathakali is a form of Indian dance. It originated in Kerla during the 17th century. This dance shares a lot of similarities to both Ramanattom and Krishnanattom.
  • Kathakali name is derived from the Malayalam words katha (meaning story) and kali (meaning play). It is considered to be combination of five elements of fine art viz. natyam (expressions), nritham (dance), nrithyam (enactment), geetha (song/vocal accompaniment) and vadyam (Instrument accompaniment).
  • In Kathakali dance the language of the songs used is a mix of Malayalam and Sanskrit called Manipravaalam.
  • It is dramatic rather than narrative in nature.
  • It is the most refined and scientific dance form of Kerla.
  • Kathakali dance combines music, poetry, mime and drama.
  • It takes Hindu mythological themes.

Kathak (North India):

  • Kathak is one of the classical dance forms originally from North India. It is a narrative dance from.
  • Kathak performers today generally draw their lineage from three major schools of Kathak viz. the Jaipur gharana, The Lucknow gharana and the Banaras gharana (born in the courts of the Kachwala Rajput kings, the Nawab of awadh, and Varanasi respectively).
  • The term Katha is derived from Katha (story teller).
  • It was originally a temple dance and became court dance under the muslim rulers.

Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh):

  • Kuchipudi is a classical dance of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kuchipudi is the name of a small village in the Divi Taluq of Krishna district.
  • Kuchipudi dance is similar to Bharatanatyam.
  • Kuchipudi is essentially a solo dance.

Odissi (Odisha):

  • Odissi is considered to be the oldest form of classical dance.
  • Gita Govinda of Jayadeva dominates the poetical and musical content of Odissi dance style.

Sattriya (Assam):

  • Sattriya dance is not famous dance, this dance is known classical dance form of Assam.
  • Sattriya was emerged as medium of propagating Bhakti.

Mohiniattam (Kerla):

Mohiniattam dance is a traditional south Indian dance from Kerla.