Bharatanatyam dance is a beautiful and powerful classical dance form of India that originated in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. A renowned style of dance was started in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu, which is slowly becoming popular in other parts of South India.
But, what is Bharatanatyam known for? This unique dance form is famous for its outrageous footwork and impressive gestures, including nrita, nritya, and natya.
In the term Bharatanatyam, Bha denotes Bhavam, which implies expressions, Ra-Ragam, which denotes music, Ta-talam, which denotes a beat or rhythm, and Natyam, which denotes dance in Tamil. The inheriting families of the Tanjore district were those who performed the Bharatanatyam dance, known as “Nattuvans.”
Learning Bharatanatyam online will let you learn the moves and expressions of Bharatanatyam dance from the beginning with an experienced teacher. Among the various classical dance forms of India, Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular dance forms, mostly in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The 2,000-year-old dance form was conspired to be released by the famous scholar, Lord Brahma to Bharata, who, in the long run, this traditional dance was listed in a Sanskrit text called the Natya Shastra.
The Natya Shastra is one of the primary studies on the traditional art and drama of India. ‘Nritta’ and ‘Nritya’ are the two variants into which the Natya Shastra is divided. The Nritta focuses on the study of conceptual hand gestures and movements, whereas the Nritya involves conveying emotional expressions through a complicated system of hand gestures, and body language. Online Bharatanatyam classes are a great way to learn more about Natya Shastra from the beginning.
As the temples started to originate in the state of Tamil Nadu, Bharatanatyam began to be adored and cherished in the temples of South India around 300 BCE to 300 CE. The dancers who performed in the temples known as Devadasis, were dedicated to serving the Lord as dasi or servant. Later, this became a crucial ritual in the temples of South India.
Music and instruments
The Bharatanatyam dance is performed on Carnatic classical music, where the primary musical instruments are the ‘Mridangam’ and a pair of cymbals.
Besides this, the instruments like Veena, Violin, Ghatam, and Flute are also bought into the play. The poems recited during the act are in Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada, and Telegu languages. Online platforms like Grow Inn Steps can let you learn these musical instruments and more about Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form of India.
Dress and Costumes
Just like the Hindu bride, the Bharatanatyam dancer styles and dresses elegantly. A pleated saree falls before the waist, and the cloth splits like a hand fan. This unique style of wearing the saree is mismatched with traditional jewellery that adorns her nose, ears, head, neck, and face, highlighting the eyes to polish the expressions of the performer. The pleated hairs are decorated with beautiful flowers, a jewellery belt worn around the waist, and leather straps with small metallic bells attached called ‘Ghungroos” worn at the ankles. The hands, feet, and fingers are often painted with Heena color.
The Bharatanatyam dance is usually performed in a team, where there is a solo dancer joined by musicians and singers. The art performance that is talked about in the Natya Shastra is divided into three categories: “Nritta,” “Nritya,” and “Natya” and goes along with all other Indian classical dance forms.
Whereas ‘Nritta’ involves the technical performance of the dancer, meaning showcasing the Bharatanatyam moves focuses on speed, form, pattern, range, and rhythmic parts. The “Nritya” lets the dancer communicate the story, tales, and themes through expressions and movements synchronised with musical tunes. However, in “Natyam,” a solo dancer or a group of dancers uses somebody’s moves to play some characters and communicate the message through dance-drama.
If you want to master all three elements of Natya Shastra, then you can join online Bharatanatyam classes and learn from the beginning.
Who is famous for the Bharatanatyam dance?
Poniyah, Vadivelu, Sivanandam, and Chinnaiya are the four Nattuvanaras, who are famous as Tanjaore Bandhu and are credited with shaping up the modern Bharatanatyam. The dance guru of Pandanaullur, Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai, was a popular promoter and is known for the Pandanallur School of Bharatanatyam.
During the ban of Bharatanatyam dance under colonial rule, Rukmini Devi, a scholar of the Pandanallur (Kalakshetra) style, assisted in the revival movement of classical dance. She was born and brought up in an upper-middle-class family and started learning to dance at a young age. She established the school, Kalashetra, to train people in Bharatanatyam dance. She died in 1986, but her contribution to historical culture lives on in people’s memories.
Bharatanatyam, the ancient classical dance of India, will introduce you to the culture of India. Learning Bharatanatyam dance online will also benefit you in certain health and lifestyle areas, like increasing stamina, improving concentration, and flexibility. Besides this, indulging in dance classes will also pave the way for a healthy heart.
A learning platform like Grow Inn Steps is there to let you learn this dance from the beginning by an experienced trainer. Moreover, you can clear your doubts instantly through live-interactive classes.
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