Indian Classical Dance Forms

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Classical Dance Forms
♦ Sangeet Natak Akademi recognized 8 classical dance forms , They are

▲ 1. Bharatnatyam
▲ 2. Kuchipudi
▲ 3. Kathakali
▲ 4. Mohiniattam
▲ 5. Odissi
▲ 6. Manipuri
▲ 7. Kathak
▲ 8. Sattriya

♦ Whereas Ministry of Culture has recognised nine classical dance forms including Chhau.
♦ Chhau performed in Assam.

Bharatnatyam –> Tamil Nadu
• Oldest among all classical dance forms.
• Bharatanatyam, previously called Sadhir Attam.
• In Bharatnatyam ‘natyam’ means dance in Tamil.
• This dance form is often referred to as the ‘fire dance’.
• Most of the movements in Bharatnatyam resemble to that of a dancing flame.
• It expresses South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas, particularly of Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism.

Famous personalities related to Bharatnatyam
• Yamini Krishnamurthy
• Lakshmi Viswanathan
• Padma Subramaniam
• Mrinalini Sarabhai
• Mallika Sarabhai, etc

Kuchipudi –> Andhra Pradesh
• Originally performed by group of actors going from village to village, known as Kusselavas.
• Kuchipudi derives its name from the village of Kusselavapuri or Kuchelapuram in Andhra Pradesh.
• The tradition of Kuchipudi systematized by Siddhendra Yogi.
• Most of the Kuchiudi theme based on the stories of Bhagavat purana.
• The Kuchipudi dancers came to be known as Bhagavathalus.
• Kuchipudi dance generally accompanied with Carnatic music.
• Principle instrument used in this dance forms Violin and Mridgangam.

Famous personalities related to Kuchipudi
• Radha Reddy
• Raja Reddy
• Yamini Krishnamurthy
• Indrani Rahman

Kathakali –> Kerala
• ‘Katha’ meaning Story and ‘Kali’ meaning drama.
• It is closely related to Koodiyattam (Sanskrit drama tradition)
• Kathakali is generally an all male troupe performance.
• The language used for Kathakali songs is Manipravalam.
• Manipravalam. language is the mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit.

Famous personalities related to Kathakali
• Guru Kunchu Kurup
• Gopi Nath
• Kottakal Sivaraman
• Rita Ganguly

Mohiniattam — Kerala
• ‘Mohini’ meaning beautiful woman and ‘attam’ means dance.
• Solo dance performance by women.
• Mohiniattam narrates the story of the feminine dance of Vishnu.

Famous personalities related to Mohiniattam
• Sunanda Nair
• Kalamandalam Kshemavathy
• Madhuri Amma
• Jayaprabha Menon

Odissi — Odisha
• It was primarily practised by the ‘maharis’.
• and patronised by the Jain King Kheravela.
• Earliest evidence of Odissi dance form provided by the caves of Udayagiri-Khandagiri.
• The dance form derives its name from the ‘Odra nritya’ mentioned in Natya Shastra.
• Similar to Bharatnatyam in the use of Mudras and postures to express emotions.
• Odissi dance is accompanied by Hindustani classical music.
• Main instruments used are Pakhawaj (Drums), Manjira , Sitar, Flute, etc.
• The dance form symbolises the element of water.

Famous personalities related to Odissi
• Guru Pankaj Charan Das
• Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra
• Sonal Mansingh

Manipuri –> Manipur
• Krishna became the central theme of this dance form.
• It is performed generally by females.
• Rabindranath Tagore brought back the dance form into limelight when he introduced it in Shantiniketan (Birbhum,West Bengal).

Famous personalities related to Manipur
• Nayana
• Suverna
• Ranjana
• Darshana
• Guru Bipin Singha
• N Madhabi Devi

Kathak — Uttar Pradesh
• The classical style of Kathak was revived by Lady Leela Sokhey.
• Kathak is generally accompanied with dhrupad music.

Famous Personalities related to Kathak…
• Birju Maharaj
• Lacchu Maharaj
• Sitara Devi
• Damayanti Joshi

Sattriya — Assam
• Introduced by the Vaishnava Saint Sankaradeva in the 15th century AD in Assam.
• The art form derives its name from the Vaishnava monasteries known as ‘Sattras”.
• Bases on the mythological stories of Vishnu.
• The dance is generally performed in group by male monks known as ‘Bhokots.
• Main musical instrument used Khol, Manjira and Flute.

Famous Personalities related to Sattriya ..
• Moniram Dutta
• Muktiyar Barbayan
• Dr. Maheswar Neog
• Dr Bhupen Hazarika
• Ananda Mohan Bhagawati


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