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Bharatanatyam Dance

Bharatanatyam Dance

Bharatanatyam is an exquisite blend of abstract dance (Nritta), dance with expressions(Nritya) and graceful expression (Natya). Proficiency in the art is attained only after several years of intensive training, at which point a student is ready to “ascend to the stage” and present a concert- length solo recital (Arangetram) to the public.

This widely appreciated dance form of Tamil Nadu (a state in Southern India) is Bharatanatyam. Previously known as Sadir, Dasiattam & Thanjavur Natyam, this dance demands unconditional and undivided dedication on the part of the performer. It is a dynamic and earthy dance style.

The contemporary form of Bharatnatyam evolved during the late 18th or early 19th century.The devadasis (girls who are dedicated to gods) dominated the Sadir. But with society losing its values, the dance form fell from its commendable position during 1910-11930s. The laudable work of E. Krishna Iyer, helped regain the popularity of the dance & it came to be known as Bharatanatyam.

Bharatanatyam dancers are predominantly women & always dance bent-kneed. It is a dance style where there is heavy emphasis on hand movements to convey various emotions. The body is visualized as if made up of triangles, one above and one below the torso. It is based upon a balanced distribution of body weight and firm positions of the lower limbs, allowing the hands to cut into a line, to flow around the body, or to take positions that enhance the basic form. A special feature of this dance form are Padams or poems on the hero-heroine theme. The performer has to be aware of the numerous subtle features of the dance style.


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