Performing Arts of India

Hello, and here we go to delve into the world of performing arts again! This time around, we are going to visit the country of India and take a glimpse of their variety of arts. This time, we are going to be focusing on India’s types of dances that they have to offer. To indstart, we have the famous kathak dance, which is one of India’s ten major classical dances. The word katha, which means story telling, and relates to kathakers, the storytellers. These particular stories usually were based on epics, legends, or myths. Kathak originated in the early 1500s after raslila started to develop and merged itself with the stories to become a kathak dance. To the Hindu and Muslim, the kathak dance was known to be very elegant and sophisticated. However, it wasn’t until the 1900s when the dance had evolved with emphasization on emotions. In a kathak dance, footwork techniques can only use the ball or toe of the foot. The torso focuses on in controlling one’s shoulder line instead of the common control of the backbone and lower chest muscles. It is because of these interesting techniques that make the kathak dance unique from any of the other dances.

Another dance that is also popular throughout India is the bharatnatyam dance, which is over 2000 years old! This dance is known for one dancer to take one multiple roles in their performance, making the performance a big longer than others but extremely engaging. The bharatnatyam dance emphasizes a mime concept for the dancer to express themselves in. The performance usually starts out with alarippu, which includes a dance with sound syllables being recited. After that comes indy, which is dancing to Carnatic music. Shabdam follows this part in another dance performance. However, the varnam that comes after this is considered to be one of the most essential part to bharatnatyam. With a well-controlled rhythm, this dance tests the dancer in their skill. This part of the bharatnatyam can combine all of the characteristics of the other dances in the performance. Doing this, the choreographer also has the freedom of creativity to create their wanted message of the dance. After this, many other small dances are performed. The bharatanatyam performance is ended by the the tillana dance, which uses Hindustani music and vibrant dancing techniques to lead up to its climax. To end the overall performance, the mangalam would be performed for the blessing of the Gods.


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