- Odissi Dance
The Odissi dance is a blend of music and dance from the Orissa region. It was developed from the ancient tradition of Odrah Natya over 2,000 years ago. This dance on tribhang, which is the movement of the body divided into three parts: the head, chest and torso. Odissi music emphasizes lyrics from ancient Indian poems, such as Jayadev, Upendra Bhanja Kavisamrat, and Gopalkrushna. Odissi is a combination of Nrittya (interpretation dance) and Nrutya (pure dance). Themes in this dance, based on mythology and religious values, emphasize mental balance and aesthetics.
There are 5 parts of the dance:
- Mangalacharan: a prayer dance, followed by reading the sloka (ode) to the god
- Batu nrutya: a dance which follows the taala rhythm with movements taken from the Orissa
- Pallavi: elegantly dancing
- Abhinaya: the dancers sing songs in Oriya language (Sanskrit) about the love story of Krishna and Radha in a slow tempo.
- Mokshya: dances in a fast tempo that brings dancers towards closure
- Bharata Natyam Dance
Bharata Natyam Dance is the most popular dance in India and originated in Tamil Nadu, a region in southern India. This dance has been passed down for centuries by nattuwanars (teachers) and devadasis (temple dancer). It takes many years to master this dance, because dancers have to balance the movement of the hands, feet and eyes perfectly. This dance is usually performed by a female dancer. There are three elements to the dance: Nritta, Nritya, and Natya.
- Kathakali Dance
This dance originated from the southern part of India. Kathakali dancers use makeup to make themselves look like different characters: Satvik (gods), Rajasik (knight), and Tamasik (devil). The Kathakali dance is derived from the classical story of the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other Hindu mythology.
- Mohiniyattam Dance
Mohiniyattam also originated in the Kerala region. This dance tells the story of love and dedication to the gods. The basic movements of this dance are comprised of four movements: Taganam, Jaganam, Dhaganam, and Sammisram. Mohiniyattam dancers usually use white saris embroidered with gold brocade called Kasavu.
- Kuchipudi Dance
The Kuchipudi dance originated in Kuchipudi village, which is in northern India. This dance is one part of the Bhagavata Mela Natakam theatre. The actors sing and dancing this dance during the ceremony at the temple offerings. Kuchipudi dance has a freer technique compared to other Indian classical dances.
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