Styles of Indian classical dance


This is sophisticated and dynamic classical dance form of Tamilnadu. It is widely believed that the name “Bharata Natyam” means “Dance of India”. More realistic version that Bharata is the first syllables of the following words: bhava (feeling), raga (melody) and tala (rhythm). Bharatanatyam is rooted in Hindu myths and rituals. This is particularly evident in the texts selected for execution, in sculptured images of dancers in the ancient temples and in the philosophy of the dance style. Sculptures in the South Indian temples describes about how music and dance were given to people by the Gods.
Bharatanatyam – a multifaceted art form. It includes music, poetry, drama and pantomime. Nritta – the heart of the dance style, beautiful technique, and Nritya – his soul. Natya is the drama aspect of Bharatanatyam. Melody, rhythm and poetry together   are essential sources of inspiration for a dancer.


Classical dance form Odissi originated from the state of Orissa. While seeing this dance, it seems, as if temple statues came to life. Its characteristic feature is the special sculptural poses and dance movements. Odissi has ensured that the dance is a moving sculpture, and sculpture is a frozen dance. Basic postures in Odissi are: chauk, or square, and tribhanga, or three bending. The main dances in Odissi style repertoire are Mangalacharan, Batu, Pallavi and others.


The State of Manipur in north-eastern India, located in the valley of paradise beauty. Manipuri dance is usually performed by groups of dancers, but there are solo performances also. Movement of the dancer, spindle-like and circular differ astonishing grace, elegance and smoothness, body posture with clenched knees like a figure eight; face is dreamily lyrical. Costumes are unusually colorful skirts embroidered with mirrors, upper garment studded ornaments; faces translucent veil. Torso and the position of the dancer resemble the picturesque scenes on the Indian frescos. Pure dance numbers are performed in a particular raga.


Homeland of the dance style Kuchipudi – a village called Kuchelapuram in Andhra Pradesh, where the tradition of classical dance dates back to ancient times, as evidenced by the sculptures of dancers in the temples, as Amaravati. A unique charm of Kuchipudi lies in the subtle fusion of drama and classical dance with scenes from Indian epics. Abstract and representational dance are combined with a pronounced dramatic element of energetic leaps and turns, gentle movements, and full of feeling expressional eyes – all this creates an atmosphere of deep lyricism. In Kuchipudi, too, used the element of pure dance in Jatisvaram, Tillana and Tarangam.
Tarangam is a item in which a dancer is supposed to balance herself on the edges of a brass plate.


In India the narrator is called Kathak. Kathak dance form originated in the north, and the first of its performers were temple storytellers, illustrating the poem through gestures while dancing. In the era of the Mughals these dancers are being invited to the court, and Kathak received new elements, enriched by the complex rhythms that are stamping feet and different pirouettes. The dancer moves, without bending the body that allows her to do rapid pirouettes. The composition can be short or long, in slow or fast speed, and the dancer does not lose the grace and expressiveness of movements.
Kathak united and mutually enriched traditions of a Hindu temple and a Muslim palace, and in this synthesis reveals the genius of Indian people.


Sattriya Nritya or dance Sattriya one of the eight major classical dance traditions of India. Homeland of this style is the north-eastern state of Assam. According to history, Sattriya is the brainchild of the great Vaishnava Guru and follower of the Bhakti cult – Srimanta Sankardeva (XV century). He is considered to be the principal founder and creator of Assamese literature and culture. Sankardeva invented this amazing dance to accompany Ankiya Naat – a traditional form of Assamese drama, which is also his creation. Ankiya Naat is usually performed in Assamese Satra or monasteries. Originally, this dance is performed only by men – monks Bhokot. It was part of their daily ritual, as well as festive occasions. Today Sattriya dance is performed by both men and women as solo dance and in groups.


Kathakali from Kerala is usually played by a group of dancers. Traditionally Kathakali performed only by men. Special grandeur of Kathakali are costumes and make-up. Characters will know by the color of make-up. In Kathakali pure dance numbers are combined with pictorial. Enormous role played by facial expressions, movement of eyes, the eyebrows and facial muscles helps to convey different moods of the characters. To have a good understanding of the scene shown, it is necessary to know in advance the story. Kathakali uses scenes from the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.


Mohiniattam – an extraordinarily beautiful dance form from Kerala. Since ancient times, its performers were women. Curved, round movements of dance are very graceful, incredibly feminine. Mohiniattam – a dance-dedication. It’s main theme – love and devotion to the Almighty.
Repertoire of Mohiniattam closely follows the classical tradition. It begins with Cholikettu, then Jatiswaram, Varnam, Padam and Tillana.