How to understand a Bharat Natyam Concert

Bharata Natyam

Bharata Natyam is one of the four main classical styles in India. It developed from ritualistic dances performed in the past as offerings to the deities of Hindu temples and in a more sophisticated form in the courts by solo female dancers.
The traditionally conservative South maintained a style closely related to the type of dancing mirrored in temple sculpture during more than two thousand years of recorded movement in stone. The great wonder of Indian dance is that it can be both an act of religious devotion and a superb entertainment at the same time. In a successful performance, philosophy and human emotion blend in a subtle combination, which gives a special flavor to every sound and movement. The aural aspect of a concert is as important as the visual.

The two main categories of dance, nritta, or abstract dance for the sake of its own beauty, and nritya, an expression of a mood or story through pantomime and a rich language of gesture, are equally well represented in this style. The solo dancer presents a concert- types of dance related to specific musical forms-and she proceeds from items of abstract dance (nritta) through others which introduce portions of drama (nritya), to the culminating padas and javalis in which full attention is given to the interpretation of a poetic text through gesture and bodily expression.

The word abhinaya may be loosely translated as drama, but it is a very particular style of drama. For the most complete aesthetic experience, a performance usually requires an audience understand the poetry.

Courtesy: Kate Poursine and Rare Book Society of India

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you Kate! Please tell us more!

    • Dear, you can visit her site and find more :)) Thanks to visit here.

  2. me adarayai

    How to understand a Bharat Natyam Concert | The Biased Blog

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