NATYA SHASTRA: An Introduction
Author: Mrs. Nandini
Mrs. Nandini is a dance lover and teacher. She teaches multiple dance forms and is a certified Zumba instructor as well. She was my team instructor for an annual program of one of my company I have worked in.
About his article:
In this article you can find her profound love and respect to all Indian Dance forms and culture. She introduces Natya Shastra in this articles to us.
Dance is a rhythmic movement of body on music to express thoughts and feelings. Dance is like talking without uttering words with your facial expressions.
Dance has been an important part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Archaeology delivers traces of dance from prehistoric times such as the 9000-year-old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC.
Origin of Indian Dance:
Brahma wrote a thesis on Natya Veda known as Natyashastra. It contains deliberations on the different kind of postures, the hand formations and their meanings, the kind of emotions and their classifications. Thus, all the forms of Indian classical dances owe faithfulness to Natyashastra which is often regarded as the fifth Veda.
In India there are 29 traditional dance forms and 12 classical dance forms.
Traditional Dance Forms –
Dollu Kunitha (Folk Dance Of Karnataka, India)
Karakattam (folk Tamil Nadu)
Nautanki (dance form of Uttar Pradesh)
Perini shiva thandavam (dance form of Telangana)
Sambalpuri (dance from Odisha)
Sattriya ( semi-classical dance form )
Indian Classical Dances –
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
Chhau (Orrisa, West Bengal, Jharkhand)
Gaudiya Nritya (West Bengal)
Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
Thang Ta (Manipuir)
The term “classical” (Sanskrit: “Shastriya”) was introduced by Sangeet Natak Akademi to denote the Natya Shastra-based performing art styles. Classical dance performances usually feature a story. The dance is traditionally presented in a dramatic manner called ‘Nritta’, which uses “clean” facial expressions and ‘mudrā’, or hand gestures, to narrate the story and to demonstrate concepts such as particular objects, weather, aspects of nature and emotions. Classical Indian dance is also known as Natya. Natya includes singing and abhinaya (mime acting).
The Natya Shastra, written by Bharata Muni, does not mention the name of any classical dance forms recognised today, but listed the four Pravrittis as Dakshinatya, Audramagadhi, Avanti and Panchali.
Of the recognised dance forms, the only two temple dance styles that have their origin in Natya Shastra and are prescribed by the Agamas are Bharata Natyam and Odissi. Currently, Sangeet Natak Akademi does not consider the recently reconstructed dance styles of Andhra Pradesh, such as Andhra Natyam and Vilasini Natyam, as “classical.”
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Category: Slice Of Life