Classical dances of India have penetrated every aspect of life, but their most important role was in giving abstract religious concepts a symbolic form. Early Hindu traditions recognized the strong connection between dance and religion, and several references to dance contain descriptions of its performance in both secular and sacred settings.
In the sphere of temple sculpture, where the rigorously iconographic representation of deities frequently coexists with the portrayal of secular topics, this blending of religious and secular art is evident in classical dances of India.
The Bronze Statue of Dancing Girl from Mohanjo Daro
Crafted almost 4500 years ago, the craft of bronze statue of a dancing girl conveys one of the roots of how classical dances of India connect with deities of pre-historic India.
The figurine features a broad forehead, healthy cheeks, huge eyes, a flat nose, and curly hair. With her sensually shaped form and various bangles, we glimpse into a distant past of Indian dance.
When you start to get to know more about classical dances of India, The Mohenjo-Daro dancing girl, and the Harappan-era fractured torso both imply knowledge of dance and dance positions. The most well-known example of dancing in ancient civilization is The Dancing Girl.
Lord Shiva and Mesmerising Step of Bharatnatyam
The traditional dance of Tamil Nadu, known as Bharatanatyam, has its roots in temple dancing. It’s the earliest dancing style that tells legendary stories with a variety of hand movements and mudras.
According to Hindu legend, Lord Shiva, the Hindu ascetic yogi, and divine agent of evil annihilation created the cosmos in the form of dance. The “Ananda Tandavam” is the embodiment and expression of everlasting energy which is used to portray Shiva’s dance. It is one of the most energetic dance forms in the classical dances of India.
Kuchipudi and its devotion to Krishna
Kuchipudi is one of the classical dances of India that promotes the worship of Krishna.
According to history, Siddhendra Yogi, who is regarded as the creator of the Kuchipudi dance-drama style, was a follower of Krishna. He was raised as an orphan by kind neighbors, who later got him married. Lord Krishna requested that Siddhendra Yogi write a treatise based on the legend surrounding the delivery of the Paarijaata flower to Sathyabhaama, the loving queen of Krishna.
By fusing music, dance, and acting, Kuchipudi presents episodes from Hindu epic, folklore, and mythical tales. The major distinctive item in the Kuchipudi repertory is Taranagam, sometimes referred to as plate (made of brass) dance. In that, the dancer must dance while standing on the raised edges of a brass plate.
The art of religious storytelling by Kathak
Kathakali is pretty famous. Its birthplace is the region of southwest India which is now the state of Kerala. Traditionally focused on themes from Hindu mythology, particularly the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Kathakali is a group performance in which dancers assume diverse roles.
The intricate makeup code of Kathakali is one of its most intriguing features. According to their nature, each character is distinct. The colors used in the cosmetics are determined by this. the features of heroic masculine heroes; green, for instance.
When a character is presenting a tale through Kathak dance, pay attention to the expressive movements and facial expressions the dancers use to convey the character’s emotions (or Nava Rasa, moods) and actions. When a Kathak dancer is portraying a new persona, they will fully pivot their body to indicate this. It is a high-class theatre that tells the story with the help of vocal and instrumental music as well as stylized movements.