CLASSICAL DANCE

CLASSICAL DANCE

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Indian classical dance

Indian classical dance is an umbrella term for various codified art forms rooted in sacred Hindu musical theatre styles whose theory can be traced back to the Natya Shastra of Bharata Muni (400 BCE).

Indian classical dances are performed inside the sanctum of the temple according to the rituals called Agama Nartanam. Natya Shastra classifies this type of dance form as margi, or a soul-liberating dance. Dances performed in royal courts to the accompaniment of classical music are called Carnatakam. A Hindu deity is considered a revered royal guest in his temple, and should be offered all of the "sixteen hospitalities", among which are music and dance. The "sixteen hospitalities" please the senses.

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 about good and evil. The dance is traditionally presented in a dramatic manner called nritta, which uses "clean" facial expressions and mudr?, 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). These features are common to all Indian classical styles of dance. In the margi form, Nritta is composed of karanas, while Desi nritta consists mainly of adavus.

Dance forms

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.

Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Mohiniyattam evolved from the Pravritti form called Dakshinatya.

Audramagadhi represents the regional dance of Audramagadha, comprising the territories of Anga, Banga, the northern part of Kalinga and Vatsa (Sloka is angabangautkalingavatsachaiva audramagadha). This led to the evolution of Odissi in Odisha, Satriya in Assam and Gaudiya Nritya in Bengal. Little is known about the two other forms described by Bharata Muni, Avanti and Panchali.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi has given recognition to eight Indian dance styles. The Akademi holds a Natya Sangam (festival of dance) during which dancers from other classical forms are invited to perform. Sources differ on the listing of Indian classical dance forms.Encyclopædia Britannica mentions six recognised schools. The Indian government's Ministry of Culture has increased the number of dance forms that it accepts as part of Indian classical dance repertory and provides scholarships to young performers for the study of "Indian Classical Dance/Dance Music." It currently confers classical dance status to eleven dance forms. The classical dance forms recognised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Ministry of Culture are represented below:

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