Dancing helps kindle the energy within each one of us and propels us beyond normal levels of endurance. A disciplined approach to Dance will help you in developing stamina and strength at the very minimum and allow you to experience an exhilaration further enhanced with beats and music allowing you to move to another realm where mind and body converge.
Dancing is the prefect panacea for today’s modern living – whether it is classical dances or contemporary ones – dancing allows you to experience a full body and mind workout while exploring culture and heritage.
Quote: “The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”
–Charles Baudelaire, nineteenth century French poet, essayist and art critic.
Bharatanatyam: Bharatanatyam, is one of the most popular forms of classical Indian dance, which originated from Tamil Nadu. The dance form is a 20th century reconstruction of the art of temple dance; and as an art form deeply ground in bhakti, or devotion and is considered to be a ritualistic dance resembling the movements of a dancing flame.
Some of the major exponents of Bharatnatyam are Rukmini Devi, Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam, and Satyanarayana Raju.
Kathak: Kathak is among the most dynamic theatre arts in a dance form in the world. The word Kathak is derived from katha, meaning “the art of storytelling”. Kathak combines dance, music and mime of ancient India bringing mythological stories and epics. From its early form as a devotional expression, Kathak gradually moved out of the temples and into the courts of the rulers. Today Kathak is often combined with yoga to evolve as an important art that enshrines fitness, strength and stamina.
Famous exponents include the legendary Pdt Birju Maharaj, Pdt Chitresh Das and Guru Bandana Sen
Kathakali: Kathakali originated in Kerala and is usually a group performance, in which dancers assume various roles traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the epics. The technique is complex and includes highly intricate framework of gesture, through which the dancers convey stories. Kathakali dancer undergoes strenuous training, as a high degree of flexibility, agility and vigour is required to put up any performance.
Major exponents of Kathakali dancers are Madavoor Vasudevan Nair and Vazhenkada Vijayan
Kuchipudi: The dance form Kuchipudi evolved in Andhra Pradesh from the village Kuchelapuram. The technique in Kuchipudi makes use of fast rhythmic footwork and draws inspiration various epics and sculptures. While today Kuchipudi is often performed as a solo or a group presentation, historically it was performed as a dance drama, with several dancers taking different roles.
Kuchipudi maestro Guru Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao are one of the most celebrated exponents of this art form, other well-known artists are Natyacharya” Pasumarthy Venkateswara and the legendary Padmabhushan Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam
Manipuri originated in the idyllic hills of Manipur. The legend goes that the Gods drained a lake in this beautiful place, which has numerous lakes in order to find a place to dance. Manipuri dance is an important constituent of the heritage of Manipur and thematically most of these dances are based on the devotional theme of Krishna and Radha.
Guru Naba Kumar, Guru Bipin Singh
Mohiniaattam: his dance form originated in Kerala is similar to Bharatnatyam yet very distinct in their movements often characterized by fluid, swaying movements with eyes playing an important role in embellishing these performances. Mohiniattam is a solo dance unlike Kathakali, and portrays a range of themes from nature to mythology.
Sunanda Nair, Jayaprabha Menon, Pallavi Krishnan, Vijayalakshmi are all known for their love of this dance form and are synonymous with the dance form today.
Emerged in the temples of Orissa, Oddisi is unique dance in style and technique. The basic tenet of Odissi is the posture of tribhangi, where the body is bent in three places, mirroring a shape of a helix. This makes Odissi a dance form that requires a high degree of flexibility obtained through rigour and practice. A masterful Odissi performance is a treat for the senses, characterised by fluidity and grace with repetitive staccato movements.
Sonal Mansingh, Madhavi Mudgal, Radha Reddy and Yamini Krishnamurty, have brought much repute to the dance form and were all students of Guru Hare Krushna Behera.
While Classical Dance forms have always been well established among patrons, Contemporary Dance has found immense popularity among enthusiasts and artists who combine various dance forms to create something unique. This dance form is easily understood and appreciated by everyone, even those without an understanding of purist dance forms. Contemporary dance form breaks away from the rigour of the classic to recreate an impressionistic style which may draw from the resources of classical dance forms, folk and ballet but is essentially a free flowing, creative, dance embellished by improvisation, drama, elementary physical exercises and showmanship. Today popular themes in contemporary dances ranges from environmental matters, women’s issues and other areas of immediate social concern – making this art form immensely dynamic and imparting this dance a rapid acceptability.
Hip Hop: Hip hop is an immensely popular dance form that owes its origin to several musical art forms including jazz, rock, tap and Latino cultures. Hip hop is an energetic form of dancing and allows its dancers to improvise each step in a way that is personal yet rhythmic. Hence many enthusiasts feel that hip hop dancing should not be formally “taught” as it can impede originality of expression. However the vigorous movements that appear simple when performed often require practice and right guidance.
Salsa: Today Salsa has become synonymous with a genre of music and a vibrant form of dance that is a part of popular culture the world over. Salsa dance is a form of social dance, drawing large crowds of individual dancers and couples for special evenings in clubs and restaurants. Besides that, like most dance forms, it is a great form of exercise that provides for a perfect alternative to cardio and today many gyms have introduced Salsa to enhance work out programs and muscle toning.
Samba: Samba is popular as the dance of celebration and is traditionally performed at Carnival celebrations in Brazil. Characterized by fluid, lively and rhythmical movements, Samba is as much about showmanship and drama as it is about beautiful movements. Samba is essentially a festive dance and is often performed solo. However in recent year’s partner dancing has also become immensely popular.
Bollywood: Bollywood dance is the dance-form used in Indian films that emerged out of the Mumbai Film Industry. An intrinsic part of populist cinema, this dance is a mixture of numerous styles including Folk Dances, Belly dancing, Western popular dance forms and even some forms of erotic dancing. Today Bollywood dancing is a great leveller – bringing the whole nation together, Bollywood music and dancing is fast becoming a part of every celebration.