Facts about Indian Classical Dances

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The total number of Classical Dances in India is eight. They are as follows.

Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam follows the principle of Natya Shastra. Rukmini Devi Arundale gave it a new life and revived it. ‘Kalakshetra' at Adayar, Chennai was established by Rukmini Devi Arundale (1936). Bharatanatyam is popularly called poetry in Motion. It is the National Dance form of India. Bharatanatyam is the dance form of the state, Tamil Nadu.

Famous personalities of Bharatanatyam

Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh, Padma Subramanyam, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Santa Rao, Indrani Rehman, T. Bala Saraswathi, Leela Samson, Chitra Vishweswaran, Mallika Sarabhai, Anjana Rajan, Purvi Sheth, Rema Shrikant etc.

Mohiniyattam

It is the Classical dance form of Kerala. The travancore ruler who encouraged this dance form is Maharaja Swathi Tirunal. Poet Vallathol revived it through Kerala Kalamandalam founded by him. The mother of Mohiniyattam is Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty (also revived Mohiniyattam)

Famous personalities of Mohiniyattam

Kalyanikkutti Amma, Thottasseri Chinnammu Amma, Kalamandalam Sathyabhama, Kanak Rele, Bharati Sivaji, Rangini Devi, Deepthi Bhalla, Sunanda Nair, Shanta Rao, Gita Nayak, Kala Devi, Hema Malini, Pallavi Krishnan.

Manipuri

Manipuri dance is one among the chief Indian classical dance forms. Manipuri dance is mostly ritualistic and popular in the north east. It is a highly lyrical dance but lacks dramatic facial and gestural expression. The cult of Radha and Krishna, mainly the raslila, is central to its themes.

Famous personalities of Manipuri

Guru Bipin Sinha, Guru Nileshwar Mukherjee, Guru Senarik Rajkumar, Guru Chandrakanth Sinha, Guru Haricharan Singha, Bibhaboti Devi, Kalabathi Devi, Preethi Patel, Guru Naba Kumar, Guru Atomba Singh, Savitri Mehta, Uday Shankar, Rita Devi.

Kathakali

It originated in Kerala during the 17th century and is more dramatic than narrative in form. Ramanattom evolved into Kathakali. Kottarakkara Thampuran is credited with evolving this art form. The dance form known as ‘The total theatre’, ‘The Dance Drama’ is Kathakali.

The earliest maestros of Kathakali are,

Pattikkamthodi Ravunni Menon, Chenganoor Raman Pillai, Thakazhi Guru Kunchu Kurup, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, Vazhenkada Kunchu Nair, Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair, Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, Guru Mampuzha Madhava Panicker, Oyur Kochu Govinda Pillai, Kavungal Chathunni Panikkar, Harippad Ramakrishna Pillai etc

The other maestros in Kathakali are,

Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair, Kalamandalam Gopi, Kudamaloor Mankularn Krishnan Namboothiri, Chambakkulam Pachu Pillai, Kottakkal Sivaraman, Madavoor Vasudevan Nair, Mankompu Sivasankara Pillai, Sadanam Krishnankutty, Margi Vijayakumar, Nelliyode Vasudevan Namboodiri, Kottakkal Chandrasekharan, etc.

Kathak

It is a North Indian classical dance form. It has its roots in 'Katha' meaning story. The story tellers who were attached to the temples in North India, narrated stories from the Epics in the form of Radha and Krishna lilas.

Famous Kathak Dancers

Birju Mahraj, Gopi Krishna and Shambu Maharaj, Shovana Narayan, Lachhu Maharaj, Saswati Sen, Wajid Ali Shah

Odissi

It is the Classical dance form of Odisha. The Dance form known as 'Moving Sculpture' is Odissi. It is the oldest surviving dance form of the country on the basis of archaeological evidences.

Famous Dancers of Odissi :

Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra is at the forefront of the greatest of odissi exponents. Sonal Mansingh, Samyukta Panigrahi, Aloka Kanungo are other dancers.

Kuchipudi

Kuchipudi is the dance form of Andhra Pradesh. Vendantham Sathyanarayan, Swapna Sundari Rao are exponents of Kuchipudi. The village in Andhra pradesh where Kuchipudi originated in 17th Century is Kuchipudi.

Famous Kuchipudi Dancers :

Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, Guru Jayarama Rao, Dr. lima Rama Rao, Vedantam Sathya Narayana Sarma, Pasumarthi Venu Gopala Krishna Sarma, Dr. Yashoda Thakore, Yamini Reddy etc.

Sattriya

Sattriya is a classical dance form from Assam. It was recognized as a classical dance by Sangeet Natak Academy on November 15. 2000. Sattriya Dance was usually performed in the Assa monastries in a highly ritualistic manner by male dancer alone. In the second half of the 19th Century, Sattriya Dance shifted from the monastery to the metropolitan stage-The core of Sattriya Dance has usually been mythological stories.

Dances in UNESCO Intangible List

IMPORTANT REGIONAL DANCES