When heart winning emotions, gratifying music, sculpturesque poses and mesmerizing moves come together, they formBharatnatyam. A Hindu deity is venerated as royal guests to the temples and the ‘sixteen hospitalities’ that are performed to please them include music and dance. Consequently,this classical dance form has originated in temples of Tamil Nadu.
Bharatnatyam is deemed as the‘fire dance’.Masculine Tandava and feminine Lasya are the two aspects of it. It is performed by both male and female.The rhythmic music movement-Nritta, the mime- Natya and the combination of the two- Nritya are the three distinct elements to it. It has various prominent forms like Alarippu, Varnan, Tillana etc.
It is a story based solo dance where the music is narrative. Amazingly, a single dancer performs the role of many characters of a story. For a minute,she is dancing with moves andexpressions shedding tendering womanliness, then she takes a stiff turn in a circle and all of a sudden she is all masculine and gruesome as if some transmigration happened within her.Furthermore, the talent of a dancer is judged by the amount of ringing heard from the bells in the ankle.Less sound notifies the dancer’s lucid flow and control over the movements.
Bharatnatyam has been reborn in the modern times. Now, it is as well preferred as a group item. It is gaining fame outside India through relocation diffusion.It has emerged from the rigid religious boundaries. Coming a long way from temple compounds to the stage and television, its essence is still the same.
This ancient dance form is actually originated in northern India. Just like Kathakali from Kerala, Kathak is a dance form where a story is told in the form of a dance. Kathak is famous amongst the audience because of its long and great history in the temples and then in the court of the kings. While, prior to the Mughal era, stories from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Puranas were told through Kathak. When during the Mughal era, this dance form was associated with tawaif- an institution of women entertainers but with the advent of British rule in India these institutions of tawaifs were banned and was outlawed, which was a major blow to this great and flourishing art form. It took almost 250 years for the revival and reawakening of this traditional art form. But today, Kathak has a very different approach, where in place of the age old style of story-telling through dancing has been transformed into a style where there is more concentration on the musical and rhythmic movements. Kathak is famous because of the way it patronizes the use of the vivid and exemplary footwork, fast whirling movement and subtle expressions with a greater use of eyes and the eye brows for conveying the abhinaya or acting. Historically, Kathak as a dance form has developed various styles and are divided into two major gharanas or houses according to the styles they follow. The style developed two major lineages - the Jaipur gharana and the Lucknow gharana.
Western Dance which is also called as country dance has its origin in Europe. The dance form was actually originated from the way the western people dance during the countryside festivals. The peoples of the West practiced dance with a great character and unlike the east, this dance form always incorporated and accepted the changes in the dance form. One thing to be noted about the difference between the eastern and western dance forms is that, the eastern dance forms never actually incorporated any major changes in the movements and they virtually remained unchanged for centuries whereas the western dance form showed a constant eagerness to accept the various changes for their dance form. Because of the diversity found in this type of dance form, there are many versions of each dance and sometimes even their names are different. The African immigrants to the Europe also influenced western dance form where they added steps that were more close to the ground and rooted in the earth. It was a vast difference from the elevated floating style practiced by the people then. The advent of the cowboy era also gave its part influencing and inventing a different style in the western form. Also the main point to be noted is that western dancing is somewhat informal. There are innumerable types of dances which come under the western dance. Modern Western Dance form has now altogether different approaches to the way people dance. Famous modern styles are Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, Beeboing, Jazz, Break dance and Contemporary.
Like music, dance has also been a part of the Indian tradition for a long time. The classical dance forms of our country include, Bharatha Natyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Kathakali to name a few. But with the years, with the development in the music forms and also with the arrival of fast and peppy tunes, dance has also undergone a lot of change and new genres were introduced. They include the western style of dancing and also the dance the dance which was choreographed for the films, which were a mix of western style of dancing and also the classical dance forms.
The Hindi film industry or the Bollywood is well known for its peppy songs that are accompanied by dance moves that are fast and catchy. The Manjari’s Institute of Music and Fine arts have been training people in this form of dance for a really long time. With a huge fan base, the dances in Bollywood have evolved to be considered as a separate form of dance style. This form of dance, inspired by the dances choreographed in the Indian Film Industries, is taught to the students by choosing and choreographing a popular dance number from the movies without any change or few other dance steps are mixed and further enhanced.
Due to the mix of various forms of dance styles, Bollywood dance is a difficult topic to be discussed, since its definition and characteristics are entirely amorphous. In olden days, the dance moves were those that represented the moves of the common people, though everything was choreographed in advance.