Origin of Dance in India

Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, performed in many different cultures and used as a form of expression, social interaction and exercise or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.
Created On: Aug 9, 2012 16:43 IST
Modified On: Aug 9, 2012 16:47 IST

 

Dance

Dance is a type of art that generally involves movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, performed in many different cultures and used as a form of expression, social interaction and exercise or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.

Dance may also be regarded as a form of nonverbal communication between humans, and is also performed by other animals (bee dance, patterns of behavior such as a mating dance). Gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are sports that incorporate dance, while martial arts kata are often compared to dances. Motion in ordinarily inanimate objects may also be described as dances .

 

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement to virtuoso techniques such as ballet. Dance can be participatory, social or performed for an audience. It can also be ceremonial, competitive or erotic. Dance movements may be without significance in themselves, such as in ballet or European folk dance, or have a gestural vocabulary/symbolic system as in many Asian dances.            

 

Origin of Dance in India

 

In Hindu mythology, dance is believed to have been conceived by Brahma. Brahma inspired the sage Bharata Muni to write the Natya Shastra, a treatise on performing arts, from which a codified practice of dance and drama emerged. He used pathya (words) from the Rigveda, abhinaya (gestures) from the Yajurveda, geet (music) from the Samaveda and rasa (emotions) from the Atharvaveda to form the Natyaveda (body of knowledge about dance). The best-known of Hindu deities-Shiva, Kali and Krishna-are typically represented dancing. Shiva's cosmic dance, tandava, Kali's dance of creation and destruction and Krishna's dance with the gopikas (cow-herd girls)-Rasa Lila-are popular motifs in Hindu mythology.

 

In ancient India, there were no dedicated auditorium halls or theaters, and dance was usually a functional activity dedicated to worship, entertainment or leisure. Dancers usually performed in temples, on festive occasions and seasonal harvests. Dance was performed on a regular basis before deities as a form of worship. Even in modern India, deities are invoked through religious folk dance forms from ancient times. Classical dance forms such as Bharata Natyam use mudras or hand gestures also to retell episodes of mythological tales such as the slaying of Kaliya by Krishna.

 

Gradually dancers, particularly from South India, moved from temples to houses of royal families where they performed exclusively for royalty.

 

India offers a number of classical Indian dance forms, each of which can be traced to different parts of the country. Classical and folk dance forms also emerged from Indian traditions, epics and mythology. There are many Indian folk dances such as Bhangra, Bihu, Ghumura Dance, Sambalpuri, Chhau and Garba and special dances observed in regional festivals such as Lohri and Navratri.

 

 

 

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