of Tamil Nadu
Bharata Natyam, which originates from the state of Tamil Nadu in
South India, is one of the oldest and most popular dance styles
in India. The word itself is a combination of .
NATYAM = BHAVA (expression) + RAGA (musical mode)
+ TALA (rhythm) NATYAM (dance)
style is a direct descendant of devotional dances performed in the
temples of South India from the tenth century to the middle of this
century. The art of Bharata Natyam has been carried by 'nattuvanars'
and ritualistic dancers called devadasis, in the temples of south
Natyam is poetry in motion. Exploring its history in the Natya Sastra,
written by the great sage Bharata,
it is a highly traditional & stylized dance form. Bharata Natyam
has been immortalized in successive generations, as much by the
grace of great dancers as by the nimble fingers of renowned sculptors
who have demonstrated the perfection of Bharata's technique.
Bharatanatyam's blend of the abstract & the emotional is derived
from its fusion of two prime elements, nritta (pure
dance or dance without interpretive meaning) & nritya (expressive
dance). Bharatanatyam derives much of its
intense, dramatic impact from the juxtaposition & contrast with
which both elements are utilized. Nritta comprises
adavus, which are the basic dance units of Bharatanatyam. Each adavu
contains 3 essential elements, a basic
standing position (sthanaka), movement of the legs & feet (chari)
& decorative hand gestures (nritta-hasta).
This is done by girls dressed as peacocks, resplendent with
peacock feathers and a glittering head-dress complete with a beak.
This beak can be opened and closed with the help of a thread tied
to it, and manipulated from within dress.
or Puppet Show
Puppet shows are held in every village during festivals and
fairs. There are always kinds of puppets used for this show made
of cloth, wood, leather, etc. They are controlled by strings or
wires. The persons stand behind a screen and the puppets are held
in front. The stories enacted in the puppet shows are from Ved-puranas,
history and folklore. These shows are very entertaining and hold
both adults and childrens quite for many hours.
Kummi is one of the most important and ancient forms of village
dances of Tamilnadu. It originated when there were no musical instruments,
with the participants clapping their hands to keep time. This is
performed by women; many varieties of Kummi, such as, Poonthatti
Kummi, Deepa Kummi, Kulavai Kummi, Kadir Kummi, Mulaipari Kummi
etc are known. The women stand in a circle and dance clapping their
hands rhythamically. This dance is usually performed during temple
festivals, Pongal, the harvest festival, family functions like the
one to celebrate the coming of age (onset of puberty) of the girl-child
etc. The first line of the song is sung by the leading lady, which
the others repeat.
This dance is performed in temples during Navaratri festival.
The dancers wear ankle-bells and hold anklets or silambu in their
hands, which make noise when shaken. They perform various stepping
styles jumps. The dance is in praise of all female deities, the
most preferred being the powerful angry goddess - Kali or Durga.