Bharatanatyam. Bharata natyam. bharatnatyam. bharathanatyam. Classical Indian dance
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Uploaded on Jan 15, 2009
Bharata natyam performance by Harinie Jeevitha ( http://www.Harinie.org ) in Chennai (India).
Bharatanatyam. bharatnatyam. bharathanatyam. dance. classical. karana. Shiva dance. Nataraja songs. Varnam
Lasya and Tandava
In later tradition, Tandava came to mean the forceful and virile dance as performed by
Shiva. The blissful Tandava is Ananda Tandava, the violent and combatant is Rudra. Other
Tandavas are Tripura Tandava (destructive), Samara Tandava, Kaali tandava,Sandhya Tandava,
Uma Tandava and Gauri Tandava. There are some Bharatanatyam experts who distinguish 16 types
of Tandava. All tandavas are vigourous and brisk.
Lasya, where the movements are soft, gentle, graceful and erotic, is performed by Parvathi.
Many Bharata natyam scholars consider Lasya as the feminine version of Tandava. There are 2
styles of Lasya, Jarita and Yauvaka Lasya.
Bharata natyam techniques of communicating a verbal message are Abinaya, which uses mostly
facial expressions and gestures. While some authentic styles, such a Melattur style,
emphasise a highly expressive, spontaneous and elevated mode of abhinaya, the late
Balasaraswaty tradition's abhinaya was extremely subtle and understated, while the
Kalakshetra style expressions are largely theatrical. Some contemporary styles, such as the
one propagated by Shobana, favour the clownish Bollywood-type expressions.
While gestures can be seen from any distance even in a large dance hall, the subtle facial
expressions can only be seen from the front rows. This is the main feature that
distinguishes Bharatanatyam from the western ballet dances. Thus, unless a Bharatanatyam
recital is held in a small hall, a close-up, high-resolution video is the only adequate
medium of presenting the Abhinaya. Bharata-natyam is an ekaharya (solo) performance: one
dancer presenting various characters, regardless of their gender.
The Abinaya can be of 4 kinds. Angikabhinaya deals with communicating the meaning of the
songs by moving the limbs of the body.Vachikabhinaya is verbal story-telling.Aharyabhinaya
includes the use of costumes, jewelry, make-up. Satvikabhinaya is the subtle and direct
communication of moods (Bhavas) by a mental contact or glance.
Lord Shiva is described in this stanza:
We bow to Him, the benevolent One
Whose limbs are the universe,
Whose song and poetry are the essence of all language,
Whose is clothed in the moon and the stars...
Bharatanatyam dancer often portrays Shiva's characteristic pose of Nataraja: his right hand
holds the drum of creation, symbolising a primeval sound. His left hand holds fire
destroying the old universe; his second right hand is raised in Abhaya hastha (blessing ).
The second left hand points to his left foot that crushed demon Muyalaka who is the
embodiment of ignorance.
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