Classical Indian Dances are usually always spiritual in content. Most of classical dances have some sort of religious or mythological themes.


Classical Indian Dances are usually always spiritual in content. Most of classical dances have some sort of religious or mythological themes. Indian dance is divided into - ‘Nritya’ - the combination of rhythm with expression and ‘Natya’ - the dramatic element. Facial expression, eye movement and hand postures are some of the characteristic features of Indian classical dances. Indian mythology and religious scriptures provide details about music and dances in ancient times. Nataraja or God Shiva is considered as the as the original creator of rhythm in Universe. Narad Muni (a sage) is the patron of Music and dances. Numerous. In Indian mythology Gandharvas (demigods) were the great promoters of music and dances. Rambha, Maineka, Urvashi were some of the famous Apsara´s (court dancers) of Lord Indra (King of demigods).

The most popular classical dance styles seen in the India are:
  1. Bharatanatyam - Tamil Nadu,
  2. Kathakali and Mohiniyattam - Kerala,
  3. Odissi - Orissa,
  4. Kathak - Uttar Pradesh,
  5. Kuchipudi - Andhra Pradesh
  6. Manipuri – Manipur
Indian Classical Music

Indian Classical Music is broadly classified in two categories:

1. Hindustani Music
2 .Carnatic Music

Hindustani music is from North India. Dhrupad is the older style of Hindustani music, now rare. Carnatic music is the music of South India, different in many of its terms and formal demands, although similar in overall outline. Both probably have a common origin. Indian music is based on melody. The melody is brought out through the medium of the raga. Typically, a taal is played on the percussion instrument to accompany the performer. Although the total number of ragas in Hindustani classical music was as big as 300, several of them have been lost over the centuries. About 100 ragas are known and performed these days. Indian music can be learnt mainly through listening and practice.  It is very helpful to have a Guru to teach if anyone is seriously interested in Indian classical music.

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Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary

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