Indian Classical Dances – UPSC GS1

The Indian classical dances have two basic aspects:
  • Tandava (movement and rhythm) and
  • Lasya (grace, bhava and rasa).
The three main components of them are:
  • Natya: the dramatic element of the dance i.e. the imitation of characters.
  • Nritta: the dance movements in their basic form.
  • Nritya: expressional component i.e. mudras or gestures.
The nine rasas are:
  1. Love
  2. Heroism
  3. Pathos
  4. Humour
  5. Anger
  6. Fear
  7. Disgust
  8. Wonder and
  9. Peace.
The Natya Shastra written by Bharat Muni is the most prominent source for the Indian aestheticians for establishing the characteristics of the dances.
There are 8 classical dances in India:
  • Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu)
  • Kathak (North India)
  • Kathakali (Kerala)
  • Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
  • Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Odissi (Odisha)
  • Sattriya (Assam)
  • Manipuri (Manipur)
Contemporary classical dance forms have evolved out of the musical play or sangeet-nataka performed from the 12th century to the 19th century.