Bharata Natyam

  Bharata Natyam originated in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The dance started 2000 years ago as a tradition of temple dance. This dance is characterized by a variety of aspects such as head, eyes and neck movements, footwork and hand gestures. The name ‘Bharatanatyam’ is derived from the three basic concepts of ‘bhava’ (emotion), ‘raga’ (music) and ‘thala’ (rhythm). ‘Bha’, ‘ra’ and ‘tha’ syllables form ‘Bharata’ and ‘Natyam’ means dance. Bharata Natyam performance is evenly divided between 3 elements:
  • Nritta – Pure dance movements that do not convey any mood or meaning. In Nritta, the emphasis is on pure dance movements, movements for their own sake and creation of patterns in space and time.
  • Natya – Dramatic representation or drama. The themes generally come from mythological stories. Natya is the visual painting that the dancer draws to get the story across to the audience.
  • Nritya – Combination of Rhythm and Expression. Nritya conveys poetic meaning with the help of expressions, rhythmic gaits and postures.
  In ancient times, Bharata Natyam was performed by ‘devadasies’ (female servants of god) and called ‘dasiatam’. Under the British rule, propaganda prevailed against Indian art, treating it as immoral and inferior to the concepts of Western civilization. The reputation of the devadasies and their dance was in decline. Thanks to the legendary Rukmini Devi Arundale this old and forgotten dance tradition were revived. In 1935, late Mrs. Arundale founded a dance college for Bharata Natyam called ‘Kalakshetra’ in Chennai. Bharata Natyam started as a dance in the temples and has now become a professionally respected and internationally acclaimed dance form.

Kathak

 

Kathak, a North Indian classical dance form, can be traced back to 2000 years and is referred to in the ancient Sanskrit text of performing arts by Bharata Muni, called Natya Shastra.

The term Kathak is derived from Vedic Sanskrit word Katha meaning “Story” and kathaka meaning “he who tells a story”. Its origin is attributed to the traveling bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathakars or storytellers, who communicated stories from the great epics and ancient mythology through dance, songs and music.

Kathak is an art form with inexplicable charm, mesmerizing footwork and graceful movements. It has swift pirouettes, unique rhythmic virtuosity and lyrical exploration of poetry. The sharp yet fluid movements are synchronized with deft and brisk spins.

Natya Work-out

 

Natya Work-out is a is an expressive form of movement based around the popular Indian dance genres. Fusing classical Indian steps with folk, Latin and hip-hop styles, it offers a fast-moving and vivacious dancing workout that is great for enjoyable group exercise. Its 50-minute cardio workout cycles between higher and lower-intensity dance sequences to get you moving, sweating, and smiling.