Bharata Natyam is one of the most popular classical dances of Southern India, from the state of Tamil Nadu. It has its origins almost 2000 years ago, when it was performed by the maids(devdasis) in temples( mandirs), know as Dasi Attam. Its modern name Bharata Natyam derives it sname from the four major components of the dance:
Bha from bhava means expressions
Ra from Raaga means melody
Ta from Taala means rhythm
Natyam means drama.
In the middle ages, the dance lost its popularity and was revived as an art form in the modern times by Thanjavoor brothers. The dance includes steps( adavu), hand gestures( hasthamudra) and facial expressions( bhaava). The dance begins with the prayers to Lord Ganpathi in front of the idol of Nataraj.
The dancer wears richly brocaded Kanchipuram silk, and is embellished with heavy gold jewelry.
At RUNG at ROM, there shall be several dancers performing Bharata Natyam including Bhavajan Kumar, Bharata Dance School.
Kathak means telling a story. Kathak a prominent dance form of Northern India also originated centuries ago in the temples, performed by giorls to please God. Over the years, with the fusion of Hindu and Muslim cultures in the Mughal Era, Kathak was remarkably transformed into its present form.
Kathak’s journey from ancient times to its present form merits a walk-through.
The word “katha” comes from “katha” or story telling. It has its roots in ancient times, when storytellers narrated epics or mythological stories like Shakuntala, and the Mahabharata through dance forms in temples. However with the arrival of Mughals, the dance, enticed to come to the courts, developed into a more Persianised form.
The Kathak dancers adopted the whirling from the dervishes to the ‘chakkars’. The rhythm of the footsteps found harmony with the beat of the tabla recently discovered by Amir Khusro. The femaleKathakaars (storytellers) abandoned the sari of ancient times for the angarkha and churidar pyjama. The language of narration also transformed from Sanskrit to Brij Bhasha and then Urdu.
Kathak shall be brought at RUNG at ROM by Parul Gupta.
Bhangra is a folk dabnce form from the central plains in India-Pakistan called Punjab. The dance dates back to 18th Century, when the men and women danced to celebrate the harvest of wheat during Baisakhi.
The men and women adorn colorful ethnic clothes, and dance to the beat of drom or dhol. The Bhangra music has transitioned from humble rural Punjab to an international popular music after fusion with hip hop music.
Nachdi Jawani dance group brings Bhangra at RUNG.