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Classical Dances of India UPSC NOTE


Mallika Sarabhai is associated with which artform?

  • Mallika Sarabhai is an activist and Indian classical dancer and actress from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • Mallika is an accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer and performer who has specialized in using the arts for social change and transformation.

  • She received the Padma Bhushan by government of India.

What are the classical dances of India?

  • Sangeet Natak Academy (India’s National Academy) recognizes eight classical dances of India.

  1. Bharatanatyam

  • Originating from Tamil Nadu.

  • Earlier its name was Sadhir Attam.

  • Bharatanatyam is a temple dance and it tells stories from various Hindu scriptures.

  • The foundations of Bharatanatyam are present in Natya Shastra.

  • Historical reference of Bharatanatyam style is found in spics like Manimegali (6th century) as well as Silappatikaram (2nd century).

2. Kathak

  • Kathak originated from the state of Uttar Pradesh.

  • It is a mix of worshipping deities and story narration. 

  • Grace, hand gestures and body pose as well as eye movements combine to make Kathak a graceful sight.

  • The music that accompanies a Kathak performance uses different classical instruments like Sarangi Seeta, Manjira, Tabla, Harmonium, etc.

3. Odissi

  • Originating from Odisha.

  • Temple dance form

  • The ‘bhakti bhava’ aspect, of an Odissi performance, is surreal.

  • The central theme of the dance form is Lord Jagannath’s worship.

  • The other themes of Odissi are inspired by the sun god, Vaishnavism, Shakti as well as Lord Shiva.

4. Manipuri

  • From the state of Manipur.

  • Based on the ‘Raasleela’ trope where Radha and Lord Krishna share a dance.

  • Manipuri is considered a religious dance form, which combines singing as well as dancing.

5. Mohiniyattam

  • From Kerala.

  • The central theme of this dance form is devotion to God.

  • Mudras or hand gestures are important in Mohiniyattam.

6. Kuchipudi

  • This Indian dance form gets its name from the Kuchipudi village in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

  • Temple dance.

  • A Kuchipudi performance begins much like a religious act, with water sprinkling, lighting incense and invoking god’s blessings. 

  • In addition to this, it is a magnificent dance form comprising 28 hand mudras or hand gestures.

  • In the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, Bharata Muni describes the graceful Kuchipudi as Kaishiki vritti.

7. Kathakali

  • Originated in the 17th Century, Kerala.

  • The makeup in Kathakali is very significant. 

  • The ‘Pacha’ or green facial makeup represents a noble character. 

  • While ‘Kathi’ and ‘Kari’ means a villain as well as a demon respectively. 

  • In addition, there are also three types of beards that are a part of Kathakali makeup. 

8. Sattriya

  • From Assam

  • There are several different forms of Sattriya such as Mati Akhara, Jhumura, Krishna Nritya, Nadubhangi, Gopi Prabesh, Gosain Prabesh, Chali, etc.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Classical Dances of India UPSC NOTE
Classical Dances of India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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