Incredible Art and Culture

This very fact about India has prompted Mark Twain to describe India as the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants, and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million Gods.

The complexity, culture, religions, languages and variety is the hallmark of India, which attracts millions of tourists. This country is replete with traditional art; from calligraphic signs to mural paintings and pillar structures, architecture; from vignette stones to monuments, languages; from Malayalam to Kashmiri, literature; from Geetanjali of Rabindra nath Tagore to Vedic epics, music and dance; from folk to classical, philosophy; from rational to spiritual, science; from abstract to the most technical, medicine; Ayurveda, Siddha to music therapy, magic, illusion and such sundry elements of art and culture.

Classical Dance– Dance is considered as the most ancient form of an art. Dance in India is considered as the most important and the integral part of the tradition, culture and religion. Shiva, Goddess Kali and Krishna are often represented through the dances.

The earliest reference to dance is found in Bharata Munni’s Natyashahstra written around 200 years ago. It is the seminal source for dancers and performers and this covers all the technical and aesthetic aspects of the Indian dance and Theatre. There is a saying that Lord Brahma passed on all the information on the Dance and Drama to the Bharat Muni and he compiled it as the Natya Shashtra.

From the purpose of natya, to the architectural format, stage rituals, Rasa, Bhava, Abhinaya, gestic communication, music, types of instruments. 37 chapters that together form the nucleus of this fascinating performing art. Later century works like Abhinaya Darpana, Abhinaya Chandrike, also have great relevance to the dancer today.

Legend has it that the Devas (Gods) had vanquished the Asuras (Evil) and were relating the happenings to Brahma, the God of Creation. The Asuras thought this was a renewed attack and retaliated. Brahma intervened - "This is only a performance, hence forth it will only be held on earth".

Dance in India has a rich history. The cadence of Indian dance has weaved the thread of magic and feelings in the midst of its motion, beauty, poise and emotion. Through its graceful movement, amidst the elegant motion of Indian dance “Freedom finds its image whilst dreams their forms.”

The mystical aura in Indian dance adds to the allure of its beauty and grace whilst mirroring its copious tradition in India.