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History of Bharatnatyam Detail

Gods and Godesses pleaded with Lord Brahma for another Veda to be created that would be simple for the common man to understand, which is particularly important in Kali Yuga. Granting their wish, Lord Brahma created the Panchamaveda, the Fifth Veda, or NatyaVeda, a quintessence of the main four Vedas. Brahma took pathya (words) form the Rigveda, abhinaya (communicative elements of the body movements, cf. mime) from the Yajurveda, geeth (music and chant) from Samaveda, and rasa (vital sentiment and emotional element) from Atharvaveda to form the fifth Veda,NatyaVeda. After creating this Veda, Lord Brahma handed it to sage Bharata and asked him to propagate it on earth. Obeying the fiat of Lord Brahma, sage Bharata wrote down Natyashastra. Bharata together with groups of the Gandharavas and Apsaras performed natya, nrtta and nrtya before Siva. It became the most authoritative text on the artistic technique of classical Indian dances, especially Bharatnatyam and Odissi. It is also possible that the term \"Bharatnatyam\" partly owes its name to sage Bharata. The Natya Shastra reads, \"When the world had become steeped in greed and desire, in jealousy and anger, in pleasure and pain, the Supreme One (Brahma) was asked by the people to create an entertainment which could be seen and heard by all, for the scriptures were not enjoyed by the masses, being too learned and ambiguous.\" \"This art is not merely for your pleasure, but exhibits cosmic expression (bhava) for all the worlds. This art has been created following the movements of the world in work and play, profit, peace, laughter, battle and slaughter, yielding the fruit of righteousness to those who follow the moral law, a restraint for the unruly, and a discipline for the followers of the rule; to create wisdom in the ignorant, learning in scholars, afford sport to kings, and endurance to the sorrow-stricken; it is replete with the diverse moods, informed with varying passions of the soul, and linked to the deeds of mankind — the best, the middling and the low — affording excellent counsel pastime and all else.\" Bharata along with the apsaras and gandharvas demonstrated Bharatnatyam to Shiva who improved and modified the art as demonstrated by Bharata and instructed the science of dance to Thandu Maharishi. This field of dance derived the name Thandava, the Cosmic Dance of Shiva. Shiva instructed LasyaNatya to Parvathi who passed it on to Usha, the daughter of Banasura. Through Usha this art form was passed on to the Gopis of Dwaraka who in turn passed on the same to the maidens of Sowrashtra. The Gods and the Goddesses, being dancers themselves, have been passing the art of the heavenly dance through many other human channels, whose aptitude, understanding, and personal idiosyncrasies naturally varied from person to person, and created a number of styles ranging from Odissi to Bharatnatyam.Bharatnatyam has been undergoing a lot of change over the centuries (click here to read more). It used to be and is still mostly performed by women dancers. Centuries ago the Hindu temples in South India had dancers-priestesses called devadasis who would sing, dance DasiAttam (old version of Bharatnatyam), play many musical instruments. They were well-versed in Sanskrit and other languages as they had to adapt compositions to suit the audience. The devadasi tradition gradually degraded. Initially, devadasis lead a very strict and celibate life and were not allowed to have a family. As the dance entered the royal courts, the dancers were called Rajanartakis, who performed in the royal courts and gradually became royal concubines. The British colonial rule has completely corrupted the devadasi tradition. In the first half of the 19th century much of Bharatnatyam was redefined by the contributions of four talented brothers known today as the Tanjore Quartet: Chinniah, Sivanandam, Ponniah and Vadivelu. Styles of Bharatnatyam were preserved in practice mostly by the guru\'s and performers of the Isai Velalar community of Tamil Nadu. The Tanjore Quartet organized all the basic Bharatnatyammovements of pure dance into a progressive series, adavus. Each adavu is a basic unit taught in systematic order and then combined with others to produce choreographed Bharatnatyamsequences based upon the rhythmic pattern of a musical composition. The brothers composed new music specifically forBharatnatyam, and introduced a different sequence of items which integrated various aspects of dance and music into a carefully coordinated, aesthetically sound progression. This infusion of creative energy marks the early 19th century as one of the most innovative periods in the history of Bharatnatyam. In the 20th century, such prominent personalities as MangudiDorairajaIyer and Krishna Iyer made their significant contributions. The social status and image of Bharatnatyam was restored by RukminideviArundale, the founder of Kalakshetra, who started teaching a simplified, Kalakshetra style invented by her after having learnt some of the Pandanallur style of Bharatnatyam in a record 3 years\' time. Bharatnatyam has undergone much change but is still deeply rooted in the spiritual Hindu heritage. Contemporary classical Indian dancers are both male and female artists. While most learn it as a hobby, very few make it their career and a lifestyle, as it is extremely demanding and complex in terms of dedication and daily practice. While most university degree courses offer the theoretical base in Bharatnatyam, there are institutions that offer certificate and diploma courses with the focus on the practical skills. Most of the contemporary choreographers and dancers may use some of the formal Bharatnatyam technique or its elements to stage ballets presenting various themes such as nationalism, unity of religions, the sanctity of the environment, the animal rights activism, the greatness of a king or a political party, or even the delightfulness of Coca-Cola. In VandeMataram, a dance festival organised under the auspices of Natyarangam, a project of NaradaGana Sabha in 1997 in Chennai, there was a host of topics: evils of the current education system, the caste and reservation systems, threat of nuclear weapons, AIDS, the population explosion, corruption in politics, bribery, religious fanaticism, secularism, the greed for riches, the Chinese aggression, the Dandi March, literacy, agriculture, mechanisation, industrialisation. The true Bharatnatyam is a sacred ritual that is supposed to bring the rasanubhava (catharsis, or spiritual upliftment) to the rasika (audience) and the dancer.

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Acharuli is one of the many Georgian folk dances and has originated in Achara, a southern region of Georgia. The dance steps are not very difficult and are explicit, performed by both men and women. The display is flirtatious and playful but soft enough. The depiction of the relationship between men and women is colloquial and light hearted. Acharuli stands apart from other dance forms because of the beauteous costumes with vibrant colors. It inculcates cheerfulness in the performers as well as the audience.

Dance Move

Acharuli is one of the many Georgian folk dances and has originated in Achara, a southern region of Georgia. The dance steps are not very difficult and are explicit, performed by both men and women. The display is flirtatious and playful but soft enough. The depiction of the relationship between men and women is colloquial and light hearted. Acharuli stands apart from other dance forms because of the beauteous costumes with vibrant colors. It inculcates cheerfulness in the performers as well as the audience.

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