Devotional Dance: Introduction to Bharata Natyam

The tradition of Bharata Natyam was given to the world thousands of years ago by Lord Shiva in the emanation of Nataraja , the Lord of Dance. Originally practiced by devadasis as part of temple rituals, Bharata Natyam today, still maintains a pure devotional quality within its grace of form.

The pure dance incorporates each part of the body into an intricate rhythmical pattern, building on the natural geometry of the body and the complex patterns of Indian music. Expressional dance uses an intricate system of gesture and facial expression to show devotion and depict stories from the the Hindu pantheon.

Bharata signifies the three fundamentals of art: Bhava, Raga and Thala (emotion, melody and rhythm). Natyam (dance) has two basic elements: pure dance (nritta) and expressional dance (nrittya).

Introduction to Bharata Natyam

In this workshop, participants will get acquainted with both nritta and nrittya. They will have a chance to learn some of the basic movements (adavus) of the dance style as well as the hand gestures (mudras), poses and facial expressions that are used. A small sloka to Lord Shiva may be taught as well as a prayer toLord Ganesha

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