(Last Updated on : 22/11/2010)
Dance is a beautiful form of visual art. This form of performing art becomes enthralling with the inspirational, energetic, and sensual presentation of the dancers. The performance of the artistes intensifies the dancing sequence and highlights the theme. The exoticism and magnificent steps of the dancers enliven the performance while entertaining as well as enlightening. The dances of India are either religious reverence in nature and based on mythology or they are intended to mark occasions of any special ceremony such as marriage, birth of child or other auspicious event. The stylish and elegant spirit of the Indian dancers have augmented each dance form and taken the Indian dances to the world stage.
The very essence of Indian dance is its classical form. Classical dance refers to Natya, whose theory can be traced back to Natya Shastra of Bharat Muni. Indian dance with its distinct flavour of Natya, leela, rasa, and mudra has illustrated the rich ethnicity of India since the remote past of the ancient times. Natya Shastra had categorized eight classical dance forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniaattam, Odissi and Sattriya. These classical dances were performed by the Devadasis to gratify the almighty. In the ancient days dance performance took place inside the sanctum of the temple. However, in the medieval era dance performances was taken to the courts of the kings and the concept of rajanarthakis developed. Gradually, dance began to be appreciated as a separate art form and dancers started taking keen interest in this creative field. The country saw upsurge of various talents and several dance personalities reshaped this form of art with concentration.
Indian dancers have outstanding contribution in popularising the different forms of dances. There are many different forms and style of Indian dance. Each style has its roots in regional history and culture. These dance forms become a brilliant event as the artistes captivate the interest of the audience by presenting it on their own way while retaining the historical essence. The involvement of the dancers increasingly helped dancing to develop as choreography and fusion dancing. Both the styles are a story of evolution that incorporates the various styles of dance form.
Indian dancers who dedicate themselves in the field have thus restyled the classical dances with their expertise. A few names of the notable dance personalities include Rukmini Devi Arundale, a well known Bharatanatyam dancer instrumental in popularising Bharatanatyam abroad. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was also among the many maestros of Odissi, credited for the revival of the classical dance form in the 20th century. Sonal Mansingh has dedicated her life to develop Odissi and contributed in preserving the heritage of the land. Sunanda Nair has captured the attention of the audience both as Bharatanatyam and Kathakali dancer. Kuchipudi dance style was delineated in the contemporary sense by Sidhendra Yogi. Vedantam Lakshminarayana, Chinta Krishnamurthy and Tadepalli Perayya are the Indian dancers who have enriched the dancing method. Pandit Birju Maharaj is a living legend of Kathak among the leading Indian Dancers. Sohini Ray as well as Poushali Chatterjee has added their talent in the fiekd of Manipuri dance.
Among Indian dances, in contemporary times fusion dances have also upheld an appreciating position. The exponents of fusion dancing, Uday Shankar and his daughter Mamata Shankar have earned recognition. The ballet troupe of Mamata Shankar comprises of talented Indian Fusion Dancers. Choreography has come up to a position of acknowledgment in modern times besides fusion dancing. Farah Khan Kunder , Saroj Khan as well as Vaibhavi Merchant are a few names as leading and most versatile choreographers. Furthermore, folk and tribal dancers of India also have a vital part in popularising the culture and tradition of their region. Folk dances are treasure of a variety The diversity in culture and tradition is reflected in the folk dances of India. It is the conscientiousness of the folk dancers to make the dance form of India spectacular and fascinate the audience. Indian dancers thus have a significant role to enrich the Indian dances with their grace, stylish movement and aesthetic élan .