(Last Updated on : 08/07/2017)
Elements of Indian classical dance as per Abhinaya Darpana Prakasha
are divided into three distinct categories, namely, Natya, Nritya and Nritta. Natya is related to drama
and Nritya to the gesture accompanied by a musical composition. Nritta refers to pure dancing where the body movements do not express any meaning. All these aspects use movements of the limbs and poses of the human body as their medium.
Different Elements of Indian Classical Dance
The universal root of all Indian classical dance forms
can be related to Bharatas Natyashastra
. According to the Natyashastra, Lord Brahma
is the originator of the Universe and he has created the drama. The Indian classical dance forms are directed by the essential elements of an act with abhinaya
. Following are the different elements of Indian Classical Dance
: The Abhinaya is general to all the classical Indian dance forms. Throughout the abhinaya, viewers experience the particular emotions of the character or the situations that are represented by the performers. Abhinaya is the expressional characteristic of dance or 'nritya'. There are four types of Abhinaya
and these are - Angika, Vachikabhinaya, Aharyabhinaya and Satvikabhinaya.
Tandava and Lasya
: Tandava and Lasya are the two other major elements. Tandava is a dance which is performed for the adoration of the gods
and its gentler aspect termed as sukumara-prayoga. Lasya is used as a synonym of Tandava occasionally. Lasya is one of the forms mentioned in the description of ten types of Drama
. Abhinaya Darpana and Sangitaratnakara describe Tandava as the derived from of Tandu
: Navarasas or the nine emotions of dance complete all the performances. Navarasas is very significant in a dance act, since it permits the dancer and the rasikas or the audiences to experience the full splendour and meaning of the lyrics. The Navarasas are given below:
Nritta and Nritya
: Nritta and Nritya are the two categorizations of the techniques of dancing. Nritta is the law and methodology of human movement. Nritta encompasses the technique of rendering the rhythm through the movements which have certain meanings and projecting specific poses within a given rhythmic cycles. Indian classical dance is least concerned about the break and time as the dancer is constantly trying to achieve the perfect pose. The human form here achieves geometrical shapes in time rather than in space as the difficulty of Nritta depends on the very fine and deliberate manipulation of rhythm to achieve a series of poses. An Indian classical dancer
believes the united and basic anatomical bone structure of the human appearance as the foundation. From this the dancer strives to achieve the absolute form.
: The most important term in the field of dance composition found in Natyashastra is the pindibandha. The pindis are believed to have four varieties namely Gulma, Srinkhaia, Latabandha and Bhedyaka. Gulma stands for a group dance. Srinkhaia stands for a chain formation with the partners holding their hands. Latabandha suggests a dance masterpiece where the dancers put their arms around each other. The Bhedyaka is a solo dance. All these are employed in the beginning of the play and related to Asaritas of various kinds. This covers all points of articulation of a human body.
: Karana is the fundamental unit of dancing and Natyashastra has approved 108 Karanas.
: Recakas are described as the central movements of the feet, hips, hands and neck which Bharat Muni explained in chapter four of Natyashastra .