(Last Updated on : 18/05/2011)
Dancing was a preserve of seductive people in the medieval age. Dancing girls monopolised all attention. Classical dancing had become corrupt. Those who tried to revive it were rebuffed. They received no cooperation even from educated people. Krishna Iyer of Chennai
, however, through lectures, films and on public platforms had spread the message. He was encouraged by Varalakshmi and Jayalakshmi. He also got co-operation from Bala Saraswathi who is regarded as a genuine dancing goddess. Musical Societies sprang up and educated class adopted the fashion.
was revived as a counter-dose to the old dancing suggestive with its lewd looks and gestures. Now there are training and new experiments in the various dance-systems of South India especially in Bharatnatyam, Kathakali
and Mohiniyattam. Folk-dances have also been revived. Some of the well established dance centres are Darpan in Ahmedabad
, Kalakshetra in Madras and Kerala Kalamandalam.
Dancing also revived in the North. Bengal led the way inspired by Rabindranath Tagore
who encouraged it in Shantiniketan
in 1917. In Lucknow Kathak were revived by Kalka and Binda followed by Shambhu Maharaj. Uday Shankar had emerged and is now the most famous and widely travelled of Indian dancers. He developed great skill which is manifest from his dances like Shiva-Nritya and Kalia-Nritya which symbolise unity of man with God and control over the tussles of the world.
There has also been a revival of the ancient dances of Manipur
. They contain elements from their Meitie ancestors as for example the 'Khamba' dance is Meitie. Manipur is regarded as the traditional home of the Gandharvas, the celestial dancers. The work of the drummers and dancing-cymbal players is unique. The dances are of the rhythmical variety. The Assamese name of this dancing is 'Jagoi.' Raj Kumar Priya Gopal is the leading dancer of this school. Brajabashi Singh and Mani Bardan are other non-Assamese dancers of this school.
All over India dance centres were established. For Kathak there were schools at Lucknow
, Banaras, Jaipur
and Raigarh where new experiments in this art were being tried. For Bharatnatyam there was Adyar and Kerala Kalamandalam. Other cultural centres that came into being were Purva Parishad in Kolkata
and Bharatiya Nritya-Kala Kendra in Patna