Few years ago, I happened to visit God’s own country, Kerala. For a travel enthusiast and an artist like me, this greenest place offered an aesthetic experience on platter. At a famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple, I was mesmerized by a few Kathakali artists from South India, dressed up in large and heavy costumes with green painted faces.
Though their movements were restricted due to heavy costumes, they were explaining each and every meaning through their expressive eye movements and multiple facial expressions. Being a part of the audience and belonging to a typical Maharashtrian family, I could grasp each and every meaning, although it was being enacted on a Malayali song. Such is the power of Classical dance forms of India.
Classical dancing is a unique way of communication, a poetry in motion, an art that pleases eyes, ears and heart, a therapy that cures broken pieces into beautiful master pieces and a way to connect to the Almighty. A person can only reach this stage through continuous training i.e. ‘Sadhana’. India has a rich treasure of 8 types of classical dance forms. This treasure comprises of Bharatanatyam from Tamil Nadu, known to derive its name from the syllables of Bhava, Raga and Tala as well as Natyam. Kuchipudi, a dance-drama tradition from Andhra Pradesh, known for its grace. Mohiniyattam is a sister dance style of Bharatanatyam originated from Kerala.
Kathakali is known for its expressive facial expressions, Odissi from Orrisa, which places importance on Tribhangi, Manipuri, embodying delicate and rounded movements. Kathak from North India, involving intricate footwork and spins. And Sattriya from Assam, known for its artistic way of explaining mythological teachings.
Ever heard the tickling of hands of the clock? Ever heard waves splashing by the sea-shore? Everything in the world dances. Everything in this world has rhythm and where there is rhythm there is a celebration called life. On the occasion of International Dance Day i.e. 29th April, let us take an oath to cherish, cultivate and preserve the rich cultural heritage of India and celebrate the day in true sense.