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Benefits of dance

Posted On: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
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Author: - Shruti Bhosle, Goa

ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 2013ರಂದು ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಮಟ್ಟದ ನೃತ್ಯ ಸಂಶೋಧನ ಸಮ್ಮೇಳನದ ಪ್ರಯುಕ್ತ ಆಯೋಜಿಸಲಾಗಿದ್ದ ರಾಜ್ಯಮಟ್ಟದ ನೃತ್ಯ ಭಾಷಣ ಸ್ಪರ್ಧೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿದ ಗೋವಾ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಶ್ರುತಿ ಭೋಸ್ಲೆ ಅವರ ಭಾಷಣಪ್ರತಿಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇವರು ಗೋವಾದ ಲಲಿತಕಲಾ ವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯದ ಉಪನ್ಯಾಸಕಿ, ನೃತ್ಯಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಸಪ್ನಾ ನಾಯಕ್ ಅವರ ಶಿಷ್ಯೆ. 

India’s contemporary classical dances trace their origin far back in Indian history. Despite the diversity in thoughts, lifestyles and upbringing in the country, one common thread that binds the nation together is its fine arts. Dance, like any other aspect of Indian culture and tradition has developed over thousands of years. It is a very influential art form, for sculptures and pieces of literature from past, all depict some form of dance. Classical Indian dances today trace their roots to a book called ‘The Natyashastra’, which forms the basis of all the performing arts today.

Dance, if performed with absolute concentration, is as beneficial as yoga. The numerous health benefits of dance include:

  1. All the dance forms of Indian origin have many poses and postures. The performer needs to maintain the body balance elegantly in the entire performance. The different kinds of body movements help in improving the body balance.
  2. Stretch effect is one of the most important tools in physiotherapy to treat most of the ailments. In dance, there is an overall impact of the stretch effect.
  3. Next, there are so many steps, mudras, shlokas in Indian dance which a dancer strictly has to remember. As in, Bharatanatyam. And to remember all these, a dancer has to have immense concentration. So this, sharpens the mental skills, improves concentration and develops alertness.
  4. A full hafty practice improves blood circulation, pumps the blood at a faster pace and keeps the heart healthy.
  5. In human beings, there are thousands of nerve endings at the tip of the fingers and feet, which gets stimulated when we practice dance and keeps us fit and fine in every sense.

A few hours practice of dance is a good exercise and helps improve stamina and endurance.

By learning the traditional dance form, one will not only continue to contribute to our culture and tradition, but also improves upon one’s health and endurance naturally.

Earlier, dance was a media of rituals and puja. These dances were performed to please the god. In Indian religion, dance is a serious affair. Dance has that capacity to attract the human mind. So that people dance not only for devotional purpose, but also foe self-pleasure.

The Natyashastra says, “When the world had become steeped in greed and desire, in jealousy and anger, in pleasure and pain, the supreme one, ‘The Brahma’ was asked by the people to create an entertainment which could be seen and heard by all, for the scriptures were not enjoyed by the masses, being too learned and ambiguous.”

This art is not merely one’s pleasure, but exhibits the cosmic expression for all the worlds. This art has been created following the movements of the world in work and play, profit, peace, laughter, battle and slaughter, yielding the fruit of righteousness to those who follow the moral law, a restraint foe the unruly, and a discipline for the followers of the rule, to create wisdom in the ignorant and learning in scholars. Well said by Lopa shah, “ Classical  dance is a medium that searches for life’s meaning. It is a form of mysticism and philosophy. It is a perfect blend of yoga, meditation and art.” Hence, I think, its existence has a higher purpose than just entertainment.

To conclude, A legend says that , the earth moves with Lord Shiva’s leg movements, while the cosmos, the planets, the stars moves with his hand movements. That is why, in the Vedas it is said, “ Nriyamayam Jagat” means “Nature is full of dance”.

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