Author: ಮನೋರಮಾ. ಬಿ.ಎನ್
Art was an effective means of communication which is a representation of the cosmic truth touching the hearts of the devotees through dance, music, sculpture, architecture and principles of unity and multiplicity. Art is also a reflection of emotional ideas, expressions and movements. If we went to trace the history of art forms, it may be as long as the history of humankind. Human beings from primitive period strongly believed that art form was the most pleasing items of the deities and the best path to attain salvation. But this feeling actually arises because art forms directly or indirectly dealt with the Soul or Atma. So considering it’s genuine, man has given spiritual, metaphysical touch.
Among the fine arts, Dance is a major branch which is considered as one of the popular and highly sacred form of worshipping the Lord. It is not only an eternal bliss and the treasure house of the physical, intellectual and spiritual knowledge but also, it is a form of communication that brings out the innermost feelings and at the same time depicts the cultural aspects of a civilization. It appeals to every one irrespective of caste, creed, tribe etc, though it has different version, belief, standard, tradition. Dance is a thing of beauty appreciated and loved by each and every one, providing entertainment and pleasure to all class of masses. Dance has the magical power to provide the happiness and health to people and society. Thus Dance is not only there for entertainment, but also serves to attain the yogi’s state, a state of supreme bliss. However, the aim of all art is to realize reality.
Basically Dance is a methods of non-verbal communication between humans or animals (for e.g. bee dance, patterns of behavior such as a mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical forms or genres. As well as Dance is generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting. Though Dance is a creation of rhythmic movements which is very sensuous, the experience of Ananda (bliss) is very spiritual.
There is innumerable number of folk dances, which is considered as the basic form of all classical forms. In earlier time each dances had specialty of a particular region or tribe. Each form has its own specialty & grace, motion along with a set pattern of costumes & make-up conveying some meaning about the surrounding. But the modified structure of dance has created the theme of classical. The classical dance forms which have developed in later times, set rules that have been followed traditionally over the years.
On the basic model, various gurus incorporate their own imaginative innovations, leading to various schools within a particular dance form. Apart from the gracious hand & leg postures & movements, the dancers acquired the skill of portraying various emotions faithfully according to their tradition, concepts and regionality.
The various dance forms have also developed a particular form of make-up for the performance, which is a skill by itself. Several dance schools today, incorporate costume designing & make-up as special section of the curriculum. The costumes for all forms are elaborate & rich having their own traditional patterns set down. Jewels, flowers for the dancers are also specially created to suit their purpose. For e.g. India is a land of diverse cultures, traditions and languages. In India many dance forms have developed. Each dance is the specialty of a particular region or tribe. Each dance as its own particular set pattern of costumes & make-up.
Indian dance forms speak volumes of the great cultural endeavor of the country. It has already captured global attention in all the cultural vistas of the world. Indian classical dances are dances of the mind and soul and are extremely traditional. They along with folk dances present a spectacular and gorgeous aspect of the magnificent and continuous Indian dance tradition. The aim of all Indian art is to experience liberation and growth of righteousness as man, through beauty and delight. Naturally this all ends in the final analysis where God is considered to be the only source of beauty and happiness.
Indian classical dance is an art concealing art, totally impersonal, objective, traditional, deliberate and elaborate in technique and appeal. It breaks a new ground of perception and opens entirely a new vision of reality. Rasa (mood or flavor) as the cause of Ananda (bliss) is considered fundamental and the essence of beauty and harmony in Indian aesthetics. In the past 2000 years 6 main classical dance styles have evolved in India.
Bharata’s Natyashastra, is the most important source for establishing the characteristics of Indian theatre (natya, meaning drama or theatre; shastra, a generic term referring to any authoritative text). Its date of publication hasn’t yet been agreed on, and currently lies between 200 BC and AD 200. Is Bharata was a Muni (a saint)? Yet not confirmed! Because in Indian mythology and history we came across several character named as Bharata! But we still believe that he was a saint who gave foundation for Indian theatre!