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  • Writer's pictureShalaka Kulkarni

Discovering the Beauty and Diversity of Indian Classical Dance

Photo by Rich Rankin. Dancer: Shalaka Kulkarni

Indian classical dance is an ancient art form that has been around for centuries. Indian classical dance is a form of art that is deeply rooted in Indian culture and traditions. It is a vibrant and exquisite form of expression that has been passed down from generation to generation. You can experience a unique blend of music, dance and storytelling from entrancing visuals to captivating stories, every performance is an unforgettable event. There are eight classical dance forms in India, each with its unique style, costumes, and music. Two of the most widely practiced forms of Indian classical dance are Bharatnatyam and Kathak.

Bharatanatyam, one of the most popular forms of Indian classical dance, originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu. It is a highly stylized dance form that is characterized by the use of intricate footwork, hand gestures, and facial expressions. The dance form is performed to classical Carnatic music, and the dancers wear traditional costumes such as a saree and jewelry.

Kathak, another popular form of Indian classical dance, originated in North India. It is a storytelling dance form that is performed to classical Hindustani music. The dance form features complex footwork, graceful movements, and intricate hand gestures. The costumes worn by Kathak dancers include a flowing skirt, a choli, and a dupatta.

These two forms of Indian classical dance are still widely practiced today, both on stage as well as in everyday life. They are a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and provide an insight into how traditional art forms can be adapted to modern times. If you get a chance, please buy a ticket for an Indian Classical Dance performance to support and help sustain these ancient dance forms and if you are in Chicago then come see me be traditional and contemporary with Bharatnatyam and Kathak :)

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