Keeping in fact the tradition and the original cultural style these dancers are gems
From the vast pool of classical art forms that have existed in India since the beginning of civilization, classical dance form Bharatanatyam is one among them. Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest classical dance traditions in India that was nurtured in the temples and courts of southern India since the ancient era. Previously called Sadhir Attam, is a major form of Indian classical dance from the state of Tamil Nadu. Bharatanatyam expresses South Indian religious themes and spiritual ideas.
In Bharatanatyam the dance technique and style are specific to the guru or school they are though from. But mostly is known for its fixed upper torso, bent legs and knees flexed – the position called Aramandi – that are combined with footwork and hand, eyes, and face gestures. Here are a few well-known Bharatanatyam dancers from India.
Rukmini Devi Arundale
Rukmini Devi from a very young age was introduced to dancing. It was Rukmani Devi who was highly instrumental in revolutionizing and getting back Bharatanatyam into the lives of Indians after it was banned during the British colonial rule. She went on to establish Kalashetra, a school for training in Bharatanatyam. The dance exponent along with her husband Dr. George Arundale got an opportunity to share her knowledge of Indian cultural values in Europe. She corrected the theory of dance and Music
Not just an acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer, but Mallika Sarabhai is also an accomplished filmmaker, anchor, editor, social activist, and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. Sarabhai is considered to be a master danseuse in Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, in fact, she is the epitome of beauty with brains. She along with her famous classical dance veteran mother Mrinalini runs the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts.
She is one of the most respected classical dancers of India. Her thrust with Bharatanatyam started with her giving her first performance at the age of 13. From there on she went on to study and research about the Karana sculptures and received a Ph.D. on ‘Karanas in Indian Dance and Sculpture’. The unique aspect of Subrahmanyam’s dancing style is her combination of a dancer, composer, choreographer, and singer.
At just the age of 16, Valli performed at the International Dance Festival of the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre De La Ville, in Paris. She is one of those dancers who has performed at every cultural capital of the world. And through seminars and workshops, is creating awareness about Bharatanatyam across the globe.
Bharatanatyam remained exclusive to Hindu temples through the 19th century. Today, Bharatanatyam has spread across the globe and is performed in different ways.