Classical Dance

Mohiniyattam

Believed to have originated in 16th century CE, it is considered a very graceful form of dance meant to be performed as solo recitals by women. Mohiniyattam was popularized as a popular dance form in the nineteenth century by Swathi Thirunal, the Maharaja of the state of Travancore (Southern Kerala), and Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur Quartet. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress".


Bharatanatyam

A classical Indian dance form that originated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers, " known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses.

Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of: ‘Bha’ – Bhavam (means expression), ‘Ra’ – Ragam (means music), ‘Ta – Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil.

Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.


Kuchipudi

A classical Indian dance from Andhra Pradesh, is also popular all over South India. Kuchipudi is the name of a village in the Divi Taluka of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name.

The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a dharavu (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically carnatic music.