History of Classical Indian Dance
Bharatanatyam is the sophisticated inheritor of the codified Dasi and Sadir dance traditions that evolved over many centuries in the temples and royal durbars of southern India. It is hallmarked by its geometrical positions, extended limb lines, strong footwork and complex rhythm sequences, embellished by a ‘language’ of hand gestures and elaborate narratives conveyed by stylised expressions of body and face.
Kathak originated as a danced story-telling form in northern India in the precincts of Hindu temples, acquiring in Mughal courts its now signature flourishes and charisma: subtly held body and limb lines, and a delicate expressiveness of face, showcasing a lyricism studded by bursts of intricate rhythmic patterns executed by fret-like footwork, fleeting arm movements and spins, punctuated by dynamic stillness. Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancers require, respectively, knowledge of classical Carnatic and Hindustani music from southern and northern India.