The ancient Hindus believed that dance was given to them by the gods and goddesses. In Hindu legend the god Shiva created the world by destroying his monster enemies. From then on, the gods and goddesses danced.
Classical dance in India is based
on standards laid down by the sage Bharatha more than two thousand years
ago. The dance is divided into elements:
Nritta- Rhythmic Elements
Nritya- Combination of Rhythm with Expression
Natya- Dramatic Elements
Nritya is usually expressed through
the gestures of the hands, the positions of the neck and the motions of
Nritta makes up the dance programs.
Natya is a dance drama based on Hindu legend and Mythology.
The Indian dance forms are based on the instructions in the Natyasastra. It explains the different kind of postures, the Mudras, hand formations and their meanings, the kind of emotions and their categorization. All dance forms are structured around the rasas or emotions, hasya (happiness), karodha (anger), bhibasta (disgust), bhaya (fear), shoka (sorrow), viram (courage), karuna (compassion), adbhuta (wonder) and shanta (serenity).
Classical dance is divided into
four basic forms known as: