BharataNatyamEnglish version

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Bharatanatyam
South Indian Classical
dance and music
The dance is inspired
from the sculptures of
the ancient temple of
Chidambaram.
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A short history of Bharatanatyam
Devadasi
Bharat Natyam was
developed by mixing elements
from the earlier forms of
dance: Dassi Attam and
Sadr. Dassi Attam was a
dance form of the Devadasis
or temple dancing girls while
Sadr was a form found in the
palaces of southern India.
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Origin of the word Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam, is the combination
of: BHA- Bhava (Expression)
RA-Raga (Music, melody) and
TA- Tala (Rhythm).
It is a traditional
dance- form known
for its grace, purity,
tenderness, and
sculpturesque poses.
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The music of Bharatanatyam
is based on Indian classical
music called Carnatic. Its
main emphasis is on vocal
music.
Tyagaraja was one
of the greatest
composers of
Carnatic music or
classical South
Indian music.
Most compositions are written to be sung,
and even when played on instruments, they
are meant to be performed in gāyaki
(singing) style.
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Musical instruments for Bharatanatyam
The instruments
used are the
veena, bansuri or
venu,
mridangam,
violin, manjira
or thalaam ,
tambura and the
kanjira.
Kanjira
Venu
Violin
Surpeti
Tambura
Veena
Mridangam
Manjira
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The Veena
The veena is 1.5m long and is made from jackwood.
It has a large, round body with a thick, wide neck,
the end of which is carved as the head of a dragon.
A small resonator is attached to the underside of the
neck. The veena has 24 metal frets.
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Parts of the veena
Melody is
produced on
four metal
strings that
run above the
frets. These are
stretched over
a wide bridge
that sits on the
body of the
veena.
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The Venu or
classical Indian
flute
The Indian scale
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The Mridangam
The
mridangam is
a PITCHED
drum
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The violin
• The South Indian violin is almost
identical to the Western violin; the
main difference is its playing
position. It is traditionally played,
sitting cross-legged, with the scroll
placed on the artist’s right ankle,
the back of the violin resting on the
artist’s left shoulder ,collar bone, or
chest.
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TheKanjira
The Kanjira is
a frame drum
of the
tambourine
family. It
features only
one metal
jingle.
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The Manjira or
Thalaa
Manjiras are
double handed
cymbals used as
a metronome to
keep the beat
and measure.
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The tanpura or tambura
• Tanpura is a four string drone
instrument. The word "tanpura“ is
common in the north, but in south
India it’s called a "tambura“. The
favourite for Carnatic musicians is the
Tajore style tambura. It is about 3 to 5
feet long Resonators are almost always
made of wood.
Tajore style tambura
The surpeti or shruti box
• The surpeti, also called shruti box, is another Indian
drone instrument. That’s all it provides. There are two
basic forms, one is manual and the other is electronic.
• The manual surpeti is similar to the harmonium. However
unlike the harmonium, it has no keys, and can play no
melody. It is pumped by small bellows with the hand.
Carnatic musicians prefer the manual surpeti.
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The Bharatanatyam dancers complement the
music with Gungharoo bells attached to their
ankles.
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• The dance direction is done
by ‘the Nattuvanar’
• One or two vocalists
normally accompany the
Nattuvanar.
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• The Nattuvanar is the person
who directs a bharatanatyam
performance by reciting
rhythmical syllables and playing
manjiras, The texts are based on
South Indian rhythm.
Indian scale
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The three elements of Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam is evenly divided between three elements:
Nritta :
Nritya :
Natya :
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“Nritta” or pure dance,
is the movement of
hands and feet on
rhythm and speed. These
movements do not
convey meaning,
emotion or theme but
are used to create a
collage of rhythmic
lines, forms and shapes .
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“Nritya” is the interpretative
element of the dance. It exhibits
the meaning of the song and
conveys the underlying emotion
with hand gestures and facial
expressions.
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Natya is the more dramatic element
of Bharatanatyam. Since it is
almost entirely made of hand
gestures, it has been compared to
sign language but with a more
stylized effect. The theme of this
third part is almost always taken
from the Ramayana or the
Mahabharata.
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The Ramayana is one of the
two great epics of India. It
contains the teachings of
ancient Hindu sages and
presents them in narrative
allegory interspersed with
philosophical and devotional
elements.
A Ramlila actor wears the
traditional attire of Ravana
Rama seated on the shoulders of
Hanuman,battles the demon-king
Ravana.
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The Mahabharata is the
other major Sanskrit epic
depicting Hindu "history“,
especially the battle of
Kurukshetra.
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Are you ready to dance?
Hand gestures 3:25
Identify which of the elements is being danced
Group dance
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