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Eye Movements or Drishthi Bheda - Online Bharatanatyam Classes

20th Jul, 2022

Bharatanatyam – one of the most popular Indian classical dances, might have lost its significance during British rule but was revived successfully by two of the best dancers of the century – Rukmini Devi and E. Krishna Iyer.

If you know anything about Bharatanatyam dance, then you might know that it is based completely upon various techniques and grammar of body movements. One of the essential parts of Bharatanatyam dance is the Drishti bheda.

In this blog, we will take an in-depth look into determining the need for using Drishti bheda in Bharatanatyam and its different types.

What is Drishti Bheda in Bharatanatyam?

In Sanskrit, the word Drishthi means “vision.” When the word is used in relation to our eyes, it literally translates to “to see” or “the sight.”

The classification of the Drishti bheda in Bharatanatyam is completely based on how the dancer utilizes his/her eyeballs. In fact, most of the eye movements that play a key role in the Bharatanatyam dance form are performed by us on a regular basis. It is just that we aren’t aware of the names used to identify each of these eye movements.

Thankfully, Bharatnatyam dance class instructors can help you identify the same, so you can use them during the performance as per the requirements.

What are the Different types of Drishti Bheda, and How are they Applied in the Dance?

Mentioned below is the list of eight eye movements that you can commonly find in the Bharatanatyam shastras –

1- Sama Drishti

This eye movement means looking straight without making any eyelash movements.

Sama Drishti is often used to represent God and goddesses looking straight with benevolence.

There are different types of Sama Drishti, such as –

  • Sama shanta – the expression used while praying
  • Sama Bhaya – the expression used to distinguish a shocking event
  • Sama krodha – the expression of anger
  • Sama bismaya – the expression of awe

2- Alokita

This eye movement consists of glancing at something at things with a widely opened eye.

Here are a few types of Alokita Drishti –

  • Alokita kroda – the expression of uncontrollable anger
  • Alokita Bhaya – the expression of getting spooked

3- Saachi

One of the most playful eye movements in all, Saachi Drishti, means looking from the corner of the eyes. It suggests a sneaky and playful intent.

Here are a few types of saachi drishthi you will learn in the Bharatanatyam dance classes –

  • Sachi anuraga – the glance shared between the lovers or by a mother towards her naughty kid
  • Sachi irsha – the glance of feeling jealous
  • Sachi Bhaya – the glance of feeling scared when alone

4- Pralokita

Pralokita includes looking from side to side.

The types include –

  • Pralokita Bhaya – the expression of being scared
  • Pralokita kroda – the expression of being angered in an unhelpful situation
  • Pralokita satarka – the expression of caution

5- Nimilita

In this type of eye movement, the dancer half shuts the eye, trying to focus the eyes towards the depths of the heart.

6- Ullokita

The ullokita drishthi describes the art of looking in an upward direction.

Here are some types –

  • Ullokita chinta – the expression of tension and being stressed in a certain situation
  • Ullokita Smarana – the expression of trying to recollect a forgotten thought

7- Anuvrita

This type of eye movement involves rapidly moving the eyes up and down.

The types include –

  • Anuvrita bismaya – the expression you give when seeing something astonishing
  • Anuvrita kroda – the expression you give when you are angered by something
  • Anuvrita anuraga – the expression of mixed feelings when looking at the most cherished thing of your life.

8- Avalokita

Avalokita is the static eyeball position in the downward direction. The types of eye movement in this Drishti bheda are similar to that of ullokita drishthi.

Checkout this Amazing video of Dhrishti Bheda - Eye Movements of Bharatanatyam

Learning Bharatanatyam online

Apart from the eye movements suggested, there are various aspects of Bharatanatyam that you can effectively learn at the Bharatanatyam dance classes. However, if you have a restricted time schedule or are finding it difficult to visit the Bharatanatyam dance classes, you can always consider learning the same online.

Thankfully, there are dozens of online Bharatanatyam classes held on a regular basis. The best thing about these classes is that they are incredibly flexible in terms of timing. You can easily select a time as per your availability.

Such dance classes put additional focus on important aspects of the Bharatanatyam dance, such as eye movements in Bharatanatyam, expression, dance technique and so on. You can even closely work with the gurus to make the most out of your learning.

Meet the Kafqa experts to know more

Now that you know the details about Drishthi bheda, you are more than ready to get started with this impressive dance form.

At Kafqa Academy, you can closely work with the industry’s best Bharatanatyam dance classes gurus to start your Bharatanatyam journey. They are ever-ready to help you understand the complexity of this mesmerizing dance form easily.

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