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Learn Kalakshetra Style of Bharatanatyam with Online Classes

21st Jul 2022

| Bharatanatyam

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Bharatanatyam – the pre-eminent classical dance form of India, is considered the mother of many Indian classical dance forms. The traces of this dance form can be traced back to the “Natya Shashtra – an ancient Sanskrit Hindu Text.”

This impressive form of Hindu illustrative anecdote comprises religious and spiritual themes that dancers enact using impressive gestures and excellent footwork. The accompanist of the Bharatanatyam dance includes the singer, music and the guru who directs the dancer based on the words (Tai, tat, Taiya, etc.)

Natya Shashtra also mentions that Bharatanatyam is capable of manifesting various dance forms; these include –

Melattur style –

This is one of the most common forms of Bharatanatyam taught by professionals in the online Bharatanatyam classes.

This style is completely based on spontaneous movements and expressive acting. In order to perform the Melattur style gracefully, the dancer is required to acquire a high degree of flexibility in movements. The dancer also needs to focus more on the sringara bhakti.

Melattur dance style stresses a lot on the dramatic characterizations and patterned korvais’ fluid variations.

Pandanallur style –

Pandanallur form of Bharatanatyam emphasizes the deep sitting positions that are quite difficult for the dancers to perform.

This pure feminine dance style comprises poetries and padams in rhythmic and slow movements.

Pandanallur style contains three important levels –

  • The deep sitting position on the ground
  • Standing position movements
  • Jumping and moving the body at significant speed while performing the dance

Vazhuvoor style –

Vazhuvoor style of Bharatnatyam breaks the dance movement’s monotony with soft facial expressions like subtle acting or Abhinaya. The movements have a smooth flow with very few abrupt movements.

The dancer keeps her body slightly bent from the waist up. The leaps are introduced throughout the dance to jump from one jati to another, creating a suspenseful effect.

Kalakshetra style –

Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam is the most recent addition to the different forms of Bharatanatyam. It is said to be the simplified form of the Pandanallur style.

You can notice various subtle hints of ancient-time authentic devadasi style along with relatively recent introductions in this dance form.

Kalakshetra typically focuses on various hand movements or Angika. The hand movements are based on the words of the lyrics. The delicate placement of the hand throughout the performance is quite enticing for the beholders. The narration done through the hand movements adds grace to this most beautiful dance style of Bharatanatyam.

In-depth analysis of the Kalakshetra style

Rukmini Devi has a huge hand in developing this famous Bharatanatyam dance style.

After learning the Pallanadur style for almost three years, Rukmini Devi Arundale decided to work on the development of Kalakshetra in 1936.

Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam is known for its straight, angular and ballet-like kinesthetics. It also steers clear from the Ksepa or uninhibited throw of the limbs and Recakas.

As per Shri Sankara Menon (1907–2007), an associate from Kalakshetra mentioned that Rukmini Devi Aurndale upgraded Bharatanatyam from its controversial days to a puritan art form. She went head to remove any and every “objectionable element,” such as emotional elements (mostly the sringara parts) that evoked erotic movements of chest, lip, neck and even hip from the Pandanallur style. This is because, Pandanallur was publicly criticized by various representatives of the Isai Vellalar culture, including Balasaraswati.

He went ahead to say that the effort to purify Bharatanatyam by introducing novel ideas is similar to adding a gloss finish to burnished gold or is like painting a lotus.

Coming to the recent comments about Kalakshetra, many experts believe that Bharatanatyam was dead and long gone when Rukmini Devi Arundale entered the field. It was her dedication to the dance form that brought a renaissance. In fact, she created something new, something that was never there before.

In short, Rukmini Devi Arundale had a huge role in the introduction of the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam. She reintroduced this once criticized dance form to the world in the most subtle and gracious way.

The Kalakshetra foundation is living evidence of Rukmini Devi Arundale’s fight against the critics. This establishment provides space for Bharatanatyam enthusiasts for classicism, ancient traditions and artistic expression. In fact, the almost 100 acres of this establishment are considered the most valuable centres in Southern India for studying fine arts. The institute focuses on developing Indian values in the enthusiasts through Gandharva Veda music and Bharatanatyam dance.

To know more, contact Kafqa Academy

This blog may describe the various forms of Bharatanatyam dance to you, but you must know that there are a lot of things you should know about this dance form before you proceed to learn Bharatanatyam online.

Consider meeting the experts at Kafqa Academy to comprehend Bharatanatyam from its roots. Their dance instructors and gurus know how to effectively conduct online Bharatanatyam classes for people, irrespective of their age.