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What are the 3 divisions of Bharatanatyam?

21st Aug, 2022

Bharatanatyam is one of the oldest and most loved forms of Indian classical dance and is also thoroughly popular. However, just like most other forms of dance, Bharatanatyam also has a lot of divisions, and you need to have a piece of good knowledge about them if you want to pursue the form in the longer run. When we talk about the levels in Bharatanatyam, it is usually a definite reference followed by most dancers worldwide.

Through the year, as Bharatanatyam has evolved, the choreographies have been segregated as well so that it is easier for dancers to follow. Not only that, there has been a lot of unification with time, so it is essential to have a basic idea of the three significant facets. If you go by our suggestion, we would always suggest that you first learn about these stages and then pursue the dance form in the longer run.

Not only that, although the three divisions of Bharatanatyam might sound very similar, in practice, they are not, and there are a lot of intricate differences between the two. Always ensure that your concepts are clear because this will give you a better understanding of this particular genre of Indian classical dance.

The Three Divisions Of Bharatanatyam

Now we come to the most critical part of the discussion, the essential divisions of Bharatanatyam that can be easily divided into three sectors - Nritta, Natya, and Nritya. In the most simple terms, we can see that all of these domains are equally important, and there are some words successive in nature, meaning that they are divided into three primary stages, and you have to accomplish one to go to the next.

When we talk about Indian Bharatanatyam dance, it is unified, and you do not have to wonder whether this is the format used by other dancers. The most promising three sections are:

A Graceful Performance of Nritta in Bharatanatyam

1. Nritta

The first and most simple division of Bharatanatyam is the Nritta, which is very important to be accomplished. Because this is the first stage, if you do not achieve this, you will not be able to move further ahead and then go on to the other stages. The most essential and promising pillar of Nritta is that it is usually performed so that the audience's attention can be kept intact.

As you might understand by the name itself, Nritta is the Sanskrit word, and if translated, it refers to dance in the purest form. The stage of Nritta also focuses on the same and is based on entirely pure dance steps, which are very important in Bharatanatyam. Here attention is paid to the speed and other factors like rhythm or raga as well as the pattern or form of the same.

2. Natya

The next and equally important component of Bharatanatyam as a dance form is the domain of Natya. Natya is also a Sanskrit word and refers to drama in the purest sense. Here the primary purpose is to express a particular story or character with utmost dramatic expressions, adding to a very different element of the dance. When we talk about Natya, it is usually very expressive.

For a Bharatanatyam performance to be termed as promising, it is also essential to focus on this factor because it is very expressive indeed. Natya has always been a very intricate form, and people tend to express it in various ways, which adds to the stage's beauty.

3. Nritya

Finally, the other very important level of Bharatanatyam, which is also very important, is none other than Nritya. Here the focus is to make sure that there is enough attention to both dramas as well the dance movements. The central feature of this particular level is to make sure that you can focus on the domain of dance as well, and hence there are a lot of intricate steps in this specific stage as well.

You will see that most answers tend to incorporate a lot of critical dance steps in this level of their performance which indeed looks very promising. The term Nritya is also a Sanskrit word, and the meaning is to dance. Nritya has a lot of essential Bharatanatyam-based dance elements that must be mastered.

So far the Best Nritya performance

How Important Are the Different Levels of Bharatanatyam?

Now that we have explained the different levels in Bharatanatyam, it is equally important to understand how a dancer can perform their best even at the advanced level of this classical dance performance. The one thing we can say with conviction in this respect is that all the different levels of Bharatanatyam are equally essential, and if a dancer can depict all the levels during a performance, it can bring out the dance form's actual beauty.

Not only the pure classical Bharatanatyam dance, but a dancer must ensure the audience is engaged with the dramatic representation that brings a different feel to the dance. Along with the different levels of Bharatanatyam, it is also essential to mention that there are different types of Bharatanatyam, depending upon the cultural influence.


You can choose to learn all the 3 divisions of Bharatanatyam by enrolling in professional dance classes offered by Kafqa Academy. We have the best dance teachers in the industry who will take you through the learning process and ensure that you acquire the skills. Contact us today to learn more about our online dance classes.

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