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Why North Indians Might Struggle To Relate To Bharatanatyam Dance

30th May 2022

| Bharatanatyam

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Bharatanatyam dance is one of the most popular forms of Indian classical dance and the way it has evolved for years from the southern part of India is simply impressive. At the same time, numerous dancers from all around the world are awestruck by the charisma of the form, and it ensures that they aspire for the same.

It is believed that Bharatanatyam as a dance form has a wide range of patrons, and it is the bright charisma that adds to the beauty of the dance form. At the same time, it is also very important to understand that it is one of the numerous dance forms of India, and you need to have a little bit of understanding before you pursue the same.

Having said that, it is also very important to understand that it is often seen that the Northern part of India finds it difficult to relate to the Bharatanatyam form of dance. However, it is not true that this notion is similar to all dancers who aspire to learn Bharatanatyam in the future and take online Bharatanatyam classes to establish themselves as professionals in the world.

Is It Difficult for North Indians To Cope Up With Learning Bharatanatyam Dance?

We can say without a bit of doubt that sometimes it is seen that people from North India find it difficult to resonate with the Bharatanatyam dance form. But why is it so, and what are the reasons which act as contributing factors? That is what we are going to talk about in detail and consequently analyze how you can bridge this problem and eventually learn the Bharatanatyam steps. Some of the contributing factors in this field are:

Origin of Bharatanatyam:

If you look and read the history of Bharatanatyam as a dance form, it is very evident that it originated from the southern part of India. The Natya Shastra, which is the most ancient history set about various dance forms, has mentioned that the Bharatanatyam dance form originated from the state of Thanjavur.

The temples of Thanjavur are the oldest testimony of Bharatanatyam, and it is seen that it was offered as an offering to the deities of the temples. If you carefully notice the temples of south India, you will be able to notice that even these temples have a carving of the same.

Bharatanatyam is a form of dance that has its roots in the southern part of India, and it then consequently spreads to the other parts of India in due course. However, it is also important to mention that South India has quite a few other forms of classical dance which are original to them, and it consequently creates a cultural rift as well between the natives of the land.

It is usually this historical difference that becomes problematic for the people from North India to relate to and learn the dance form in due course. However, times are changing, and even North Indians are embracing Bharatanatyam. Many North Indians are taking classes to learn the Bharatanatyam basic steps to the advanced stage of learning and performing well in the field.


The next point of difference which might be a reason why many North Indians cannot relate to Bharatanatyam as a dance form, is because of the difference in music. If you were someone who knows even a bit about Bharatanatyam as a dance form, you would know that originally the performances were choreographed to Carnatic music. Carnatic music is a form of South Indian classical music, and for those who do not know the language, it might be difficult to comprehend the same.

However, it becomes easier for someone who takes Bharatanatyam classes conducted by professional instructors. The history of Bharatanatyam dance has always mentioned that the performance of Bharatanatyam steps should be constructed with Carnatic music, and this acts as a major point of difference because many North Indians cannot relate to the language.

Cultural Bias:

Another barrier that is very important to mention in this discussion is that there exists a very prominent cultural bias between North Indians and South Indians. From ancient times there has been a major rift, and hence the age-old rivalry has been one of the key reasons why many North Indians cannot or do not want to relate to Bharatanatyam as a dance form.

Not only that, for the longest time, it was seen that many North Indians did not take up Bharatanatyam as a profession intentionally because they did not want to indulge in the form of dance that has South Indian origin.

One of the major reasons why there has been such a rift is because of the geographical barriers and the shared distance between North and South India. Both the lands have a very rich and promising cultural heritage along with their traditional forms of classical music as well as dance. While the southern part of India is known to have Bharatanatyam, it is consequently the Northern part of India, which is regarded as the equally popular birthplace of Kathak.

The Final Wrap

It is very important to mention here that there have been prolific South Indian personalities who have taken up Bharatanatyam as a profession and even pursued the same. If you want to learn Bharatanatyam, irrespective of which part of India you are from, you will be able to make sense of it under professional training.

It is very important to understand that the form of dance is not difficult for North Indians. It is just that you have to be a bit dedicated and be in the right frame to learn. The best, in this case, is Kafqa Academy, and they are known for the online Bharatanatyam classes that they conduct.