Dances of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu, the south Indian state of India, has been the focal point
of culture, art and tradition, since ancient times. The various
kingdoms that ruled Tamil Nadu, added on the charm of this beautiful
land. They build exquisite temples and encouraged the development of
culture in the state. The folk music and dances are a part of Tamil
cultural ethos. Dances of vibrant Tamil Nadu are inspired by the
temples build by the Chola, Pallava and other dynasties. The dances of
this state are very popular across the country and the world. The most
prominent dance of Tamil Nadu is the gracious dance form of Bharata
Natyam. Other popular folk dance forms are Mayil Attam, Bommalattam or
Puppet Show, Kummi, Kai Silambu Attam and many others.
¤ Bharata Natyam, A Popular Dance Form
famous Bharata Natyam, originates from the state of Tamil Nadu in
South India and is one of the oldest and most popular dance styles in
India. The word 'Bharata Natyam' is a combination of many various
attributes, that complete the dance form. These attributes are :-
Bharata Natyam = Bhava (expression) + Raga (musical mode) + Tala
(rhythm) Natyam (dance).
Bharata Natyam is directly derived from the devotional dances
performed in the temples of South India from the tenth century to the
middle of this century. This form of dance has been carried by
'nattuvanars' and ritualistic dancers called devadasis, in the temples
of south India.
Bharata Natyam is like a poetry in motion. It's history has been
written in the Natya Sastra by the great sage Bharata. It is a highly
traditional and stylized dance form, which has been immortalized in
successive generations, by the great graceful dancers and by the
renowned sculptors who have demonstrated the perfection of Bharata's
technique on the exotic temples of Tamil Nadu.
Bharatanatyam is a blend of the abstract and the emotional and is
derived from its fusion of two prime elements, nritta (pure dance or
dance without interpretive meaning) & nritya (expressive dance).
This lovely dance form has derived much of its intense, dramatic
impact from the juxtaposition and contrast with which both nritta and
nritya are utilized. Nritta consists adavus, which are the basic dance
units of Bharatanatyam. Each adavu contains 3 essential elements, a
basic standing position (sthanaka), movement of the legs & feet
(chari) and decorative hand gestures (nritta-hasta).
¤ Folk Dances, The Essence of Tamil Nadu
This beautiful folk dance is performed by girls dressed as peacocks,
decorated with peacock feathers and a glittering head-dress complete
with a beak. This beak can be opened and closed with the help of a
thread tied to it, and manipulated from within dress.
Bommalattam or Puppet Show
Bommalattum or the puppet shows are held in almost every village of
Tamil Nadu during festivals and fairs and for that matter in every
village of India. The puppets used for these shows are made of cloth,
wood, leather, etc. They are controlled by strings or wires. The
persons stand behind a screen and the puppets are held in front. The
stories told in the puppet shows are from Ved-puranas, history and
folklore. These puppets shows are very amusing and interests both
adults and children.
Kummi is among the most important and famous ancient dance forms of
village dances of Tamil Nadu. It originated when there were no musical
instrument. The participants form a circle and clap their hands to
match to the rhythm. This dance form is performed by women. Kummi is
of many varieties, such as, Poonthatti Kummi, Deepa Kummi, Kulavai
Kummi, Kadir Kummi and Mulaipari Kummi etc are the well-known ones.
This famous dance is usually performed during temple festivals,
Pongal, the harvest festival and during family functions like
celebrating the coming of age (onset of puberty) of the girl-child
etc. The first line of the song is sung by the leading lady, which the
Kai Silambu Attam
Famous Kai Silambu Attam is mainly performed in temples during
Navaratri festival. The dancers wear ankle-bells and hold anklets or
silambu in their hands, which makes a rhythmic noise when shaken. The
dance is performed to praise all female deities, specially to praise
the powerful angry goddess - Kali or Durga.