Tamil Nadu tourism guide provides with a complete information about famous dances of Tamil Nadu in India. Enjoy the rhythmic, colorful Bharata Natyam dance of South India, derived from the devotional dances performed during 10th century in the South Indian temples by devadasis. Tamil Nadu folk dance is also performed with great enthusiasm, further adding charm to Tamil Nadu tourism.

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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

Dance in Tamil NaduThe 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

Mayil Attam
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 others repeat.

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.

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