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Indian Classical Dancers: Odissi and Bharatanatyam at the Indian Embassy in Berlin

Be part of the Indian Classical dance event in Berlin

November 22nd, 2016
Dominika Vozarova, News from Berlin

The Indian Embassy in Berlin is organizing a dance event, which will take a place on Tuesday 15th November 2016 at 6 pm. The event will take a place at the Embassy of India.

Two of the oldest Indian classical dance styles, Odissi and Bharatanatyam, originally from Orissa and Tamil Nadu, are around two thousand years old and steeped in devotion and spirituality. The graceful figures of the temple dancers, frozen in stone in the sculpted relics, come alive through the dancing of Monalisa Ghosh, Ramkrishna Chatterjee and Supriya Sardar.

Bharatnatyam is the oldest of all classical dance forms in India and is believed to be nearly 3000 years old. It originated and is mainly practiced in the present day region of Tamil Nadu. Bharatnatyam derives its name from the Bharata's Natya Shastra - the earliest treatise on dance and drama.

Bharatnatyam is an amalgam of Bhava [expressions], Raga [music], Tala [rhythm], and Natyam [dance] and mainly features mythological stories. This dance form makes prominent use of hand and eye movements to convey its message. Bharatnatyam signifies man's quest for God and his desire to unite with the omniscient, and its core philosophy is the human soul’s search for the ideal.

Since its evolution, Bharatnatyam has undergone several transformations. During the medieval era Bharatnatyam prospered in the temples of the South India, where Devdasis [servants of the Gods] performed this dance as a matter of religious devotion, under royal patronage.

In the colonial period, the system of Devdasis degenerated into prostitution and Bharatnatyam dancers were eventually outlawed from performing at the temples. In the early part of the 20th century, nationalists and cultural reformers seeking to preserve and promote India's cultural heritage restored Bharatnatyam to its original glory. Today Bharatnatyam is an integral part of the curriculum for girls growing up in Tamil Nadu.

The classical dance event is part of a wider programme of cultural events being hosted by the Indian Embassy in Berlin.


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