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The Basics Of Bharatanatyam (3N)

Today I would like to step a bit back and explore the basics of Bharatanatyam. As you may know, Bharatanatyam is generally referred to have three distinct streams or aspects:

Nritta, Nrittya and Natya

For quick recall, we can refer to them as the 3N s of the dance form. What does each of them represent?

Nritta is pure dance or sequences of dance that are non interpretative in nature. This means that these steps, movements or gestures are not meant to convey any message or thought. They are primarily meant to add beauty to the dance form. Adavus (described earlier) form the basic component of Nritta.

Nrittya on the other hand is an interpretative dance and involves a lot of sentiments, emotions and description. The gestures in this stream convey messages like depicting a king, indicating that it is morning time etc. This consists of leg, hand, neck, head and eye movements to convey the message.

Natya is dance drama and its main technique is Abhinaya. It involves acting out a story for the audience using expressions. Also the actors may dress like the character. Natya is usually performed with a mythologial theme, like on the stories of Ramayana or Krishnaleela, etc. For eg. This would involve enacting parts of Ramayana or Mahabharata.


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