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Glances In Indian Classical Dance To Depict Sentiments – Kataksha

Glances in Indian classical dance to depict sentiments is known as Kataksha. There are thirty six glances described in Natyashastra, a work on dramaturgy and dance by Bharata (2nd century BC). They are three fold –

Glances for expressing sentiments –

  • Sringara – Sidelong look is directed, coupled with the contraction of eyebrows
  • Bhayanaka – The eyelids are fixed, the pupils turned up. It indicates great fear and is used to indicate terror.
  • Hasya – The two eyelids are contracted and the pupils are slightly visible. Used in comic situations.
  • Karuna – The upper eyelid is moved down, the pupil is fixed, the glance fixed at the tip of the nose. Used for pathos.
  • Adbhuta – The eyes are widened. Used to depict marvel, surprise; amazement and such.
  • Raudra – The eyebrows knitted. Used to show fury
  • Vira – The glance is bright and the eyes fully open. Used in the heroic sentiment.
  • Bibhatsa – The corners of the eyes are almost covered by the eyelids and the pupils move. Used to indicate repulsion.

Glances to express permanent states.

These are eight in number. They are -

Srigdha, hrista, dina, kruddha, dripta, bhayanvita, jugupsita and vismita.

Glances to express transitory states. 

These are twenty in number. They are - 

Sunya, mahima, sranta, lajjanvita, glani, sankita, visadini, mukula, kuncita, abhitapta, jihma, lalita, vitarkita, ardhamukula, vibhranta, vipluta, akehra, vikosha, trasta and madira.

In Kataksha, the pupils have nine movements. They are –

Bhramana, valana, patina, calana, sampravesana, vivartana, samudvritta, nishkrama and prakrta.




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