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Lasya – Graceful Feminine Movements In Indian Classical Dance - Origin Story

Lasya is the graceful feminine movements in Indian classical dance. Lasya is the counterpart of Tandava, which involves vigorous movements performed by a male dancer. 

Lasya Origin Story

Lasya was imparted to Sage Bharata by Bhagavan Shiva’s consort, Goddess Parvati. Tandava and lasya strike a balance between vigor and grace. Goddess Parvati also took the beautiful Usha, wife of Aniruddha, in hand and trained her in Lasya. Usha, in turn, trained the milk-maids of Dwaraka in Lasya and they, in turn, taught the maidens of Saurashtra. Thus the art of Lasya passed from the gods to humans, spreading gradually across the earth.

In Bharatanatyam and Kathakali forms of classical dance, Tandava movements are performed to depict the Vira rasa, while the Lasya depicts the Sringara rasa. In Kathakali, the Tandava is more pronounced than Lasya. Women do not generally take part in Kathakali and the female roles therein are taken by men, who perform the Lasya movements. Although the pure Kathakali Lasya movements and its salient features are taught to women, they are not bound to take part in a sixteen hour ballet and hence are exempted by tradition from the study of pure Kathakali.