--> Skip to main content

Nartana In Hinduism – Combination Of Dance – Drama

In Hinduism, nartana is a combination of dance and drama. It conveys emotions, ideas, stories and themes and is performed by dancers, both male and female. Nartana includes such concepts as

Nritta – pure, non-representational choice

Nritya – representational dance conveying emotions (bhava) through expressions (abhinaya)

Natya – dance which includes elements from drama such as words, mime and traditional stories or themes.

Dance consisting of movements which are soft, delicate, smooth, feminine and graceful is termed Lasya, normally performed by women. Dance made up of vigorous, masculine and gesture-less movements is termed Tandava.

Nartana has two modes of expression, loka dharma and natya dharmi. The former corresponds to natural movements from everyday life and the latter to stylized, graceful movements which belong to a particular form of dancing.

Movement of hand gestures combined with several kinds of footwork form adavus (basic movement vocabulary of classical dance). Another source of nartana is the cari, consisting of movements of feet, shank, thighs and hips performed in unison.

Isolated movements of other body parts, such as the head, neck, eyes, eyebrows, feet, waist and belly, are used as embellishments and are integrated with the movement of the entire body while dancing.