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Dance and Identity Essay Example

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Dance and Identity

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Dance and Identity. The major Indian classical dances such as Kathak and Bharatnatyam are performed both by males and females. Here is the kaleidoscopic review of the Indian classical dance, gender role and gender perception in Indian classical dances.Kathak is one of the oldest classical dance forms which originated in North India. Basically all Indian classical dances have a Hindu theology. Dance is performed by both male and female. The masculine dance is always vigorous and aggressive while the feminine dance form is very delicate and more graceful. Basically in Kathak, the artist has to have the knowledge of both of these patterns. The masculine dance that is related to vigour, is known as Tandava (Aggressive and forceful) whereas the mild and delicate dance is known as Lasya.

It is the belief that when the world is full of sinners and there is no just remain on the earth, God Shiva destroys the world by his vigour and forceful dance. His wife Shakti, Goddess Parvati at that time tries to pacify him by performing a very delicate dance. Dance has been the manifestation of the various emotions since ancient time in India and gender identity is the minor issue. The emotions or moods in dance are called Rasa. In other incident, Shiva performs a destructive dance when his wife Sati (First incarnation of his next wife Parvati) commits a suicide due to the humiliation she receives from her parents, Shiva, in his tremendous vehemence prepares himself for the cosmic destruction. “Shiva was the symbol of procreation and it is because of this that Tandav is often regarded as a male dance.” (3) Thus Indian dances have always been the revelation of emotions and the release of tremendous physical energy. “Tandav covers all dance which expresses actions and feelings with strength and vigour, whether danced by men and women.” (4)They are mostly related to the cosmic cycle and natural phenomenon. According to Hindu mythology the God of Dance is God Natraj which is again the form of Lord Shiva. In ancient India, thus dance used to be performed by many male artists. In the stories of Lord Krishna, there is a story, when he kills a very dangerous cobra dwelling in the river Yamuna. He very bravely fought with the giant and dreadful snake which was called Kalia. After the defeat of Kalia it is the legend that Krishna performed a very vigorous dance on its head. His dance reflects the Veer Rasa. Dance and Identity.

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