Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2020

Veeranatyam- The Dance of the Brave

    Dance is the most interesting form of performing arts that has been encouraged since centuries in India. Each state in India has its own rich culture. Andhra Pradesh is a state in the south -eastern coastal region of India and natives of this wonderful state have introduced a wide range of performing arts, including dance, drama and music to the world. Kuchipudi is amongst the best dances in the world that has emerged from Andhra Pradesh. Besides Kuchipudi many interesting folk dances such as Burrakatha, Butta Bommalu, Dappu, Tappeta Gullu, Veeranatyam etc. emerged in this state. Going deeper in the history I found many interesting facts about one such dance from Andhra Pradesh—the Veeranatyam, which I would like to sharing in this blog. Veeranatyam is one of the oldest forms of folk dance of Andhara Pradesh. The word Veeranatyam is made of two words-- Veera means brave and Natyam means dance. Thus, as the name suggests, Veeranatyam means the dance of the brave. It is also known

Kathak and Flamenco – A story of separated sisters

As a classical dancer I am always keen to read about different types of dances. Recently, I read about Flamenco and found many interesting facts about this dance form which I thought to share with you all. Flamenco is a highly expressive Spanish dance form.   It is associated with Andalusian Roma [gypsies]. These nomads are supposed to have travelled from Rajasthan (a State in India) through Romania, Hungary and Central Europe and finally landed in Andalusia. In Spain they encountered the rich cultures of the Sephardic Jews and the Moors. Their centuries long cultural intermingling produced the unique art form known as Flamenco. Flamenco dance is made up of four elements. They are: ‘Cante’-voice, ‘Baile’-dance, ‘Toque’-guitar and ‘Jaleo’-which roughly translated means ‘hell-raising’ and involves the handclapping, foot stomping and shouts of encouragement. Flamenco dancers, known as “Bailaores” [male] and “Bailaoras” [female], are passionate and serious. Typically in Fl

An Interview with my Guru- Mukta Joshi ji

Today [5 th July 2020] is ‘Guru Purnima’ (Full moon day dedicated to all Guru’s). The word Guru is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Gu’ meaning ‘darkness ‘or ignorance and ‘Ru’ meaning removal. Hence a Guru is one who removes darkness from our lives. In Indian classical dance, we follow ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’ (Master and disciple tradition). On this auspicious day of ‘Guru Purnima’ all the Indian classical dancers offer puja (worship) to their gurus and seek their blessings. On this special occasion of ‘Guru Purnima’ I want to dedicate my blog to my dance Guru Mukta Joshi ji. My guru Mukta Joshi ji is a leading exponent of Indian classical dance form Kathak (Jaipur style). She is a famous Kathak dance guru and choreographer and the founder of ‘Nrityadhara Kathak Research Institute’. She has performed in dance festivals held in various countries across the globe like USA, Korea, Vietnam, Mauritius, China etc. She has received several awards. I am sharing w

A true patron of Kathak – Nawab Wajid Ali Shah

Wajid Ali Shah was the tenth and last king of Awadh (a state in pre republic India). He was a poet, playwright, dancer and a great patron of arts. It was during his rule [1822-1887] that Kathak regained its glory. Many scholars credit him for the revival of Kathak dance and securing its status as one of the major classical Indian dance styles. In the ancient times kathak was performed at temples [during Bhakti (devotion) movement] but gradually the Kathak dancers, in search of better prospects and living, left the temples and entered into the royal courts. Many emperors and rulers contributed to the growth and development of Kathak but it was under the guidance and patronage of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah that Kathak achieved its greater dimensions. As I mentioned in my earlier blog Wajid Ali Shah not only enjoyed giving patronage to dancers but also himself enjoyed dancing, he learnt kathak under the guidance of Guru Thakur prasad and Durga Prasad. Wajid Ali Shah started two