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Images of Classical Indian Dance

In the form of the Lord of Dance, Shiva is known as Nataraj and is worshipped by all Classical Indian dancers.

Guru Prakash Yadagudde

This is a picture of Guru Shri Prakash Yadagudde. He won 2 scholarships from his native Bangalore, to train further in New Delhi and Madras under U.S. Krishna Rao. He has also trained with Chitra Visweswaran. He has taught over 20 students to Arangetram level and has been teaching in Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan for approx. 15 years. I have had the honour of seeing him dance twice. He is, without a doubt, my favourite dancer.

Male Dancers?!
You may not think that male dancers take to Classical Indian dance styles, but in fact there are many top-notch classical Indian dancers who are male:
A few examples are the late Uday Shankar, Birju Maharaj and Pratap Pawar (Kathak),
Ram Gopal, U.S. Krishna Rao, V.P. Dhananjayan, Raghunath Manet, Mavin Khoo and Dr. Francis Barboza (Bharata Natyam)
Raja Reddy (Kuchipudi), Kalamandalam Gopi (Kathakali), Rajkumar Singhajit Singh (Manipuri), Kelucharan Mohapatra (Odissi).

Francis Barboza and his troupe

Dr. Barboza, a Catholic Indian has introduced a hasta (hand gesture) to represent Christ

Odissi dance of Orissa

Surupa Sen in a striking Odissi pose.

Bijayini Sathpathy, an Odissi exponent. Surupa and Bijayini have both learnt Odissi at Nrityagram (located in the outskirts of Bangalore), founded by the late Protima Gauri Bedi.

Kathakali from Kerala.

Kalamandalam Gopi as Arjunan in Kalakeya Vadham.

Manipuri from Manipur.

Rasleela: Thounaojam Lalitkanta as Krishna and Moirangthem Noopur as Radha. These two young dancers are descendents of great Manipuri dance gurus.

A doll dressed up in Manipuri dance costume. Yes she's a Barbie doll and I hate Barbie dolls, but I am partial to this Barbie as she's sporting a dance costume!

Kathak from Northern India.

Kathak originates from the word Kathakar, meaning "story-teller". These story tellers in ancient India would relate the mythological tales of Gods using mime, dance and music.
The dancers were traditionally men and women who performed within the vicinity of the temples.
With the invasion of the Mughals (Muslim ruler) in the 1400s and onwards, the dance was brought into the courts of the rulers. Thus the traditional instruments, such as the pakhawaj (drum) were replaced by the table, and the traditional Hindu ghaagra-choli-odhini dress was ousted in favour of the churidar-pyjama-angharka costume.
Kathak has several schools, Jaipuri, Lucknowi, Delhi, Benares and Rayagarhi, of which the first two are the most popular in modern times.

Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh.

Anila, Nilimmi Devi's daughter in a Kuchipudi pose.

Mohini Attam of Kerala.

Mohini Attam is danced only by women. Mohini (the form of a beautiful dancer that was taken by Lord Vishnu) danced so beautifully in "The Churning of the Ocean" that she distracted the asuras (demons) and thus ensured that the devas (Gods) got the Amrit.

Bharata Natyam

Narasimhachari sisters in an abhinaya pose of Bharata Natyam dance.

The deities at the Meenakshiamman temple at Madurai, India.

One of my favourite dancers - Alarmel Valli

Lovely pic, eh?.

Nritta, pure dance (an adavu). Yes, that's me..

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| Some Folk Dances of India |
| Read about Kashmir Shaivism |
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Friday 16th July 1999. Sangeeta Kaul Matu.