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Music & Dance

India is a land of vivid cultures and religions. From different festivals to varied traditions, India is beautifully sewed in a thread of diversity. One factor that marks the beauty of the country is its music and dance form. From north to south and east to west, the country is beautifully weaved in an array of assorted art forms.
Indian classical dance forms have originated from different parts of the country and in Indian culture, classical dance plays an important role as they are not mere performances but a mode of expressing the mythological stories from time to time. While we are on the topic, how can we not mention the South India Belt which is adorned for its rich heritage? South Indian music and dance forms are known for their great contribution in developing some unique and beautiful classical art forms in the country.

Music runs in the veins of South Indians. Carnatic Music is South India’s classical form of music, dating back to the 15th century. The most common form of the Carnatic Music is the Kriti, which is a composition based on a fixed raga (melody) and tala (rhythm). The Kriti involves varied improvisation, and modulation which makes it one of the hardest music forms. The best Carnatic Musicians are found in the city of Chennai (in Tamil Nadu). The Chennai Music Festival (also known as the Madras Music Season) is a must visit fest if you are a classical music admirer. The Chennai Music Festival is held annually in Chennai from mid December to mid January. Another major music festival held in the South India is the Thyagaraja Carnatic Music Festival, which is held every January in Thiruvariyar (in the Tanjavur district of Tamil Nadu).

South India region has gifted India with many classical dance forms. Bharatnatyam is the most popular form of classical dance which has garnered recognition in India as well as around the world. The origin of Bharatnatyam comes from the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. Bharatnatyam was initially a dance form performed by Devdasis or 'maids of God' in the temples. It symbolises the celebration of the timeless universe. Bharatnatyam flourished its ‘mudras’ (gestures) in the temples, and is most popular in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the techniques are also based on the philosophy of Natyashastra- 'Angikam Bhuvanam Yasya' (The body is your world).

Another eminent dance form of the Southern Region is Kathakali. Kathakali can be described as a dramatic dance forms involving usage of masks and powerful expressions. It can be termed as the finest of all dance forms. It is a form of Dance-Drama that originates its roots to Kerala. During ancient days, the dance was performed for the Kings for entertainment. Kathakali is a more of a narration of mythological stories. The movements are subtle with dramatic expressions. The Kathakali dancers have to undergo intensive training which involves hours of eye exercises and holding the right expression, whilst learning the art of Kathakali.

Likewise, , Mohiniyattam (originally from Kerala), a devotional art belonging to Devdasis is another famous dance forms of Southern India. Dollu Kunitha (originating in Karnataka) is a dance form of the shepherd community called 'Kubra'. Kuchipudi is another beautiful dance form of the Deccan, which have 80 dance sequences. Kuchipudi is best portrayed in the pot dance where the performer dances while balancing a pot on her head with her feet on the rims of a thali.

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