danza dell'india


danzatrice bharatanatyam




danzatore kathakali





danzatrice odissi





danzatrice kuchipudi



danzatrice kathak



danzatore manipuri

...over the centuries some dances became part of the religion and gained a strict codification, throwing this way the seeds of the following styles of the Indian classical dance:

The first one refers to the dramas in which dance plays always a very important role; the second one is usually translated as “pure dance”; in this aspect of dance the harmony of the movements end forms are celebrated while the body does not tell any theme; the third dance refers instead to the danced interpretation of a poem or a work of literature expressed as songs. An harmonious mix of dance, music and recitation is what resulted. The Indian dance uses the body as the main instrument of expression. The dancer-actor is called to respect very precise codified rules, relevant not only to the movement in the space but also to the ability of reaching a sculptural quality of steadiness, which is seldom requested in the western dances. In the pure dance in fact movements alternate accompanied by static posture rhythm. An attention, almost obsessive, is given to the accuracy of the lines which must be drawn by the body. It becomes like a brush with which the dancer paints very precise drawings, rich in spiritual meanings. In the portion of dramatic dance the body of the actress-dancer transforms itself instead into an elaborated alphabet of symbols, that is able to tell stories, to interpret lyrics, to communicate emotions, images and thoughts.


The Bharathanatyam is most probably one of the most ancient style of Indian classical dance. Its antiquity is documented by the literature, the sculpture, the painting and by the history of the different dynasties that follow one another in India. Traditionally the Bharathanatyam is associated to one of the fundamental books of the Indian dance and theatre: the Natya-Shastra recorded to the wise Bharata muni. The Bharatanatyam is believed to be “born” in South India and have spread , during the years, mainly in the Tamil Nadu. It is difficult, in spite of the numerous existing information, to draw a probable story of the 2000 years covered by this dance. The peculiarity of Bharatanatyam is the one of conceiving the movement in the space mainly along straight or triangular lines; chief importance is given to the precision of the lines and to the clearness of the forms. It could be affirmed that in the Bharatanatyam the angular and symmetrical movements are dominant, the perfect geometry born from the poetry and composed by bhava, raga and tala is pursued. Music which is a fundamental ingredient, is the one from the South, the Karnatic one.


Kathakali represents one of the most interesting and complex style in which the pure dance, the theatre and the music work in unison. The modern kathakali is the synthesis of the majority of the theatrical forms of South India. What stands out in this style is in fact the theatrical quality reached through the careful use of all parts of the body, the movement of the facial muscles is the main aspect of the discipline. It can be affirmed that the basic geometrical figures of Kathakali are the square and the rectangular one; inside these figures the dancer can anyway draw diagonals or some 8 by using the hands.

It is a common belief that during a performance of Kathakali, gods and heroes, demons and spirits reach the stage directly from other dimensions. Each of them has a make up, a costume and a hat similar to his nature. The characters or maybe it is better to talk about types, in Kathakali are divided in three big classes that reflect their main quality which can be: sattvic (virtuous, spiritual), rajasic (inclined to possession, violent) and tamasic (dark, low type).
The characters belong merely to the world of myth and legend.
Kathakali has absorbed the great traditions of dances that existed since remote times in its native country, the Kerala.


On the basis of the archaeological testimony, the Odissi or Orissi as it is also called, would come out to be the oldest form of the Indian classical dance. The archaeological finds supporting this theory are to be found in the Rani Gumpha cave dated back around the II century b.C.

The bending of the hip and the typical tribhanga posture is common to the majority of these figures.
The Odissi technique follows the principles explained in both, the Orissi Natyashastra and Shilpashastra.
In the Odissi the human body is studied in terms of three possible inclinations. The weight of the body is not equally distributed compared to the median axis, but it keeps shifting from one foot to the other.
Like in the other styles, the head, the chest, the pelvis and the knees represent important movement units. An exclusive peculiarity of this style and the Kuchipudi one is the movement of the pelvis.



Kuchipudi is born as a form of theatre-dance in a country of the same name, Andra Pradesh. The tradition wants that about five hundred years ago a group of  Brahmins of the Kuchipudi village gathered to give life to this artistic tradition. At that time there were many types of folk dances, but when the vaishnava current became more popular, the dance teachers composed some choreography inspired to the episodes of the Bhagavata-purana creating a form of theatre-dance that would have taken the name of Kuchipudi.

The Kuchipudi spreads mainly as a type of dance for the people and as a mean of support of the artists. At the beginning there were groups of artist, strictly men, in fact this dance was barred to women, who used to go round the Kings courts and the nearby villages to present their art. These artist were moved by a deep religious feeling they had the task to transmit through the dance.
In this style of dance the co-presence of the tandava and lasya aspects of the dance is particularly emphasized.


It is a Northern Indian dance.
The work of the feet is central. Movements are directly influenced by the metrical cycles, tala,  on which base the rhythmical variations must be performed. The body of the dancer in Kathak stays on the central axis, median; jumps and pirouettes are one of the characteristics of this dance but the space is mainly conceived as front and back and also when these  pirouettes are performed, the dancer maintains a certain linearity, without bending or making excessive movements.
The music is hindustani. Kirtan and  Dhrupad are the two styles of music mainly sung in Kathak. Pada, bhajan, hori and dhamar are also present. Of Muslim origin the thumri, dadra and ghazal styles are also present in Kathak.



The Manipur is a small north-western state located in the mountains; the highest peak is the Kobru Mount that is part of the Himalayan Chain. Here a population called Meithei live.
The fact that the Manipur is a boarder country explains why people is made by different ethnic groups and the religion, the art and the culture are a mix of distinct elements..
Dance and music are part of the daily routine of the people who consider it as an offer to God.
The tandava and lasya dances are very different, the first one is practised by men and includes jumps and rotations in the air accompanied by the sound of the percussion instrument played by the dancer himself; the lasya part, which is danced by women includes sinuous and spiral movements, also indistinct and wavy. Many are the dances inspired by the sung kirtan in the style of the hindustani music from the north.