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Indian Art and Culture | Types of Indian Dances and Music


Lalit Kala Academy was set up in 1954 at New Delhi.Sangeet natak Academy was established in 1953 at New Delhi. Its function is to conduct survey research of different art forms in India.Sahitya Academy was established in 1954 at New Delhi. Its aim is to encourage production of high class literature in several languages of India.

The National Book Trust of India was set up in 1957.ASI – Archaeological Survey of India – was established in 1861. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.Indian Council for Cultural Relations was established in 1950, and it strives to promote and to strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries. The Council administers the Jawaharlal Nehru  Award for the promotion of peace and international understanding.NSD – National School of Drama – was set up in 1959 in Delhi.

Dances : There are two main branches of Indian dance, namely classical and folk. Classical dances are those which are based on ancient dance disciplines and have rigid rules for presentation.

Classical dances of India :

  • ‡ Bharatnatyam (Tamilnadu) – follows the principal of Natya Shastra. Rukminidevi Arundale revived it by establishing ‘Kalakshetra’  at  Adayar, Chennai. Famous dancers are  Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh, Padma Subramanyam, Mrinalini Sarabhai.
  • ‡ Kathakali & Mohiniyattam (Kerala) – the poet Vallathol revived Kathakali and Mohiniyattam by establishing Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthi, Thrissur, in 1930.
  • ‡ Kathak – North Indian classical dance form. Birji Maharaj, Gopi Krishna and Shambu Maharaj are the famous exponents of this dance form.
  • ‡ Odissi (Orissa) – Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra is at the forefront of the greatest of Odissi exponents. 
  • ‡ Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh) – a variation of Bharatnatyam.
  • ‡ Mohiniattom (Kerala) – Swathi Thirunal encouraged this dance form.
  • ‡ Manipuri (Manipur) – a delicate lyrical style of dance.

Folk Dance of India :

  • ‡ Bihu (Assam) – a post – harvest folk dance.
  • ‡ Ottam Thullal (Kerala) – performed inside temples.
  • ‡ Chakiar Koothu (Kerala) – performed inside temples.
  • ‡ Yakshagana (Karnataka) – about 400 years old revived by Dr. Shivaaram Karanth.
  • ‡ Bhangra (Punjab) – folk dance of harvest season, coinciding with the festival of Baisakhi.
  • ‡ Tamasha (Maharashtra) – Nautanki (U.P.), Garba (Gujarat), Chhow (Orissa, Bihar).
  • ‡ There are two forms of music in India – Carnatic and Hindustani.
  • ‡ Sama  Veda deals with music.
  • ‡ Purandaradas gave shape and form to Carnatic music.
  • ‡ The trinity of Carnatic music is Thyagaraja, Syama Shastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar.

Names Associated with Indian Music:

  • ‡ Ustad  Alla Rakha –  A  master of the  Tabla.
  • ‡ Bala Murali Krishna – A singer of Carnatic music.
  • ‡ Bhim Sen Joshi –  A  Hindustani singer.
  • ‡ Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasya – Flute player.
  • ‡ Pt. Jasraj – Famous singer of Hindustani music.
  • ‡ Parveen Sulthana – Hindustan style singer.
  • ‡ Neralathu Ramapothuval – Sopanam.
  • ‡ M.S.Subha Lakshmi – Carnatic music. (1998 Bharat Ratna).
  • ‡ Swathi Thirunal – Maharaja of Travancore who composed many ‘varnas and kritis’.
  • ‡ Ustad Zakir Hussain –  Tabla.
  • ‡ Ustad Amjad Ali Khan – Sarod
  • ‡ Begum Akhtar – Gazal singer
  • ‡ Bismillah Khan – Shennai player
  • ‡ Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma – Santhoor
  • ‡ Lalgudi Jayaraman –  Violin
  • ‡ Pt. Ravi Shankar – Sitar player of world fame.
Personalities Associated with Indian Dance

  • ‡ Rukmini Devi Arundale – Associated with Bharatnatyam; founded Kalakshetra.
  • ‡ T.  Balasaraswathi – Bharatanatyam.
  • ‡ Yamini Krishnamurthy – Famous exponent of Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi.
  • ‡ Birju Maharaj – One of the best known Kathak dancers and a choreographer.
  • ‡ Sonal Mansingh – A notable Odissi and Bharatnatyam dancer.
  • ‡ Rabindranath  Tagore helped Manipuri dance gain prominence in the early 20th century by introducing it in his Shantiniketan.
  • ‡ Prominent Indian artists associated with painting are  Amrita Shergil, M.F.Hussain, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose etc.

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