“Ta Thai Ta Ta Thai, Ta Thai Ta Ta Thai”
With every word, a tap of your foot and with each footwork, the rhythmic bells of your anklets.
And that’s my earliest memory of this dance form ‘ Bharata-Natyam’ introduced to me by my mother as a child.
Though I can’t say as a child I enjoyed it. The dance required lot of discipline, stamina, grace, dedication and coordination of your whole body to perform in rhythm and tell a story through your movements. In fact for the first one year I had to learn only footwork, I mean that cannot be called dance now can you?. It takes minimum 4 years to get a hang of it.
The years spent learning this art didn’t make me a talented professional dancer or anything, but it did introduce me to love and understand dancing as a whole. My foot kind of starts tapping whenever there’s music now.
In the brink of modern dance forms taking over, I thought of sharing some information on a Bharatanatyam which is actually still fairly popular and also a means of bonding among expats in other countries:
1) Its an oldest classical dance from South India, goes as far as 9th century. Known as Sadir in early 1900’s
2) Originally it was introduced to educate the public about mythology, scriptures. As the form is such that it can tell you any story in any language
3) Many of the ancient sculptures in Hindu temples are based on Bharatanatyam dance posture
4) On 10th January 2015, 2100 dancers aged 5 – 40 made a Guinness book of record of maximum people dancing a classical dance together (wish I had known of this to participate)
– Its made of either Sari or a stitched up Sari i.e. Blouse, a large pleated loose pants which opens up like a hand fan and Pallu (used to wrap around to cover the blouse)
– Traditional Jewellery on the head, ears, nose, neck n waist
– Pleated Hair with fragrant flowers
– Makeup around the eyes, hands n legs to enhance the expressions
– Bells around the anklets to accent the footwork
Just wanted to share a love of mine introduced through ‘Bharatanatyam’, who knows you might find your dance too.
A dance whose beats of music connects with the beats of your heart
A rhythmic grace of words, a story telling through the body of your soul…