The Way of Dance
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Bharatanatyam: Natyamritam School of Dance
Ganesha     Bharata Natyam, the classical dance of South India, is a composite art form which is a meeting ground for other Indian arts such as music, sculpture, painting, literature and architecture, which all blend harmoniously in the dance to create a beautiful and vibrant synthesis. Bharata Natyam was a major form of worship, making it the oldest known classical dance form in existence. Dance had the power to raise the consciousness to a state beyond the dualities of life. It was believed that the timelessness and beauty of the dance would automatically carry the mind/heart into a place of spiritual bliss or liberation. As such, it was not used as a performing art, for mere entertainment or to exhibit skill, but was part of religious rituals only, and was very revered.

    Bharata Natyam is composed of two aspects -- form and expression. Nritta is pure joyous movement which corresponds directly to the accents of the music and displays the intricacies of complicated rhythm, poses, and footwork. The dancer creates a visual mandala by use of abstract dance patterns, and it is the point where the dance becomes the visual shape of the melody. Here, time is marked by the rhythms, and space is filled out by the form. Nritya is the art of emotions conveyed through facial expression, hand gestures, and postures of the body to directly express the storyline of a musical composition.
Bharatanatyam Video
Lesandre     The Way of Dance brings to life the art of ancient civilizations through classical and traditional dance forms, in the service of rituals and rhythms of cultures far removed from our own in space and time, reviving the splendor of the past and enriching the present.

   The mutual interpenetration of music & dance and how they enrich each other is seen in this dance from South India. The music becomes visually alive through the dance patterns, and the dance becomes audible music by the accented rhythms of the beats and ankle bells.

   "Thillana" is a piece wherein the dance patterns weave intricately through a main line of melody. It is an expression of unbounded joy, and is addressed to Sri Vishnu, the Sustainer of the entire universe. May that very Lord bring happiness to all beings!

   This clip is from a presentation of South Indian Temple Dances (45 mins.) performed by Lesandre in 1994 at Venice Beach, CA. For inquiries, please visit our: Products web page.