Dance emanated from the primeval destroyer of the world: Lord Nataraja himself. It took shape in the form of his vigorous dance, the Thandava. Theory of the dance. Hastas and Abhinaya. The Kuchipudi style has a rather extensive and well developed theoretical foundation. Each aspect of Hastas and . Bhagavatars, Bhagavata Mela Natakam and Kuchipudi Rasa in the Indian theory of aesthetics is the tasting of the flavour of a work of art. It is the quintessence.

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Each aspect of Abhinaya, or the expressive means available to people, is given a detailed description in such competent treatise as Natyashastra written by the great Bharatamuni. The Kuchipudi style follows Natyashastra more than any other dance form in India. There are four kinds of abhinaya means of expression: Angika Abhinaya – the expression through various parts of body.

Dance Theory | Kuchipudi Vaibhavam

Vachika Abhinaya – the expression through voice, speech and song. Sattvika Abhinaya – the expression through bhavas, i.

Aharya Abhinaya – the expression through costumes, make-up and ornaments. Every person’s life becomes apparent by means of three kucyipudi Manas – mind 2. Vak – speech 3.

In dance they are realized as sattvika, vachika and angika abhinayas respectively. Sattvika Abhinaya dominates mainly in Nataka dramaAngika abhinaya is expressed in Nritta pure dance, technique and they are both equally strong in Nritya solo dance.


There are three groups in Angika abhinaya: Hastas hand gestures are the part of Angika Abhinaya and include the ways of expression through the physical body head, eyes, nose, hands etc. In spite of the fact that the expression through gestures constitutes the minor part of Angika Abhinaya, their role is very important. Their meaning is not only decorative but they are also indicative of the specificity of communication and action in relation to things. With all that one should distinguish the notions of hastas and mudras.

Although both of them are hand gestures we will call them hastas while speaking of a technical aspect of the dance and mudras if it is a necessary to distinguish a certain gesture in the dance that has a certain meaning. Asamyuta Hastas – gestures of one hand carrying a certain semantic load.

Samyuta Hastas – gestures of two hands also having certain meaning. Nritta Hastas – decorative gestures without a certain meaning and theeory are the pure dance technique.

Among the texts on the theory of dance two most competent sources are distinguished: Natyashastra and Abhinaya Darpana. There are some differences between them in either the theoyr of hastas or in the number of their meanings. Thus Natyashastra mentions the following number of hastas: Abhinaya Darpana mentions 28, 23 and 13 respectively. This is how some differences in using hastas are explained for example between Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam, these styles are simply based on different sources.


Theory of the dance. Hastas and Abhinaya

The same holds true for viniyogas i. Thus for example in Natyashastra they mention circa 35 different meanings for Pataka hasta while in Ttheory Darpana there are more than 40 of them.

Besides, the meanings of hastas are divided into three groups:. Natural – the hastas expressing simple movements: Interpretive – the gestures imitating the most characteristic features of an object: Symbolical – the gestures destined to portray such notions as beauty, power, opinion, male or female sex etc. One can ukchipudi almost everything in dance with the help of hastas, but their usage must not be isolated kuchipuudi the body movements and the meaning must necessarily be supported by expressions of face and eyes.

Theory of the dance.