'Language of Dance' With Special Attention to the Bharata Natyam and Dance Choreography in Contemporary Times

Sunethra Kankanamge


Each dance form has its own language, technique or style. This has resulted inthe evolution of a number of dance forms in the world. Exploring ways of the given textembodies the movement and the personal creativity of a dancer. Instead of basing it onone's own creative structure by personalizing the language of style, making experimentsand explorations are more acceptable for the dance choreography. The original structureand method of embodiment of the composition should be in 'correct' version, wheneverything else being incorrect on the stage.

This paper aims to examine the language of Bharatanatyam with specialreference to Bharatamuni's Nātyaśāstra. Also this will examine how language of theBharatanatyam dance form was expressed in dance choreography in the past and alsohow the language of various dance forms is expressed in the dance choreography in thecontemporary times. Further, this paper will also investigate whether a dancer can createany emotions on the stage without a proper text.

The resource materials of the methodology will consist of readings of researchon techniques and practices of Bharatanatyam as an ancient dance form, dancechoreography, articles and commentaries. Here, I shall depend on theory as well asperformances in tracing the visual picture of dance choreography in the contemporarytimes to examine the language of dance.

Keywords: Language, dance, Bharatanatyam, choreography, emotions

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