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Dance : Introduction

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In India, dance is an age-old tradition. This vast sub-continent has given birth to varied forms of dancing, each shaped by the influences of a particular period and environment. Indian dance is an extremely intricate art requiring skill, hard work and discipline. All Indian dances portray some expression of life and almost every dance posture has a specific meaning. Dance themes are derived from mythology, folklore, legends and classical literature. 

Indian dance is said to have originated from ‘Natya Shastra’, which is a detailed script written on all aspects of Indian dance. The author of ‘Natya Shastra’ was ‘Bharata Muni’ who wrote it some time in the 2nd century B.C.

The two main divisions of dance are classical and folk forms. There are dance forms typical to certain parts of the country and these dance forms are based on ancient dance discipline. The various classical forms are Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kuchupudi of Andhra Pradesh, Odissi of Orissa, Kathak, Kathakali and Manipuri. The uniqueness of Indian classical dances is that they are all devotional in content. Of all these dance forms, Bharat Natyam is believed to be the oldest and the purest Indian classical dance.

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Training in Dance should start as early as age six or less, much before the official professional training. Besides an in born talent, the basic requirement for a full time Professional training is matriculation or 10 + 2. Some institutes at the time of admission even give preference to students having a talent. Careers in this field can be that of a performer, teacher and choreographer.

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