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It is said that 'maddalam' produces the sound of the gods, while 'chenda' producers the sound of the earth. By the irresistible power of their intricate 'talas' they contribute, almost magically, to the setting and raising of the atmosphere, creating in the minds of an attuned audience vistas, feelings and emotions of big intensity .


A dance-drama similar in style to Bharatha Natyam, Kuchipudi is the traditional art from of Kuchelapuram, in Andhra Pradesh. A male prerogative till recent times, the dance focuses on animation, and involves many complex movements such as balancing a pot on the head and dancing with the legs on the brim of a brass platter for over a quarter of the solo performance. Today the dance is performed by women artist as well, and usually revolves around roles like that of the beautiful but vainglorious legendary female character, Satyabhama.

Bharata Natyam:

Earlier known as 'Sadir' and 'Dasiattom', Bharata Natyam was once perfomed by the Devadasis, the dancers of the temple, as a sacred art. This Tamil Nadu's traditional dance from was sculpted by the renowned sage Bharata in his historical document Natya Sastra, way back in 4000 B.C.

The beauty and the energy of this dance come from a particular posture that requires he upper part of the body to be erect, while the legs-bent halfway down with knees spread out-beat the floor inside complex patterns of rhythm. But it also use the art of 'mudras' (hand gestures) and the 'abhinaya' or facial expressions, swiftly changing with every mood, character and theme that's created.

Today, the format have still a big religious dimension, describing invocation, lyrics, enactment, light erotic steps and also pure dance, accompanied by pure Carnatic Music Style. Based on religious and spiritual values, Bharata Natyam focuses on devotion and the ultimate union of the soul and the supreme.


Kerala's native dance form since the 16th century. Mohiniyattam is popularly referred to as the dance of the enchantress. As the legend goes, the Hindu God Vishnu assumed the guise of a beautiful maiden called Mohini, to enshare the demon kings and get the hold of the 'Amrut', the life tonic for the gods.




Kathakali is the classic dance-drama of Kerala, created in the 17th century continuing the old ritual theatre forms of the temples, the Koodiyattam. It represents stories of goods, heroes and demons took from the great epics and mythology of India: Mahabharata and Ramayana.To achieve this supernatural atmosphere, the actors (traditionally just men) follow a rigorous physical training to develop all the expressive capacities of the body. The dance is divided into 'tandava' style, with high-speed footwork and dynamic jumps, and 'lasya' style, soft, delicate and full of charm. But the actor must learn also the 'abinaya', the powerful facial expressions coordinated with the movements of the eyes, as well as the language of 'mudras', the symbolic gestures of the hands and fingers.

This sophisticated and condified movements, in conbination with the stylized make-up, the elaborated constumes, its vocal music and the resonant rhythm of the drums (chenda, maddalam and cymbals), convert Kathakali in a spectacular blend of poetry, mine, music and dance, to traverse new dimensions in the portrayal of emotions and perception, perhaps not accessible to any other art form.


'Maddalam' and 'Chenda', are the most known rhythmic instruments of South India. Both are double-skinned vertical drums used in Kathakali and in temple rituals for centuries, but actually are also played in purely musical concerts as well as theatrical performance, emphasizing the actor's steps and gestures. Both are made with special wood and buffalo leather to resonate in particular echo reverberation.



Traditionally danced by women in temples, its technique is characterized by slow, fluid and spaced movement of the body, a circular use of the torso, and a half bent position, with the toe and the heel used in a flowing rhythmic struture. The theme is often romance, dreams or solitude felt by a lone lover. Essentially a solo dance, Mohiniyattam is a highly evolved art from performed in the Sopanam Music Style.

Carnatic Music:

Carnatic Music is one of the two branches of Indian Classical Music. It is rendered vocally as well as instrumentally, and its inspiration come from the deep source of devotional chant and music of South Indian temples, where truly vedic forms are still alive.

In this system, seven notes form the base: Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhara, Madhyama, Panchama, Dhaivatha and Nishada (Sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni). While sa and pa do not have any variants, the other five have two, the flat and the sharp. An amazing variety of melodic patterns or 'ragas' have been devised by Carnatic musicians, setting all or some of the notes in an ascending or descending order. Also 'tala' or 'rhythm' and 'shruti', the basic pitch of the singer, are important in this art form. 

In India, 'Sangeet Marga', the path of music, aims at 'Nada Brahma', the state beyond silence, Music, then, becomes prayer devoted to emotion and union with the divine.

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