Bharata Natyam Versus Yoruba Dance

2560 Words11 Pages
Bharata Natyam versus Yoruba Dance “Religion may exist without dance: but dance cannot exist without religion.” (La Meri) Kelley Sleiman Intro to World Dance and Culture Throughout history, dance has been a form of natural self-expression. It has become an unbroken line of human interaction. Dance has been used to define cultures, communicate emotion and bring people closer to the spiritual world. While Hindu dance is an important religious art form for the people of South India, it is just as versatile to the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Bharata Natyam of India has become the most common classical dance-drama of India. It is a physical expression of poetry. In Nigeria, Yoruba dance is a form of religious communication. It occurs at significant events such rites of passage, religious gatherings, and political ceremonies. Yoruba dance is the most important non-verbal art form for the people of West Africa. The dances’ history, cultural roots, and aesthetic values form two very distinct ways of life. Bharata Natyam originated in the temples of South India. This classical dance evolved from the polytheistic religion, Hinduism. The four books of the Hindu religion, known as the holy Four Vedas, bring ritual and sacred elements to the classical dance. Bharata Natya Sastra is an important ancient manuscript written by Bharata Muni about how to produce specific performances of Hindu mythology. According to Gestures language of the Hindu Dance: “Muni claims a divine origin for the dance because he took his knowledge from each of the Vedas and created the dance –drama” (Meri). Muni’s manuscript ties together the religious elements of Indian religion to the art of dance. While Bharata Natyam evolved further from 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., many literary works were written. The Silappadikaram and the Manimekhai were the two most important epics that emphasized

More about Bharata Natyam Versus Yoruba Dance

Open Document